Gambling: Psychatric Evaluations and Their Outcome

Attempts to interpret the persistence and extent of gambling have been only successful, in part.

The complicated set of behavior patterns engaged in gambling participation still remains ambiguous.

In addition, researchers have investigated gambling with methodologies that accompany survey, ethnographic, clinical, and historical perspectives. However, their applications normally have concentrated on the anomalous areas of gambling while bypassing its normative dimensions.

Respectively, research on gambling has lacked both an interrelated, unified theme and a solid theoretical base.

For the most part of early gambling observations and studies examined the psychiatric areas of participation - a trend that considerably stimulated the course of research on gambling in the United States. The benefit of psychiatric studies paved the way stress research on gambling's pathological characteristics.

Clinical strategies and generalizing from a constrained sample of distressed gamblers, psychiatric researchers spent time on the problematic aspects of gambling.

H. Von Hattingberg's psychoanalytic study in 1914 generalized that psychosexual defectiveness are within gambling behavior. The argument that gambling has fixed sexual allusions was to become a theme of consecutive psychiatric research.

Ernst Simmel distributed upon Von Hattingberg's theory of sexual defectiveness, outlining that the call of gambling could be found in a gambler's need to achieve autoerotic enjoyment. Based on observations of a young male patient who had been in prison for embezzlement to finance his gambling.

Simmel also argued that gambling is an asseveration of a narcissistic enthrallment with birth fantasies and the desire to inseminate oneself, ignoring both parents and thereby serves as a bisexual aim. He also observed that profiting from this activity is not a main motivating factor in the urge to gamble.

The theory that unconscious motivation, instead of economic gain motivates individuals to gamble was overlooked in later psychiatric studies. In 128, Sigmund Freud analyzed the printed writings and personal reports of the famous writer, Fyodor Dostoevsky, a confirmed compulsive gambler.

Freud then concluded that gambling was a type of self-punishment that rooted from oedipal struggles. He also contended that the famous writer's addiction to gambling symbolized an adult materialization of masturbatory urges during childhood.

Dostoevsky's agitated gambling play, together with hand movements, was to a degree and autoerotic activity. Freud also analyzed that the author's appeal with masturbation emanated from an urge to displace his domineering father and claim his mother.

Such incestuous desire motivated Dostoevsky to abuse himself by losing all the roulette wheel. Through an intermittent cycle of loss and Dostoevsky could temporarily appease guilt for his oedipal urges.

Even though Freud did not try to conclude beyond Dostoevsky, his students continued the concept that gambling is relatively neurotic, masochistic behavior to huge gambling populations.