Developing an addiction is not something can be predicted with absolute certainty. Anyone can develop an addiction. However, addictive behavior has been associated with certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing an addiction of some kind. These factors predispose a person to the behavior but it doesn’t mean that he or she will inevitably develop an addiction. There are different factors that influence the eventual appearance of an addiction.
Risk factors that increase the likelihood of addictive behavior include:
- People’s influence – If someone in your family or a friend close to you has a gambling addiction, your chances to develop it too is higher.
- Mental health disorders – Addictions are often associated with mental health problems like personality disorders, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and ADHD.
- Gender – There is not a huge difference in the gambling behavior of men and women. However, the common trend is that more men develop gambling addictions and that women tend to start gambling later in life.
- Age – Addiction doesn’t discriminate and anyone can be vulnerable. Studies have shown that more young and middle-aged people develop gambling addictions. However, exposure to gambling during childhood or the teenage years can increase the risk of developing a gambling addiction.
- Personality traits – There are certain personality traits that have been linked to the development of gambling addictions. These traits include competitiveness, impulsivity, restlessness, and being a workaholic. This does not mean that if you are a workaholic you will become addicted to gambling. There are other factors like exposure that also play a role.
These factors can make a person more vulnerable to becoming addicted to gambling but it is not definite that it will happen. Many people who have a predisposition for addiction may never come into contact with gambling and will never become addicted. Someone who has none of these risk factors can become addicted without the predisposition. There is no way to know. The best thing to do is to steer clear of gambling if you suspect you may have a problem.