In medical terms gambling addiction is termed as ludomania. This implies a person needs to gamble despite knowing the harmful consequences. Gambling addiction is a behavior which can affect most of the major aspects of life, for example it can affect you psychologically, physically and hamper your social life. Sometimes gambling addiction is referred as a hidden illness as you cannot see any physical symptoms. According to the American Psychological Association, addictive gambling is a mental health disorder and those affected have no control over it. Gambling addiction is a disease which is chronic and progressive. This means a person gets more and more addicted towards it every time he or she gets the opportunity to gamble. According to a survey about 4 percent of the American population has a gambling addiction.
According to Dr. Richard Rosenthal there are three criteria for a person to be listed down as a pathological gambler or a person affect with gambling addiction. An intolerable feeling or state, which is a person feeling helpless for no reason. Depression can be a reason; a person might get depressed due to problems at work place, problems with family, etc. Another criterion is when a person develops a high capacity for self-deception. When a gambler falls under these criteria, he is affected with gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is however classified into two types, action gambling and escape gambling.
Action gambling means a person is addicted to take risks, people falling under this category want to play with other gamblers, and they want to prove themselves as a winner in front of everyone. They want to identify themselves and create an image, they will continue gambling until and unless they reach the position. Escape gambling is where a person gambles because of the reason that they are affected with some personal matters. The person is having problems with emotional aspects in life or the person is not comfortable with life. People having escape gambling addiction usually play alone or they like to sit alone, they are rather found playing black jack or at slot machines. Escape gamblers just avoid human contact. It is found that men are more addicted towards action gambling and women are addicted towards escape gambling. It is also found that young people tend to have gambling addiction rather than adults. Teens are generally 3 times more likely to fall under gambling addiction. This is completely reversed in reference to other addictions where problems among adults are more prevalent than children.