An addiction is an activity that creates euphoria, specifically a constant stimulation that releases serotonin and dopamine, natural mood enhancing hormones. This euphoria replaces an interest in participating in real life. In fact, a person would rather participate in this euphoria-generating activity than relate to family or friends, go to work, clean up their home, or take care of their health.
An addiction becomes a gambling addiction whey you add the element of the thrill of losing or gaining money—in other words, add a gambling addiction and a person may begin to actually become impoverished and risk their health and well-being as well.
For the sake of clarifying an Internet addiction and then explaining how it can transform into a gambling addiction, let’s use Fantasy Football as an example–with the caveat, of course, that many people play Fantasy Football without becoming addicted to it in any way.
When it comes to gambling addictions, most people are familiar with casinos and their virtual counterpart, online casinos, but even something like Fantasy Football can morph into an addiction.
What is an Internet Addiction?
Internet addiction, as defined by abnormal psychology, is an impulse control disorder and people become addicted to their brain’s neurotransmitters firing as they play their favorite game. Playing games for endless hours on the Internet creates a sense of euphoria. Internet addiction arises as an overwhelming need to control an outcome.
Fantasy Football can become an Internet addiction when gamers tend to have an insatiable need to research stats about the game, with some spending the entire day doing it. Ironically, most addicted players are in denial about their fascination with the game being problematic. In general, they believe that they can simply cut back if they choose.
How An Internet Addiction Becomes A Gambling Addiction
Although on the surface, Fantasy Football is a harmless game and an interesting hobby, it becomes an addiction when it begins to absorb a person’s life. It becomes a gambling addiction when the element of gaining or losing money is added. The thrill of loss or gain becomes compulsive.
Why It’s Important to Get Help
Internet gambling addictions are not always obvious. While playing all day at an online casino can be clearly flagged as a gambling addiction, a game like Fantasy Football is not an easily recognized addiction. This is because it is a social game that requires skill rather than luck. Interestingly enough, 80% of people who are addicted to Fantasy Football stats are men, mostly in their 20s. Most of their conversations with family and friends are related to fantasy football. Besides disruptions of their family and work life, their addiction also has a physical toll, resulting in either over-eating or under-eating and getting insufficient sleep.
Unfortunately, gamers only decide to seek help when they encounter a serious life problem like a divorce, job loss, or other life crisis. Fortunately, there are many organizations and gambling rehabilitation centers with professionally trained staff who can help gamblers break their addiction.
Like other addicts, when confronted for letting everything else in their lives fall through the cracks, those addicted to gambling are likely to admit that they thought that they could keep their fascination with gaming under control.