Gambling Addiction in Kenya: Are you at risk?

While anyone can get addicted to gambling, there are some people who are at risk than others. Gambling addiction tends to have a lot of similarities with other addictive disorders especially alcohol addiction.

For instance, gambling addiction tends to co-occur with other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Similarly, you are susceptible to alcohol addiction if you have depression and are suffering from anxiety.

Without self-awareness, it is easy to lose control of your gambling behavior. You need to ask yourself why you are into gambling. If your answer is to escape a problem whether emotional or financial, then you are at risk of addiction.  Here is an in-depth explanation of some the risk factors to gambling addiction.

You are struggling financially

Studies show that people who are poor are likely to gamble more than those who are financially stable. This explains why many gambling addicts are people with financial problems. It is no wonder that most betting addicts in Kenya are those from low economic class.

Poor people tend to get into gambling with the hope of hitting the jackpot and escaping from their misery. Of course this never happens and before the gambler realizes it, they are entangled in the cycle of addiction.

A person who engages in gambling due to financial desperation is likely to keep convincing himself that he is a step away from winning big. They are likely to take debt money with the hope of making a big win and paying back. In the end, they get trapped in debt and gambling compulsion.

Gamhelp Kenya gambling addiction counselling program also includes personal finance training. We provide free education and money management tools to help gamblers stay keep their gambling behavior in check.

You have anxiety or depression

If you are depressed, you are likely to seek the thrill of addictive behaviors including gambling. Just like alcohol or sex, gambling is known to trigger a feel good hormone known as dopamine. This explains why problem gamblers are likely to gamble more when feeling anxious or depressed.

Case in point, studies have shown that people who have had traumatic life events are likely to engage in destructive behaviors. The most common behaviors include eating disorders, substance abuse, and problem gambling.

Traumatic life events can include physical abuse, violence at home, emotional neglect by loved ones, sexual abuse, loss of a loved one, etc. The most common symptom with Post Stress Traumatic Disorder (PTSD) is an unexplained feeling of emptiness and sadness.

Some of the traumatic events might have occurred during childhood and you may not be consciously aware of them. Counselling will help you explore and deal with traumatic events in your life. Gamhelp Kenya gambling addiction treatment programs involves a holistic psychoanalytic assessment and treatment through CBT.

You have an addictive personality

Your personality may also drive you towards problem gambling. People with compulsive personalities, workaholics, restless or easily bored personalities are likely to become addicted to gambling.

Responsible gambling is not possible without self-awareness. You become self-aware by knowing what drives your behavior and gaining control of it. It is through self-awareness that we come to love and accept ourselves. Moreover, self-awareness gives us a bearing in working on what we do not like about ourselves.

Take our addictive personality test to determine if you are predisposed to gambling addiction.

You have a family history of gambling addiction

People from families that have a history of gambling addiction are likely to become addicted to gambling. This is because there are hereditary biological factors that make people more prone to gambling addiction.

The same case applies for other form of addictions including eating disorders, substance use, and sex. For instance, families with genetic predisposition to depression and anxiety are likely to have more than one members engaging in harmful behaviors including problem gambling.

You have a personality disorder

You are also likely to become addicted to gambling if you have personality issues such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). We will discuss these disorders in detail another post.

Gamhelp Kenya is the leading provider of responsible gambling education in Kenya. We also offer gambling addiction counselling to problem gamblers in Kenya. Contact us for gambling addiction treatment, alcohol addiction treatment, and general psychotherapy. We do not charge any fees for gambling addiction.