Gambling Addiction Causes: What Leads to Problem Gambling?

Gambling Addiction Causes: What Leads to Problem Gambling?

Gambling Addiction Causes: What Leads to Problem Gambling?

Clinical Review by:

Clinical Review by:

Clinical Review by:

Published:

Jul 2, 2024

,

06:23 p.m.

ET

Updated:

Jul 3, 2024

,

11:21 a.m.

ET

Published:

Jul 2, 2024

,

06:23 p.m.

ET

Updated:

Jul 3, 2024

,

11:21 a.m.

ET

Published:

Jul 2, 2024

,

06:23 p.m.

ET

Updated:

Jul 3, 2024

,

11:21 a.m.

ET

Problem gambling comes from many sources. It’s not a result of one specific cause. That’s because problem gambling is an addiction.

This mental health disorder refers to the inability to control your urge to gamble, even though it causes negative consequences in your life. Several factors can increase one’s risk of gambling, such as:

  • Certain personality traits 

  • Peer pressure 

  • History of gambling in one’s family

  • Medication that can cause impulsive behavior 

Leading causes of gambling addiction according to experts

It’s important to be aware of the leading causes of gambling addiction so that you can recognize them in yourself or someone else. Experts have an idea of what causes gambling addiction. But they don’t know what the common thread is. Instead, they look to the following factors: 

Mental Health Problems 

Certain mental health disorders can make someone more likely to develop a gambling addiction. Many individuals with a gambling addiction are looking to escape from their emotional suffering, especially if the problem is left untreated. Gambling can feel euphoric and make them feel that they’re free from their problems.

Those with a gambling addiction often have a co-occurring mental health problem, such as:

Anxiety. Those who struggle with anxiety need immediate relief from their symptoms. It only provides temporary relief. The anxiety returns after they stop gambling. This is how a cycle of addiction can start. 

Depression. This occurs when someone feels empty or sad despite their life going well. Research shows that those who struggle with depression can use gambling as a maladaptive coping strategy to escape those painful feelings. Research has shown that 70% of participants with mood disorders developed problematic gambling. 

Personality disorders. Just like with generalized anxiety, individuals with personality disorders may become addicted to gambling. It’s generally related to those with antisocial personality disorder or borderline personality disorder. That’s because they’re impulsive and unable to decipher right from wrong. 

Substance use disorder. This disease relates to an individual’s inability to control their alcohol or drug use. People with a substance abuse disorder are more likely to develop a gambling addiction. 

Personality Characteristics 

Certain personality characteristics are more likely to have a gambling problem. For example, someone with low self-directedness may have trouble accepting responsibility for their actions or their choices. Other personality traits include:

  • Impulsivity

  • Indecision

  • Personalities who seek thrills and excitement  

Stress

For some, gambling is used as a method for relieving stress. Most people gamble to win, especially if they have financial problems. Gambling can be a response to other problems like chronic illness, relationship trouble, or traumatic events. 

Once someone relies on gambling to escape stress, it can be hard to break the habit. They might use it to escape their daily problem. They might even increase their gambling habits during prolonged periods of stress.  

Culture 

Certain cultures are more likely to gamble than others. A 2017 study found that Hispanic people are more likely to gamble than other ethnic groups. Members of the military and veterans are also at a higher risk of developing a gambling addiction. 

Age 

These days, young people are more likely to develop a gambling addiction. That’s due to the prevalence of online gambling and sports betting apps. The Journal of Child Adolescent Behavior found that 5% of U.S. teens have compulsive gambling, whereas only 1% of adults develop a serious gambling problem. 

Most adults can recreationally gamble without any problems. Still, they can be prone to addiction if they struggle with chronic health issues, financial problems, or social isolation. 

Anyone can develop a gambling addiction, regardless of their age. Gambling disorder is on the rise among all age groups around the world. 

How does a gambling disorder develop?

Gambling releases dopamine to the brain, which triggers the brain’s reward system. This activity offers many opportunities like cash, entertainment, and social relationships. 

Most people can gamble and walk away when they lose. However, others continue to gamble to win back money. This can lead them to “chasing” losses. At this stage, they could develop a problem with gambling. 

According to research from Brain Connections, gambling can develop from an enjoyable activity into an addiction. When your brain’s reward system depends on those good feelings, it can be hard to break the gambling habit. 

This may lead to feeling out of control with your personal life. Gambling becomes a problem when you’re unable to stop, and your life feels uncontrollable.  

Who is most likely to develop a gambling problem?

Men are more likely to develop gambling problems than women. But that gap has narrowed in recent years, according to Yale Medicine. Men are typically drawn to certain types of gambling, such as casinos, card games, and sports betting. Meanwhile, women are often drawn to other forms of gambling, such as bingo or slot machines. 

Early exposure may also increase the likelihood of experiencing a gambling addiction. Up to 7% of kids develop a gambling addiction, compared to 1% of adults. It can start as early as 10 years old. 

According to a survey by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ), 43.3% of young adults were exposed to gambling between the ages of 11-16. College students were also more likely to gamble than the rest of the general population. This study found that 96.9% were already gambling before they turned 23. 

Courtesy: CCGNJ

How to assess problem gambling behaviors

Birches Health offers a free, confidential self-assessment for those who are struggling with problem gambling or may be at risk. It’s one of the best ways to assess one’s problem gambling behaviors and determine if treatment is needed. This assessment is meant to be for anyone, including young adults. Birches Health can also help those who are at early risk of developing problem gambling. 

The next step is to get a formal medical diagnosis from one’s doctor or a mental health professional. There are licensed professionals available at Birches Health who can help those battling with problem gambling. They will form an individualized plan for your particular problem. To book an appointment with a licensed, specially trained therapist, you can click here

Resources for problem gambling & addiction care

Aside from the information in this article, other resources are available at Birches Health for problem gambling and addiction. You can get more information about this disorder on the Birches website or by connecting with a care specialist

There are additional options for taking the first step with Birches Health:

Or you can simply call 833-483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to get in touch with the Birches team right away.


Sources:

Problem gambling comes from many sources. It’s not a result of one specific cause. That’s because problem gambling is an addiction.

This mental health disorder refers to the inability to control your urge to gamble, even though it causes negative consequences in your life. Several factors can increase one’s risk of gambling, such as:

  • Certain personality traits 

  • Peer pressure 

  • History of gambling in one’s family

  • Medication that can cause impulsive behavior 

Leading causes of gambling addiction according to experts

It’s important to be aware of the leading causes of gambling addiction so that you can recognize them in yourself or someone else. Experts have an idea of what causes gambling addiction. But they don’t know what the common thread is. Instead, they look to the following factors: 

Mental Health Problems 

Certain mental health disorders can make someone more likely to develop a gambling addiction. Many individuals with a gambling addiction are looking to escape from their emotional suffering, especially if the problem is left untreated. Gambling can feel euphoric and make them feel that they’re free from their problems.

Those with a gambling addiction often have a co-occurring mental health problem, such as:

Anxiety. Those who struggle with anxiety need immediate relief from their symptoms. It only provides temporary relief. The anxiety returns after they stop gambling. This is how a cycle of addiction can start. 

Depression. This occurs when someone feels empty or sad despite their life going well. Research shows that those who struggle with depression can use gambling as a maladaptive coping strategy to escape those painful feelings. Research has shown that 70% of participants with mood disorders developed problematic gambling. 

Personality disorders. Just like with generalized anxiety, individuals with personality disorders may become addicted to gambling. It’s generally related to those with antisocial personality disorder or borderline personality disorder. That’s because they’re impulsive and unable to decipher right from wrong. 

Substance use disorder. This disease relates to an individual’s inability to control their alcohol or drug use. People with a substance abuse disorder are more likely to develop a gambling addiction. 

Personality Characteristics 

Certain personality characteristics are more likely to have a gambling problem. For example, someone with low self-directedness may have trouble accepting responsibility for their actions or their choices. Other personality traits include:

  • Impulsivity

  • Indecision

  • Personalities who seek thrills and excitement  

Stress

For some, gambling is used as a method for relieving stress. Most people gamble to win, especially if they have financial problems. Gambling can be a response to other problems like chronic illness, relationship trouble, or traumatic events. 

Once someone relies on gambling to escape stress, it can be hard to break the habit. They might use it to escape their daily problem. They might even increase their gambling habits during prolonged periods of stress.  

Culture 

Certain cultures are more likely to gamble than others. A 2017 study found that Hispanic people are more likely to gamble than other ethnic groups. Members of the military and veterans are also at a higher risk of developing a gambling addiction. 

Age 

These days, young people are more likely to develop a gambling addiction. That’s due to the prevalence of online gambling and sports betting apps. The Journal of Child Adolescent Behavior found that 5% of U.S. teens have compulsive gambling, whereas only 1% of adults develop a serious gambling problem. 

Most adults can recreationally gamble without any problems. Still, they can be prone to addiction if they struggle with chronic health issues, financial problems, or social isolation. 

Anyone can develop a gambling addiction, regardless of their age. Gambling disorder is on the rise among all age groups around the world. 

How does a gambling disorder develop?

Gambling releases dopamine to the brain, which triggers the brain’s reward system. This activity offers many opportunities like cash, entertainment, and social relationships. 

Most people can gamble and walk away when they lose. However, others continue to gamble to win back money. This can lead them to “chasing” losses. At this stage, they could develop a problem with gambling. 

According to research from Brain Connections, gambling can develop from an enjoyable activity into an addiction. When your brain’s reward system depends on those good feelings, it can be hard to break the gambling habit. 

This may lead to feeling out of control with your personal life. Gambling becomes a problem when you’re unable to stop, and your life feels uncontrollable.  

Who is most likely to develop a gambling problem?

Men are more likely to develop gambling problems than women. But that gap has narrowed in recent years, according to Yale Medicine. Men are typically drawn to certain types of gambling, such as casinos, card games, and sports betting. Meanwhile, women are often drawn to other forms of gambling, such as bingo or slot machines. 

Early exposure may also increase the likelihood of experiencing a gambling addiction. Up to 7% of kids develop a gambling addiction, compared to 1% of adults. It can start as early as 10 years old. 

According to a survey by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ), 43.3% of young adults were exposed to gambling between the ages of 11-16. College students were also more likely to gamble than the rest of the general population. This study found that 96.9% were already gambling before they turned 23. 

Courtesy: CCGNJ

How to assess problem gambling behaviors

Birches Health offers a free, confidential self-assessment for those who are struggling with problem gambling or may be at risk. It’s one of the best ways to assess one’s problem gambling behaviors and determine if treatment is needed. This assessment is meant to be for anyone, including young adults. Birches Health can also help those who are at early risk of developing problem gambling. 

The next step is to get a formal medical diagnosis from one’s doctor or a mental health professional. There are licensed professionals available at Birches Health who can help those battling with problem gambling. They will form an individualized plan for your particular problem. To book an appointment with a licensed, specially trained therapist, you can click here

Resources for problem gambling & addiction care

Aside from the information in this article, other resources are available at Birches Health for problem gambling and addiction. You can get more information about this disorder on the Birches website or by connecting with a care specialist

There are additional options for taking the first step with Birches Health:

Or you can simply call 833-483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to get in touch with the Birches team right away.


Sources:

Problem gambling comes from many sources. It’s not a result of one specific cause. That’s because problem gambling is an addiction.

This mental health disorder refers to the inability to control your urge to gamble, even though it causes negative consequences in your life. Several factors can increase one’s risk of gambling, such as:

  • Certain personality traits 

  • Peer pressure 

  • History of gambling in one’s family

  • Medication that can cause impulsive behavior 

Leading causes of gambling addiction according to experts

It’s important to be aware of the leading causes of gambling addiction so that you can recognize them in yourself or someone else. Experts have an idea of what causes gambling addiction. But they don’t know what the common thread is. Instead, they look to the following factors: 

Mental Health Problems 

Certain mental health disorders can make someone more likely to develop a gambling addiction. Many individuals with a gambling addiction are looking to escape from their emotional suffering, especially if the problem is left untreated. Gambling can feel euphoric and make them feel that they’re free from their problems.

Those with a gambling addiction often have a co-occurring mental health problem, such as:

Anxiety. Those who struggle with anxiety need immediate relief from their symptoms. It only provides temporary relief. The anxiety returns after they stop gambling. This is how a cycle of addiction can start. 

Depression. This occurs when someone feels empty or sad despite their life going well. Research shows that those who struggle with depression can use gambling as a maladaptive coping strategy to escape those painful feelings. Research has shown that 70% of participants with mood disorders developed problematic gambling. 

Personality disorders. Just like with generalized anxiety, individuals with personality disorders may become addicted to gambling. It’s generally related to those with antisocial personality disorder or borderline personality disorder. That’s because they’re impulsive and unable to decipher right from wrong. 

Substance use disorder. This disease relates to an individual’s inability to control their alcohol or drug use. People with a substance abuse disorder are more likely to develop a gambling addiction. 

Personality Characteristics 

Certain personality characteristics are more likely to have a gambling problem. For example, someone with low self-directedness may have trouble accepting responsibility for their actions or their choices. Other personality traits include:

  • Impulsivity

  • Indecision

  • Personalities who seek thrills and excitement  

Stress

For some, gambling is used as a method for relieving stress. Most people gamble to win, especially if they have financial problems. Gambling can be a response to other problems like chronic illness, relationship trouble, or traumatic events. 

Once someone relies on gambling to escape stress, it can be hard to break the habit. They might use it to escape their daily problem. They might even increase their gambling habits during prolonged periods of stress.  

Culture 

Certain cultures are more likely to gamble than others. A 2017 study found that Hispanic people are more likely to gamble than other ethnic groups. Members of the military and veterans are also at a higher risk of developing a gambling addiction. 

Age 

These days, young people are more likely to develop a gambling addiction. That’s due to the prevalence of online gambling and sports betting apps. The Journal of Child Adolescent Behavior found that 5% of U.S. teens have compulsive gambling, whereas only 1% of adults develop a serious gambling problem. 

Most adults can recreationally gamble without any problems. Still, they can be prone to addiction if they struggle with chronic health issues, financial problems, or social isolation. 

Anyone can develop a gambling addiction, regardless of their age. Gambling disorder is on the rise among all age groups around the world. 

How does a gambling disorder develop?

Gambling releases dopamine to the brain, which triggers the brain’s reward system. This activity offers many opportunities like cash, entertainment, and social relationships. 

Most people can gamble and walk away when they lose. However, others continue to gamble to win back money. This can lead them to “chasing” losses. At this stage, they could develop a problem with gambling. 

According to research from Brain Connections, gambling can develop from an enjoyable activity into an addiction. When your brain’s reward system depends on those good feelings, it can be hard to break the gambling habit. 

This may lead to feeling out of control with your personal life. Gambling becomes a problem when you’re unable to stop, and your life feels uncontrollable.  

Who is most likely to develop a gambling problem?

Men are more likely to develop gambling problems than women. But that gap has narrowed in recent years, according to Yale Medicine. Men are typically drawn to certain types of gambling, such as casinos, card games, and sports betting. Meanwhile, women are often drawn to other forms of gambling, such as bingo or slot machines. 

Early exposure may also increase the likelihood of experiencing a gambling addiction. Up to 7% of kids develop a gambling addiction, compared to 1% of adults. It can start as early as 10 years old. 

According to a survey by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ), 43.3% of young adults were exposed to gambling between the ages of 11-16. College students were also more likely to gamble than the rest of the general population. This study found that 96.9% were already gambling before they turned 23. 

Courtesy: CCGNJ

How to assess problem gambling behaviors

Birches Health offers a free, confidential self-assessment for those who are struggling with problem gambling or may be at risk. It’s one of the best ways to assess one’s problem gambling behaviors and determine if treatment is needed. This assessment is meant to be for anyone, including young adults. Birches Health can also help those who are at early risk of developing problem gambling. 

The next step is to get a formal medical diagnosis from one’s doctor or a mental health professional. There are licensed professionals available at Birches Health who can help those battling with problem gambling. They will form an individualized plan for your particular problem. To book an appointment with a licensed, specially trained therapist, you can click here

Resources for problem gambling & addiction care

Aside from the information in this article, other resources are available at Birches Health for problem gambling and addiction. You can get more information about this disorder on the Birches website or by connecting with a care specialist

There are additional options for taking the first step with Birches Health:

Or you can simply call 833-483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to get in touch with the Birches team right away.


Sources: