BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) – Millions of people across the country suffer from some form of gaming habits. Now that there are more ways to quench the urge, health professionals say the trend could continue to pick up.
Wendy Young, a therapist at FMRS Health Systems, said gambling addiction is a disease and can affect anyone at any time.
“Gambling addiction, gambling problems look like this face you see here. It looks like your face, it looks like anyone could struggle with a gambling behavior, ”said Young.
Young said that because it's like any other addiction, it's just as easy to learn.
"It can be curiosity, it can be a sense of belonging, to play a part in your work football pool or at someone else's card game. It can be that simple," said Young.
The characters can also be similar.
"It could be your lover, one who is gone for hours, maybe they ask for help with finances where they haven't been before so you can see how they start struggling with finances. The longer it goes on, the more secretive they get and have to lie to loved ones to cover their gambling crowd, ”said Young.
But is gambling a learned behavior or is it the make-up of the addict?
“The simple answer to that is both. Perhaps you have experienced going to the dog track with your father, family or friends. And so it can be a very powerful social component, a learned component, if it's fun doing it together. But it also has a neurobiological component as we can be more prone to experiencing something like this. In our family we may have depression, that kind of chemistry. Or fear, which is more likely to be fearful, ”said Young.
Young said that gambling has many faces. It can be slot machines, card games with friends, a friendly bet on the races. She said education is the best way to combat this addiction.
"But the truth is, addiction has no limits. Anyone can struggle with addiction, and the more we talk about it as a community, the faster we can approach healing and be there for one another," said Young.
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