What Could Trigger Gambling and Sex Addiction?
Before we get into more detail about the connection between gambling addiction and sex addiction, it will be a good idea to have a look at both separately. But also, let’s talk a bit more about what addiction means.
Addiction is also referred to as an Impulse-Control Disorder. You know you have such a disorder when you do something repeatedly for a long period of time and you cannot control the urge to do it.
Addictions can be triggered by different things. Often, the disorder can be triggered by specific words, music or sounds. There are even drugs that cause gambling addiction or other instances of losing control. A big life event like the death of a loved one, a divorce, losing a job or a surgery can also unlock such impulsive behavior. The worst part is that once you start, it is almost impossible to stop. Even if you stop your bad habits for an extended period of time, it is very likely that at some point something will trigger them again.
A Little About Sex Addiction
Sex addiction is a relatively new term that is still studied in detail as to what it implies. One general description of the disorder, as you may have guessed already on your own, is that the disorder is a compulsive need to perform sexual acts.
Like drug and alcohol addiction, the ‘goal’ is to get your ‘dose’ and feel better afterwards. Physical and mental pleasure can raise the hormone of happiness and adrenalin, it can also cause depression and a constant feeling of guilt. This can quickly turn into a dangerous game. Because of sexual addiction, people rarely can maintain a healthy romantic relationship. It can also lead to serious injuries and abuse – there are a lot of cases of physical and psychological damage, caused by sex addiction.
Although it looks like it, sex addiction is different from pedophilia and bestiality. Both mentioned are not impulse disorders and can be easily controlled if the person decides to do so. They are also more likely to exist because of past trauma or a different type of disorder.
Sex addiction comes in many different forms. The compulsive urge to masturbate or to watch pornography can also be a sign that a person has this disorder. Since there are a lot of ways for the addiction to be unlocked, it is often difficult to be diagnosed. However, there are a few common symptoms for sex addiction that might help indicate the bad habit easier:
- Constant thoughts about sex and sexual fantasies
- Compulsive sexual relations with multiple partners, whether stranger or people from the opposite sex
- Feeling guilt after sex and other
The Dark Side of Gambling Disorder – What is Compulsive Gambling?
Gambling addiction also known as compulsive gambling is another impulse-control disorder that is often recognized. You guessed it – this is the very ‘bad habit’ of people wanting to play more at the casino. Again, the disorder can be triggered by a tragic event or any kind of drugs. The lights and music or sound from the slots machines at the casino hall can also easily trigger a person and make him/her play more. There is a fantastic study that shows what happens inside the brain of a gambling addict – how a person reacts to certain triggers, how the brain functions when winning or losing at a game and more.
It is fascinating to see how the brain and body react when the euphoria from winning and the urge to play more occur. As much as it can bring some temporary satisfaction, even joy, gambling addiction can be also very harmful for the person struggling and the people around them. Again, there might be chronic depression, as well as aggression that can be physical or verbal. This is the reason a lot of online and land-based casinos have strict rules for players and a high security level to prevent such harmful behavior. There are a lot of online and live facilities where people with the addiction can seek help and work on their mental health.
Similarities Between Gambling and Sex Addiction
There is actually a lot that these two forms of addiction have in common. To begin, both sex and gambling could be related to compulsive behaviour though not necessarily simultaneously. There have been a lot of surveys and tests made so that experts can see if they can spot any similarities. The results might surprise you!
What Connects Them?
There was a study made that took approximately 8 years. It included patients with sex addiction and others with gambling disorder. Experts noticed that sexual and gambling addicts show similar symptoms like anxiety, depression and obsession-compulsion. As mentioned earlier, the feeling of remorse or guilt after the engagement (gambling or a new sexual experience) also indicate that a person might have an addiction. People show similar intensities of the mentioned symptoms, which may serve as an answer to the question of why it is hard to diagnose any of both mentioned disorders.
Of course, there are also a lot of differences between the two groups of people, especially when it comes to personality traits. Nevertheless, both sexual and gambling addicts also show similar personality characteristics, symptoms, and triggers. Sex and gambling can be considered mood shifters, which reflects on a person’s well-being.
Can You Be Both?
Can you be a sex and a gambling addict at once? It is not impossible. However, one of both addictions will be more intense. The symptoms are the same, but the consequences may be fatal. There are a lot of movies based on the idea that sex and gambling go hand in hand. There is also the so-called Ace-tourism, which includes both and is ‘practiced’ by a lot of people, especially in destinations that are famous for either their casinos or sex ‘attractions’. Still, as we have already mentioned, both sex addiction and compulsive gambling could affect a person’s life in many negative ways. Luckily, there are several ways to treat these disorders and we will discuss them in the following section.
Can Sex Addiction and Gambling Be Cured?
Both addictions are treated differently but lead to the same result – recovery and better control over one’s actions. Again, despite the differences, there are some similarities that help us understand how both disorders work and how we can help people who struggle with them. It takes time and patience, but it is important to strive towards a positive outcome.
There are a lot of ways to treat both addictions, with experts focusing more on therapy sessions. This is considered a safe alternative, as drug prescription can re-trigger one or both addictions, or create space for a new one. Also, physical exercise and more moral support from the closest people really helps going through rehab easier.
Conclusion – Does Sex Addiction and Gambling Match?
Gambling disorder and sex addiction are both very intense, very similar, but also very different types of disorders. They share almost the same symptoms and similar treatments, which often confuses people and make diagnosing difficult. Both can exist as separate disorders and can also be a disastrous 2-in-1 combo. However, as long as there are surveys and more experiments made to solve the mystery behind both addictions, it will be so much easier to spot the problem and act as soon as possible. Addictions and bad habits are hard to break, but it is not impossible, especially with the right help.
We hope you found our article interesting! Let us know what you would like to read about next! Also, don’t forget to check out our blog for more interesting and gambling-related topics!
Gambling and Sex Addiction FAQ
Since there are a lot of questions about both disorders, we’ve added this section here. Our editors have picked the answers to some of the more popular questions people have asked about both gambling and sex disorders: