If you can think of a time when you’re playing a game on your computer or tablet and the next thing you know, you’re banging your head on the keyboard after trying to win the jackpot or your partner has walked away from the table in disgust, you’re not the only one to have experienced this.
As well as feeling annoyance when your skill with the game leaves you helpless at the hands of the invisible forces that are trying to take away your 꽁머니, it can feel pretty damn cruel. You may think there’s nothing you can do to save yourself from winning, so you end up frustrated when you lose.
But could this reaction be down to an obsessive-compulsive disorder called gambling addiction? Yes, according to psychologist Jeremy Marsh, who believes that people who experience addiction to casino games can form the kind of compulsive, obsessive behavior that people in other addictions can exhibit.
It’s the same thing that drives addicts to keep playing the game even though they’ve lost all their money or have hit a brick wall.
“Addictive disorders are characterized by a persistent and seemingly compulsive preoccupation with the subject matter of the disorder, which serves to produce psychological effects that can be negative or positive,” says Marsh.
“For gambling addiction, the ‘troubles’ come about when there is some kind of ‘conflict’ between one’s incentives for gaining from the pursuit of the activity or the reward to the individual. There are also persistent negative consequences for the person.
One of the difficulties gambling addicts have is that they can’t see that they are addicted to something that brings them so much pleasure and satisfaction.”
Gambling addiction comes in many forms, but how does gambling addiction differ from, say, an obsession with American football or an obsession with the number 23?According to a study carried out by health psychologist Leon Fox in 2000, humans have some incredible brains. “Just as there are different types of personality,” explains Marsh, “there are different types of addiction too.