Online sports betting addiction is a severe problem. According to the American Psychiatric Association, it causes “as much harm to the gambler, their family and friends as drug or alcohol addiction.” The reason for this is simple: sports betting deals with something inherently addictive money. It can also be easy to get started and difficult to stop once you start. In this article, we’ll examine what causes gambling addiction in general, how it can happen with online sports betting, and how you can overcome an obsession with betting on games.
Gambling addiction causes
- Gambling is a form of addiction. It’s no secret that gambling can be an addictive activity, but what makes it so? Addiction is the continued use of a substance or behavior despite its negative consequences. In the case of gambling, this means continuing to play despite losing money and time and having relationship problems as a result.
- Genetics may contribute to your likelihood of developing an addiction. Family history plays a vital role in whether you’ll develop any mental health problems, including addiction. Suppose you have family members who have struggled with substance abuse or other addictive behaviors. In that case, this could increase your risk of developing an addiction.
- Mental illness can also play a role in gambling disorder development. People with certain mental illnesses—like anxiety disorders or depression—are more likely than others to experience problems linked with gambling behaviors, such as excessive spending and financial difficulties (Mental Health America).
Dealing with sports betting addiction
Dealing with a sports betting addiction is one of the most challenging tasks you will ever face. It’s essential to be straightforward and honest about your situation. Still, it’s also vital that you seek professional help before taking any drastic actions. If you’re ready to take that step, here are some guidelines for finding a program:
- Look for programs that offer a holistic approach to treatment. While the traditional 12-step methodology has helped many individuals recover from alcohol and drug addiction, many elements distinguish gambling addiction from other forms. So, when seeking help, look for programs that provide individualized and group counseling sessions focused on building healthy self-esteem and coping skills.
- Be wary of programs that offer rapid fixes. Some rehab centers advertise “miracle cures” or guarantee success within weeks or months of treatment; however, this type of marketing tactic should immediately raise red flags—and if you have an insatiable urge to gamble even after attending such centers, then they may not be the right fit for you anyway!
Online sports betting can be addictive.
- Addiction is a disease. It’s not your fault; there is no way to “control” it. You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed by your addiction.
- There are many ways to get help for online sports betting addiction—from self-help groups, therapy groups, and individual counseling to medication management (with medical supervision).
Online sports betting can be addictive, but it’s not just gambling that causes addiction. Gambling is a common way to deal with other problems, like stress and depression. If you or someone you know has an online sports betting problem, get help by talking to a professional who can provide treatment options and support.