Like all addictions, Gambling or risk taking involves escaping from reality. It is not just the actual risk, but the whole panoply of events leading up to taking the risk and the fantasy which surrounds it. The process of addiction and the inherent Denial processes prevent the sufferer from seeing the reality of what is happening. The belief that the next risk will be the one which will put everything right, the delusory sense of certainty about the outcome combine to convince the person that just one more risk is essential.
How do I know if I have it?
The consequences of compulsive gambling can be catastrophic. Not only are enormous debts accrued, but these may well have been increased through the use of loan sharks and other unsavoury sources which can place the life of the person and their family or friends in jeopardy.
How do people develop it?
As with all addictions, the sufferer seeks escape from the mounting anxiety and depression which accompanies high levels of guilt, shame and remorse, by taking yet more risks. Common sense does not apply in addictions, the person is powerless to find a solution on their own and their lives descend into more and more chaos.
Can it be cured?
Also, in common with all addictions, help is available and treatment is highly effective, restoring people to normal functioning and happiness.