Gambling as a Mental Problem - Essay Example

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Harvey Mudd College
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Gambling leads to high levels of addiction. Addiction to gambling is always associated with other underlying problems. There are very many reasons that people engage in gambling activities. One of the reason is the thrill that it comes with, some love the power that it comes with and others like taking risks and gambling is all about risk-taking. It is an activity that makes people feel social, and for a person that feels very isolated, gambling can have benefits. However, in most cases, people take part in too much gambling to try and cure their depression. Despite the above reasons for gambling, addiction leads to a lot of problems. It results in poor physical health because people spent most of their time in gambling dens without proper food. These are places characterized with alcohol and other drugs that are risky to the health of addicts. It leads to the development of mental problems. In gambling is a very risk-taking activity. It relies on changes in most cases people lose more than they win. It, therefore, causes high levels of depression and addiction that lead to the deterioration of peoples mental health. It makes people lose their jobs because they become dysfunctional. They become unreliable and cannot focus on their day to day activities. It is also a leading cause of bankruptcy. People lose a lot of money and force them to sell assets, acquire credit, and these are all prerequisites for bankruptcy. Sometimes there is no legal access to funds, and people engage in criminal activities. It breaks relationships and causes divorces. Gambling addicts become very dysfunctional and cannot support families. The above problems show that gambling is a mental problem (Compulsive Gambling, 2017).

There are many theories that can be used to explain gambling as a mental or psychological. Any person can develop a problem with gambling. It is a problem that affects people of all ages, gender. It is a problem that leads to mental and psychological problems, and at the same time, people already suffering from mental problems can see their conditions worsen as result of the problem on of the theories that can be used to explain gambling an s a psychological problem is a learned helplessness by Martin Seligman. This is a psychologist that has made great contributions to the field of positive psychology. He developed this theory during his exploration of depression. Learned helplessness is associated with existing painful experiences that affect people. In normal cases, people learn from the experiences and avoid them next time but with learned helplessness, the experiences are hard to avoid, and people fail to learn from them. They, therefore, learn that they are helpless and have to learn to live with the events without developing ways of evading it. In such instances, organisms of individual lose control of the stimuli that is causing harm, and they give up trying to change the stimuli. They accept the fate and live with it despite being harmed by the stimuli. The theory is based on experiments that showed that humans have different levels of control over situations. It is a condition that results in a lot of stress because of the perception of events as uncontrollable. It is very influential to peoples well-being and mental health (Gambling, 2013).

Learned helplessness can be used to explain addiction to gambling as a mental health problem. Gambling depends on chances and people sometimes win a lot of money. It provides a positive incentive associated with a victory that attracts many. The perception that a person can win a lot by investing a little is also a fundamental factor as to why people gamble. It is also associated with other recreational factors associated with alcohol drugs and sex and all these become attractive factors to many. However, people lose more than they ever win and that is when it becomes a problem. It becomes very addictive and thus becomes a great problem. It becomes a mental problem because of overdependence on gambling. It also has aspects of learned helplessness whereby people get experiences, of poor physical and mental health, bankruptcy and criminal activities and fail to learn from them. In most cases, gambling affects people in most parts of their lives. They fail to learn from the experiences, and thus they lose control to the vice. It leads to an exhibition of signs of mental problems that include, depression, lack of ability to concentrate, extreme mood changes and reduced social activity. These are fundamental signs that characterize mental illness and addiction to gambling exhibit them (Gambling, 2013).

The activity of neurotransmitters in the brain is responsible for mental health. They are responsible for a persons behavior and mood. Two of the important neurotransmitters responsible for good mental health include dopamine and serotonin. The interruption of these transmitters leads to problems of depression, mood swings and other mental illness such as schizophrenia (Poor Neurotransmitter Activity, 2010).



Compulsive Gambling. (2017). Retrieved from

Gambling Addiction. (2013). Retrieved from

Poor Neurotransmitter Activity. (2010). Retrieved from

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