Gambling addiction, a brain disease, has negative effects in many areas from family relationships to social status.
Gambling addiction, a brain disease, has negative effects in many areas from family relationships to social status. Emphasizing that gambling addiction occurs in some neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease and after drugs affecting some neurosystems, experts point out that gambling addiction can develop after successful stomach reduction surgeries. This phenomenon is called the "dependency transfer".
Üsküdar University NPİSTANBUL Brain Hospital Psychiatry Specialist Prof. Dr. Gül Eryılmaz made evaluations about gambling addiction, which is also known as "gambling disorder".
Gambling addiction is a brain disease
Prof. Dr. Gül Eryılmaz said that gambling disorder is defined as “persistent and repetitive gambling behaviors characterized by the inability to control the gambling behavior in a way that disrupts the individual, family or professional functionality”.
Due to the limited epidemiological studies in Turkey, indicating that small-scale studies Prof. Dr. "It is reported that the prevalence of gambling addiction is approximately 0,1-2,7% for adults," said Gül Eryılmaz.
The cause of gambling addiction may be genetic
Noting that studies on how gambling addiction develops suggest that there are several important factors, Prof. Dr. Gül Eryılmaz said that one of them is genetic predisposition.
Stating that it is known that some genetic factors from family members constitute risk factors for gambling addiction, Prof. Dr. Gül Eryılmaz said: “At the same time, in many studies, socio-demographic characteristics such as male gender, young age, region of residence, low socioeconomic status and factors such as early onset of gambling activities, psychiatric comorbidity, negative childhood experiences, gambling and substance family history It has been identified as a risk factor for addiction. In gender studies, the lifetime prevalence of gambling addiction has been found to be higher in men than in women.
Phenomenon addiction transfer can also lead to gambling
On the other hand, he emphasized that gambling addiction emerged in some neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease and after drugs affecting some neurosystems. Dr. Gül Eryılmaz said, “Likewise, today, stomach reduction surgery methods are increasingly used in the treatment of obesity. Psychiatric complications can be seen after surgery. After successful weight loss surgeries, clinicians have reported that some patients stop binge eating and instead develop addiction to alcohol or gambling. This phenomenon has been called addiction transfer, ”he said.
Internet use makes gambling easier
Stating that the widespread use of the Internet makes gambling easier, Prof. Dr. Gül Eryılmaz noted that the use of smart phones, easy access to the internet and betting sites, and the attractive advertisements of such sites are possible risk factors.
Family support is important in the treatment process
Pointing out the importance of expert support in the treatment of gambling addiction, Prof. Dr. Gül Eryılmaz said, “When they experience any problems about this situation, they will definitely get consultancy to prevent future problems. Even if the person does not receive professional support, families will certainly receive an important step in treatment. "What families will do during the treatment process is as important as medicine and therapy."
What should relatives with gambling addicts do?
Stating that "families should get individual support for their burnout first," said Prof. Dr. Gül Eryılmaz said, “Families should not blame themselves and they are not alone. They should not pay debts that may be caused by gambling and, if necessary, seek financial counseling. They should seek help from family therapies to examine family dynamics and family communication patterns psychologically ”.