How to Identify a Gambling Addiction


How do you know you have a gambling addiction?

Gambling addiction symptoms include:

  • Being preoccupied with gambling and neglecting responsibilities.
  • Needing to gamble with increasingly high stakes to get the thrill, a factor problem gamblers share with drug addicts, according to the psychology of gambling addiction.
  • Feeling restless, bored, and depressed when they aren’t gambling.
  • Not being open to seeking help.
  • Lying to family members about the amount of time and money spent gambling.
  • Stealing money to gamble.
  • Losing control and being unable to gamble less.
  • Constantly asking others for financial help.

According to gambling stats, people with gambling issues keep on playing in a desperate attempt to recover their money after falling into the red. Casual gamblers are more likely to stop playing when they lose the money they’ve set aside for a gambling session. This factor can become destructive and lead to financial ruin over time.

How do you beat a gambling addiction?

Anyone can feel the urge to gamble. You can fight it by choosing healthier alternatives. When you feel a gambling craving, you should:

  • Avoid isolation. Call a family member or trusted friend, or visit a gambling treatment support group.
  • Try to postpone gambling. Tell yourself that you will wait 15 minutes. As you wait, you will feel your power to resist gambling build up.
  • Think about how guilty and depressed you will feel after you lose more money.
  • Distract yourself with a healthy activity like playing sports.
  • Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy can help you identify patterns that led to gambling addiction and replace them with healthier ones.
  • Some people benefit from antidepressants, mood stabilizers, narcotic antagonists, and other medications.
  • Many gambling addicts also suffer from bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or ADHD. Treating these disorders can also help treat the gambling disorder.

Can a gambler ever stop?

People who have problems with gambling require support from loved ones, but the decision to stop gambling must be their own. Your commitment isn’t sufficient to help a friend or family member stop gambling.

The gambler must accept gambling and its negative consequences as their own problem to solve. You can help by encouraging them to seek support, helping them in their recovery efforts, and listening to their concerns seriously – especially mentions of suicide.

What do you call a gambling addict?

Excessive uncontrolled gambling is also known as gambling disorder, gambling addiction, problem gambling, compulsive gambling, or pathological gambling. However, it is not helpful to label someone a compulsive gambler.

It stigmatizes the person, not the problem. People with gambling problems tend to feel enough guilt, shame, and self-loathing without being blamed by others.

What causes a gambling addiction?

Addictions to gambling have many initial causes, including a need for money, the desire to feel an adrenaline rush, pleasure in the sense of achievement, the social status of being a successful gambler, and the entertaining, social, glamorous atmosphere of the casino.

Once a gambling addiction takes hold of you, it can be very difficult to break free. Gambling addiction can result in financial losses as well as ruined relationships. That’s why it is very important to understand how to identify gambling addiction and to take the right steps so you can overcome it and reclaim your life.