Is there a connection between the disease ADHD and the gambling addiction? This is exactly the question that different researchers from Spain, the USA and Australia have investigated. The interesting results have now been published by the “Journal of Attention Disorders”. According to the researchers, symptoms of the concentration disorder ADHD could be demonstrated in 20 percent of the subjects with problematic gaming behavior. There is therefore a possible connection for the researchers.
ADHD, the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is an emotional disfunction of the body. The mental illness leads to concentration problems, increased impulsiveness or chronic hyperactivity. As a rule, those affected already suffer from the disease from childhood and cannot get rid of it until the end of their life. In some cases, the symptoms only decrease, but usually they do not go away completely. In Eurpain alone, around five percent of children and adolescents are said to be affected by the disease around 50 to 80 percent of children with ADHD also suffer from the disease in adulthood. It is not yet clear exactly what the causes of the worldwide disease are. However, experts cite inheritance and environmental influences as possible reasons for the onset of ADHD.
Precisely because the ADHD symptoms pose a certain emotional regulatory problem, the possible connection with gambling addiction is particularly interesting for researchers. After all, it has already been found that pathological gamblers often suffer from impulsive decisions. These then lead, for example, to these players placing even larger bets after a loss. In the study, the scientists therefore investigated the possible connection between ADHD symptoms, gambling disorders and also general emotional regulation problems.
Connections recognizable according to the study
The study was carried out in Spain. For this, 98 test subjects were selected, who were exclusively male subjects. The average age of the participants was 42.7 years. Before starting the study, participants had to fill out various self-assessment questionnaires. These should be used, for example, to clarify whether symptoms of ADHD are present and in what form they appear. When evaluating the participations, the researchers subsequently came to the conclusion that 23 participants with existing ADHD symptoms also had problems with their own playing behavior, the researchers are therefore certain that there is definitely a connection between the symptoms of the disease and the emotional regulatory problems. This assessment is underlined by the fact that, according to the study, apparently more serious emotional regulation problems also result in a more intensive problem with gambling.
The researchers conclude from the results that ADHD symptoms could be a potential risk factor for problem gambling. After all, 20 percent of the subjects with problematic playing behavior would also have the clinical features of an ADHD disease. These include, for example, the disturbances of the executive functions, but also the ability to correctly assess situations. There are also similarities in self-control and impulsiveness. An assessment that one also with the organization “ADHD “Splits. Here explains Dr. Astrid Neuy-Bartmann that gambling addiction is a topic that is often underestimated in connection with ADHD and is ignored. However, ADHD people in particular would have a strong instinct to play and would be enthusiastic about the winnings. This group of people is therefore particularly susceptible to problematic gaming behavior.
Gambling addiction is becoming an increasingly common topic in science
In the past few years, research and science have dealt with the subject of gambling more and more frequently and intensively. This is demonstrated, for example, by the UK Gambling Commission. The latter recently submitted a report with a list of all the organizations that were financially supported by the gaming authority last year. Most of the funding, for example, was collected by the Gambling Research Exchange, Around 2.2 million euros went to the organization last year, which is to launch a new and innovative program to combat and prevent gambling addiction. The Howard League for Penal Reform received around two million euros, which works against the spread of gambling addiction and at the same time offers prevention against crime problems.
Science and research are increasingly involved in the formulation of legal requirements. The politicians and authorities use the results of the researchers to then provide the appropriate regulatory requirements. In recent years, in particular, this work has not only increased, but has also covered an increasingly broad subject area. While research was primarily carried out directly on gaming behavior, other influences – such as ADHD in this case – are now in focus. In the UK, researchers recently discovered that problematic gaming behavior is no longer just a male problem. Instead, more and more women would suffer from pathological gambling behavior, especially in the last few years, the number here has skyrocketed. Here, too, surveys and studies should now find out exactly where the causes lie. One of the largest organizations in the industry, Gam Care, has launched a new aid program specifically for women.