Problem Pathological Gambling – An Addictive Behavior and The Road to Financial Ruin

Problem Pathological Gambling (PPG) is a huge problem in the United States and throughout the world. PPG is now on the rise here in the United States. Most people do not realize that Problem Pathological Gambling has been around for years. It was very common with horse racing and games of chance back in the colonial days. The difference between then and now is that there are so many more ways to lose your money.Current estimates show that 2% – 3 % of the adult population of the United States suffers from problem gambling. Men outnumber women two to one; but women problem pathological gamblers are increasing faster than men. Teenagers, particularly college students, are also falling into gambling at an alarming rate.The number of casinos continues to grow, lotteries are everywhere and there are now hundreds of internet sites where one can gamble their money away. Sadly, the gambling industry targets those with low incomes and the elderly. These are the people who can afford the least to lose their money. There are however, elements that increase the likelihood that the person will develop a gambling addiction. Risk factors for developing pathological gambling include schizophrenia, mood problems, antisocial personality disorder, and alcohol or cocaine addiction (1).Individuals who are problem pathological gamblers experience intense pleasure when gambling. In fact, MRI studies have demonstrated that, when problem pathological gamblers gamble, they release dopamine into the pleasure center of the brain similar to what happens when cocaine addicts use cocaine. There is no doubt that this addictive behavior is motivated in part through the pleasure center of the brain. Broader brain circuits are also involved in mediating addiction, including the amygdala, hippocampus, and frontal cortex-all parts of the brain’s memory systems (2).The intensity of this pleasure response depends on the level of addiction to the gambling act itself. In general, the individuals who gamble feel an intense need to change mood, and gambling is how they do it. The disease is seductive and clever. Nearly all gamblers have a period where they enjoy the activity and usually there is the “big win.” This can “set the hook” for active disease. After the “big win,” gambling activity usually increases and, eventually, the gambler is chasing his or her losses. The last stage of problem pathological gambling is total financial ruin. Most men who are gamblers are action seekers. The majority of women who are gamblers are “escape seekers.” This means that female gamblers gamble to escape unpleasant moods. The time required for a gambler to progress to a problem pathological gambler depends on the person. The disease does progress and all gamblers lose more money than they win. Diagnosis is easy. If gambling is causing a problem in a person’s life, they are a problem or pathological gambler. Signs and symptoms of problem pathological gambling are tricky to see. The person is usually in debt. The average debt for a male is usually $55,000 to $90,000 and for a woman $15,000 to $20,000. The individual will often need to borrow money and will often have a “lucky” shirt, tie or some other item that they believe brings them luck while gambling. “Magical Thinking” is not uncommon with problem pathological gamblers.Individuals who are problem pathological gamblers can experience significant withdrawal and cravings. Their symptoms may include extreme emotional states, anxiety, agitation, restlessness and other unpleasant symptoms. Male gamblers commonly crave the excitement or action of the gambling experience. Female gamblers often seek escape from unpleasant situations. Problem pathological gamblers will frequently engage in “mind betting” when they are not actively gambling. PPG will have withdrawal symptoms or cravings indefinitely. These usually decrease over time but they may return for no reason. It is important that the problem pathological gambler avoid “slippery” people, places and things. The gambling world is an entire culture of its own. The gambler must separate himself or herself from this culture of activities.PPG can have a host of harmful side effects ranging from financial ruin, incarceration, destruction of personal relationships and job loss to psychiatric illness and even suicide. It is hard to put a price tag on the harmful side effects of gambling. The financial ruin not only destroys families but college educations and futures. Problem pathological gamblers are also at increased risk to abuse alcohol or drugs.It is estimated that at least 65% of all problem pathological gamblers engage in criminal acts. The motive is always the same… trying to get their hands on money they can use to gamble. Nearly all gamblers have borrowed money from family members of friends. They will also embezzle funds from the work place if possible. PPG is a common cause of white-collar crime. The legal difficulties of the problem pathological gambler depend on the seriousness of the crime. The big problems come when the gambler continues to offend. It is difficult to know when the gambler is active. No drug screen or physical exam can detect gambling. A good sign or symptom would be that the gambler lies regularly when they are in active disease.Current treatment for PPG is sorely lacking. Another problem with this disease is that it often goes undiagnosed. Many state agencies and the gambling industry supposedly put money aside to treat the problem pathological gambler. Sadly, any type of treatment is usually difficult to find and expensive. There is no specific medication for PPG. Medical treatment for this disease is usually inconsistent and short-term. Treatment for the problem pathological gambler usually focuses on any mood disorder. Inpatient treatment for PPG is a luxury. Treatment for this disease is usually outpatient. Alternative treatment for PPG provides a viable option for managing this addiction. The use of herbal treatments and supplements has been helpful in the treatment of withdrawal, detox and cravings for PPG.Behavior and cognitive therapy are valuable tools in a recovery program from addiction. Problem pathological gamblers commonly attend Gamblers Anonymous (GA). The format is similar to other 12-Step meetings such as AA, CA, NA, SA and OA.References:(1) Roxanne Dryden-Edwards M.D., 2011, Web MD Newsletter, 8/06/11, Gambling Addiction (Compulsive or Pathological Gambling), http://www.medicinenet.com/gambling_addiction/page2.htm(2) Carol A. Tamminga, M.D.; Eric J. Nestler, M.D., PH.D., The American Journal of Psychiatry, VOL. 163, No. 2, Pathological Gambling: Focusing on the Addiction, Not the Activity, Am J Psychiatry 2006;163:180-181. 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.2.180, http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=178032&journalid=13

Are You Up For an Action Or Adventure Online Game?

There are many online games available on the internet. Any of them are great to escape from the reality of everyday life for a while. Action and adventure online games are very popular. You have to decide if you are keen to try sailing the high seas with a pirate crew or try riding a motorcycle through a flaming hoop or the adventure of trudging through forests, living on an island or taking over the business world.Now, you need a good computer system which can handle a serious gaming situation. There could be nothing more frustrating than to be on the winning streak of a pirate fight at sea and vvoom…… your computer freezes.There are varying game sites available to choose. Some sites offer a free basic membership, some sites offer a fairly cheap membership, some sites offer a more expensive membership and some sites offer a free trial period before you have the option of signing up for a paid membership. Basically you get what you pay for. The more expensive the membership is the more rewarding and exciting the game is eg for your great fantasy adventure a free account could give you basic weaponry and your game is more likely to be based on sheer luck and a paid membership could provide you with more heavily armed opponents. It is a good idea to understand what you get with a free membership and paid membership before starting any account. If the site requires a paid membership then you need to be aware of whether it is a monthly subscription, a one off payment or a pay per play game, and how much the costs are.Another point to consider when choosing online games to play is the frequency you will play. This may impact the cost you are willing to pay. If you are only going to play once a month then it will not be worth your while paying a monthly fee. If you aim to play often then it would be little point in playing the pay per play games. Free sites or pay per play sites are great for the infrequent or new gamers and a monthly membership is great for the frequent gamers.When you search out a game you will land on a page that should give you information on points such as requirements of the game, ratings of the game, how to play the game and more. If you have young players interested in action or adventure online games, check it out for suitability.Lastly, these online games of adventure and action are fun, exciting and great for hand / eye coordination and overall mental health. Studies have shown that these games help exercise the brain which is just as important as physical exercise to your overall health and well being.So what you should do now is decide if you are up for an action or adventure online game to stimulate your mind in your free time.

Can Sex Board Games Spice Up Your Love Life?

Can sex board games or sex card games, really spice up your love life? Yes! Sexy games for adults can definitely create a bond, inject some passion and even ignite a hot fervor between its players.Just like games for children, games for adults pure purpose is entertainment. And just like when you were a kid, when you really get in to the game, they can definitely become addictive!Adult sex board games can even make a great supplement to your couple’s sex toys, or that special lingerie in your draw. Because not only are they fun, playing adult games helps you maintain your connection by spending that all important quality time together. And sex card games are just the same. Like sneaky little packs of indulgent fun hidden away in your bedroom, or maybe as part of your personal adult fun drawer, they make a great addition to your sex toys or any other adult games you may have.From striptease games, Kama Sutra sex position cards, or Naughty or Nice games that suggest romantic ideas or more audacious sexcapades, each sex card game is different.And contrary to some beliefs, not all sex card games are sweet and simple vanilla love cards. You might just be surprised by what you can learn about your partner and even yourself, from a spontaneous and cheeky session of card game sex. And depending on your outlook and just how friendly you are with your friends, you can even extend the fun and the numbers of players depending on how many are willing.Adult sex games are not only fun, they also make for a cost effective night in. Once you have purchased your sexy game, it can be played over and over again. A gift that keeps on giving if you will, and one that with practice you can definitely hone in on your playing skills creating more competition, more excitement and more sex.Overall, sex board games or any adult games in general, are an excellent introduction or stepping-stone for those who are interested in role play or other erotic games but are not yet confident to pursue them. The organized games and rules ensure that you always know what you’re doing and even if you have tried role play but failed dismally, at least sexy board games for adults can help you live vicariously through the life of your board game character!


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