Is playing the stock market gambling

I took a massive beating in the stock market two years ago and last year. I was trading five - ten times per day.

At one point, I felt like it was controlling my life, and decided to quit trading stocks. I always saw the stock market as investing, not gambling.

I suppose it could be both.

Is anyone else addicted to playing the stock market?

I decided to not trade at all except to gradually trade out what I have left. The orders are in. I really know what I am doing BUT I am emotionally unsuited for it and start making riskier and riskier plays including some this week that convinced me I lost it. So no more of it.
I would think of the sane things to do, then do the craziest.
I think the frustration got to me. I started as I was pushed into the market by like everyone-even my life insurance salesmen- right before the 2000 crash. I went back in 2003 and then recently to catch the rebound that has faltered.
I started back each time hoping to make up for what I lost initially. I do ok for awhile but then become a tradeaholic.
I realize now I can not trade again as my emotions take over. My brain does not matter it seems. Eventually I lose it. Three times -and I am out forever now.
While I took some serious losses, I am not in dire circumstances. I realize that wanting to get back my initial losses and feel OK about myself has perpetuated the problem. I realize that all of the know-how in the world does not matter as the best and the brightest still have issues in the market who do it professionally. CNBC is there to perpetuate the myth that you can win in the stock market to get you to do in and out trading and make the brokerages money.
They are evil pushers- both CNBC and those places pushing their active trading platforms. The bookie I go to even has 6666 as the last four of their phone line. Geez, you think that would be a tip off to me. They do a lot of stuff to keep you in while they pretend to protect you, like asking you to always increase your balance for this reason or that- they are trying to protect themselves and keep you funneling money in slowly so you do not see your losses as much.

I am trying to forgive myself and start fresh as dwelling on my past failure initially is what kept me coming back. I realize that while a serious problem, I am generally not a complete mess up, just really obsessive. This persistence has made my able to earn my professional success, but also is the seed of the market addiction.
I have played play poker online for fun and am quite good, but never thought to bet real money. Except for a once a week lottery ticket, I do not gamble in other ways. I do not smoke, drink heavily, or do drugs. But the market has taken over my life. It is not just the money and compulsive trading. I read for hours and hours online. It hurt my general life. It controlled me. And the web and TV media is full of things telling you how you can trade and win. Brokers pay their advertising fees. They convince you that if you just work hard enough you can do well and get your money back. The IRS even encourages this, as they only give you a 3k a year deduction on your taxes each year from the losses but if you WIN IT BACK THEN IT IS TAX FREE up until where you start making money. If you make it back in your job or in other ways, they tax the heck out of you. Even the US Government is complicit in encouraging this addiction. And the market IS COMPLETELY CROOKED AND MANIPULATED. Believe it.
So you are not alone. Stop now. Never go back. No one, not even the experts, do not win unless they are lucky for a period or cheat and get away with it.
You do not have to be in the game.
Now that I have faced this, the hard part comes. That is living with it every day. It is that which kept me going back to the market, so I have to start fresh and go forward. As they say, one day at a time.

Gambling is gambling regardless how you risk spending money in an effort to increase financial growth. Pull tabs, lottery, pick 3, pick 5..... all gambling. I attended my first GA group meeting on Friday evening from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. I must admit that I didn't know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people were in attendance. The group had started the round table introductions with a summary of the straw that broke the camel's back which made "us" aware of the fact that we had a real disease. We really are compulsive gamblers who would not stop because we just knew that the next spin would be the one.... the jackpot. We had absolutely no control over ourselves from the moment of entering the casino(s). It is almost like the big "eye" - camera picked up on us entering and targeted us to strip us of every dollar we walked in with. Sure, we all had that one "big" win in the beginning when the machines ousted Bingo. But that was the trick of the devil to get us hooked immediately. I kept my promise to my husband to attend and now I will not ever miss another meeting. The Church where we have our meetings is so beautiful and serene until if puts you in a peaceful state of mind upon entry. I'm determined to NEVER enter a casino again to gamble. Now I will take it one day at a time for the rest of my life. I will find VICTORY.
Mary Joe