Childhood “Adversity Experience” Influences? The boundary line between those who become addicted to gambling and those who don’t, which also affected Otani’s former interpreter. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Childhood “Adversity Experience” Influences? The boundary line between those who become addicted to gambling and those who don’t, which also affected Otani’s former interpreter.

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE

Childhood “Adversity Experience” Creates Addiction

When I learned on the news that Ippei Mizuhara, a suspect who was Otani’s interpreter, confessed to having a gambling addiction and that he owed a large sum of money, “I thought something must have happened to him,

I thought something must have happened to him.

Dr. Sakuraji Kobayashi, who treats many addicts as the deputy director of Kanagawa Psychiatric Center, said, “I thought something must have happened to him.

People tend to think that alcoholism and gambling addiction are caused by a weak will, but this is not true,” says Dr. Kobayashi.

In most cases, people who become addicted have problems in their upbringing in addition to their genetic background.

People who become addicts practice patience from a young age, or practice lying and not telling the truth to reassure those around them,” says Dr. Kobayashi (PHOTO:AFRO).

According to Dr. Kobayashi, people who become addicted to stimulants are relatively more likely to come from economically disadvantaged families, and most have lost a parent to separation or suicide before the age of 15, or have been physically abused by a parent. They are unable to find a place for themselves in their families, and they get involved with stimulants after being encouraged to do so by friends they have met outside the home.

On the other hand, many patients with alcoholism and gambling addiction have parents who are financially strong, and although they have the academic ability to graduate from high school or college, they are hysterically crying and screaming if they do not obey their parents, and they are severely pressured by their parents to go on to higher education or to find a job. According to a survey conducted by the Kanagawa Prefectural Psychiatric Center, the tendency is for people to fall into the trap of “having to live up to the expectations of those around them,” and to put up with and work hard to secure their own place in the world.

According to a survey conducted by the Kanagawa Psychiatric Center, by the age of 15, people who become addicts have, on average, three to four of the following 17 adversity experiences.

  • □Chronic physical illness
  • Academic failure
  • □Bullying victim
  • □Never attending school for more than 1 month
  • □History of being disciplined
  • Excessive discipline
  • Excessive parental expectations
  • Chronic physical illness in the family
  • □Mental illness in the family
  • Substance abuse in the family
  • Poverty
  • □Neglect of child care
  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Separation from parents
  • □Suicide of a family member living with the patient

According to Dr. Kobayashi, 8 to 9 out of 10 gambling addicts also experience an average of 3 to 4 of the above adversity experiences.

People who become addicts practice patience from a young age, or practice lying and not telling their true feelings to reassure those around them, unconsciously.

They do not practice talking to those around them or complaining. They cannot rely on others. So they turn to alcohol and gambling to distract themselves from their hard feelings and pain.”

Not everyone who has experienced adversity becomes an addict. If they meet someone they can rely on or trust in the process of growing up and have a successful experience of consulting that person or having that person help them, they will not become addicts, he says.

I think it’s fair to say that more often than not, those are the people who do.”

Gambling addict who accepts the job with a smile, but has a hazy feeling inside.

The addict cannot say no because he/she thinks that if he/she says no, he/she will be disliked. They accept anything with a smile on their face. Come to think of it, we hear that Mizuhara also took on other jobs besides interpreting, such as playing catch with Otani, driving his car, and so on.

I am only speculating, but I think he worked very hard to win Otani’s trust.

If he did it with a smile on his face, it doesn’t seem like he felt so burdened, but he must have had something hazy in his mind for a long time.

He said, “People who are very tense need alcohol. On the other hand, people who are addicted to gambling are not so tense that they have insomnia.

However, they have things in their minds that they don’t want to remember or think about, and they want a world of solitude where they can turn their attention away from the things they don’t like.

If someone close to them invites them to gamble and they happen to win a large sum of money by beginner’s luck, the risk of developing a gambling addiction increases.

He adds, “People who become addicted to gambling may not have been able to live the life they envisioned.

When they are not satisfied with their current life, gambling successfully can compensate for damaged self-esteem in their real life. People with gambling addictions are often not at their best in their primary life situations.”

Dr. Kobayashi said, “This is just speculation, but I think he tried very hard to win Otani’s trust.”

To reduce the number of addicts, mothers need support from the time they are pregnant.

According to Dr. Kobayashi, the disease of addiction is caused by a “trust disorder” that prevents people from relying on others and trusting them, so forcing them to stop will not cure their addiction. This is why many people who are caught and jailed for methamphetamine often return to the habit.

In order to cure addiction, people must understand why they have become addicted and be able to build trusting relationships with others.

Many addictions require years of rehabilitation before they are cured. In my experience so far, the average is around five years. If a person is severely addicted, it can take 7 to 10 years.

Plans to build an integrated resort “IR” in Osaka have been approved, allowing for casinos in Japan. There is concern that this will lead to an increase in gambling addiction,

What I consider more problematic than the IR is the number of pachinko parlors in Japan. Japan has the largest gambling facilities in the world, and if you are worried about IR, I would like to see pachinko parlors regulated as well.

In order to reduce the number of addicts, Dr. Kobayashi says that mental health during pregnancy must be considered.

She asks, “Are pregnant women socially and psychologically isolated, can they give birth and raise their children with peace of mind, and can they raise their unborn children in a healthy manner both mentally and physically, receiving support as needed?

If those who have to be raised by single mothers or single fathers, or who are burdened with various problems such as debt, are identified at an early stage so that problems do not snowball, there will be fewer isolated caregivers and fewer isolated children.

Children with problems should also be given the necessary support team, including counselors and government welfare officials, to make sure they are well supported. That way, there is less chance of that child becoming dependent.”

It is not only a financial problem. He says that caregivers who look at their phones for long periods of time, even when the baby complains about something, are indirectly acting in a way that is akin to psychological neglect.

He said, “If a child grows up with little attention to his or her feelings, when he or she is sad, frustrated, or irritated, he or she tries to manage on his or her own. These conditions create addiction.”

Weak willpower is not the cause of addiction. It is the environment in which there is little attention and involvement that creates addiction.

Sakuraji Kobayashi Graduated from Shinshu University School of Medicine and worked in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychiatry at NTT East Izu Hospital before joining Kanagawa Prefectural Seragaya Hospital in 2004. In addition to his clinical work on addiction, he was involved in the development of outpatient group therapy (SMARPP) for stimulant-dependent patients in 2006. After working at Seriga Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, he returned to Kanagawa Prefectural Serigaya Hospital (now Kanagawa Prefectural Psychiatric Center) in April 2001, and has served as Deputy Director since April 2009. He is a part-time lecturer at the Department of Psychiatry, Yokohama City University School of Medicine. He is the author of “Hito Shinrai ni Shinrai Nigai Nigai Sickness: Addiction as a Trust Disorder.

  • Interview and text by Izumi Nakagawa

Photo Gallery2 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles