Addiction is characterized by the inability to control a behavior, whether acted out on a continuous or in a sporadic manner. There are many addictive behaviors, and while the most well-known are alcohol and drug addiction, any addictive behavior causes adverse consequences.
People typically have more than one addiction. Following are some of the more common addictions:
Gambling addiction has been defined as a “persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior” and is typically marked by one or more of the following:
Preoccupation with gambling or obtaining money to gamble
Gambling with increasing amounts of money
Loss of control over gambling (whether periodic or continuous)
Restlessness or irritability when trying to stop or minimize gambling activity
Escaping from problems using gambling as an distraction
Continuing to gamble in spite of negative consequences
Lying about the amount of gambling
Participating in illegal acts to fund gambling
Significant loss due to gambling, such as a relationship or employment
Asking others for money to continue gambling
Codependency can be defined as a set of compulsive behaviors often learned by family members. These behaviors are adopted in order to survive in a family that experiences significant emotional pain and stress.
Initially, the belief was that codependent behaviors were adopted in response to living with a person with addictive behaviors. Now, we know that codependency is the source of addiction, and that addiction can come in many forms including alcoholism, drug addiction, and even other addictions such as gambling.