Slot machine addiction is not something to be taken lightly. Like any other form of gambling addiction, it has drained bank accounts, torn apart families, and even led to criminal activity and suicide. If you believe you may have a problem, or know someone who does, seeking help is the first step towards a healthy and productive life.
What Causes Slot Machine Addiction?
Slot machine addiction is a recognized mental-health problem associated with impulse control. It affects millions of people around the world, and they come from all walks of life. While men tend to get addicted to games such as poker or blackjack, a higher percentage of women find themselves falling prey to the flashing lights and seemingly innocent nature of slots.
People with other mental-health conditions are often at a higher risk for slot machine addiction. This includes those with drug and alcohol addictions, as well as antisocial personality disorder, mood problems, or schizophrenia.
Slot machines offer what is known as “intermittent reinforcement,” meaning that the infrequent successes at a slot result in a craving for more spins and more wins. And since many slot machines can be played for as little as a penny, players often see it as a relatively harmless form of gambling.
This is not the case, however. Slot machines are designed to be appealing to the eye, and their flashing lights and various bells and whistles can often lull players into a sort of trance. With the fast play of modern slots and the nearby presence of ATM machines, it’s little wonder why they’re the most profitable weapon in a casino’s
Symptoms of Slot Machine Addiction
If you exhibit signs of slot machine addiction, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. The following are some of the most common signs of slot machine addiction, as well as gambling addiction in general.
In order to feel fulfilled, you require an increasing level of money to gamble with.
You’ve tried repeatedly to reduce your gambling, but all efforts have failed.
You’re constantly thinking about gambling. This could take the form of looking back on past successes, planning future gambling excursions, or thinking up new ways to raise the funds for gambling.
Trying to stop gambling leaves you feeling irritable or uncomfortable.
You’ve committed a crime in order to gain funds for the purpose of gambling.
Your gambling has left you with financial problems, and you now rely on others for money.
In order to disguise the severity of your gambling problem, you’ve lied to friends, family, or mental-health professionals.
After losing money from gambling, you return in an effort to recoup your funds.
You’ve put personal relationships or your job at risk in order to continue gambling.
In addition to the above warning signs, you may also find this list of twenty questions prepared by Gamblers Anonymous to be helpful. According to their website, compulsive gamblers and those with a slot machine addiction will answer yes to at least seven of the following questions.
Has gambling affected your reputation?
Has gambling caused you to miss time from work or school?
Have you felt remorse after gambling?
After winning, did you feel a strong urge to return and gamble somemore?
Have you ever sold anything in order to finance gambling?
Has your home life become unhappy due to gambling?
Has gambling ever caused you to consider suicide?
After receiving good news, have you been tempted to celebrate by gambling?
Have you ever gambled in an effort to win enough money to solve financial problems?
Do you feel an urge to gamble when frustrated or disappointed?
Has your gambling resulted in difficulty sleeping?
In order to finance your gambling, have you ever committed a crime or considered committing one?
Do you ever gamble longer than you planned?
Has gambling ever resulted in you being careless with the welfare of you or your family?
After losing, have you wanted to return as soon as possible in an effort to win back your losses?
Have you ever gambled until your last dollar was gone?
Has gambling resulted in a loss of efficiency or ambition?
Have you ever gambled in order to escape worry or boredom?
Have you ever hesitated to use money set aside for gambling to pay bills or other essentials?
Getting Help for Slot Machine Addiction
Luckily, there is help if you suffer from a slot machine addiction. The first step is getting diagnosed by a mental-health professional. If you’re found to have a slot machine addiction, you can receive psychiatric treatment. This may include medications designed to stabilize your mood, as well as your doctor diagnosing any other underlying mental-health issues. According to a study, up to 70% of people suffering from a gambling addiction also have another psychiatric problem.
In conjunction with professional treatment, many addicts have also found Gamblers Anonymous to be helpful. There is no fee to join, and they even offer an additional support organization (Gam-Anon) for the spouse, family, and close friends of compulsive gamblers.
Don’t think gambling is a problem? If not, then maybe you need to find a USA poker room at which to play?