Whether you are struggling with drug addiction, compulsive eating, or gambling addiction, the symptoms are generally all about the same. Let’s look at a few of them.
Warning Signs of Gambling Addiction
- An obsession with gambling to the point where you are frequently thinking about it.
- Unable to stop gambling, even when you recognize it’s a problem.
- Continuing to gamble, even if there are negative consequences of it.
- Psychological withdrawal symptoms, when you’re not gambling. This could include depression, irritability, or mood swings.
- Gambling is used as a tool to improve happiness.
- Stealing or having to borrow money in order to gamble.
- Denial that you have a gambling problem.
- Financial problems as a result of your gambling.
- Leading a double life with many in your regular life unaware of your gambling or how much you gamble. Many people with a gambling addiction appear to lead a normal life. This makes it much harder for friends and family members to spot a problem.
Gambling is sometimes referred to as a hidden addiction because it lacks some of the tell-tale signifiers of drug or alcohol addiction. However, when someone needs gambling addiction help, it is still just as important that they receive gambling addiction treatment. If you are concerned that a loved one has an addictive relationship to gambling, here are some warning signs to watch for:
Lying about gambling
One of the major signs that you may be experiencing an unhealthy relationship with gambling is when you cannot be honest about it. Hiding gambling expenses, glossing over losses, and sneaking extra time away to go gambling are all extremely common signs of gambling addiction.
Inventing reasons to go gambling
If you, or someone you know, starts to invent reasons to go gambling, it is time to start paying close attention to your/their habits. Suggesting going gambling as a celebration is a common tactic, especially when the celebration is for something small. Some addiction sufferers lean on gambling for emotional catharsis and say they need to go gambling to clear their mind or because they had a hard day. Another sign to watch for is when a person campaigns for gambling as a group activity when they know some members don’t care for it.
The mild version of this is the sentiment “I’m just going to keep playing until I’m ahead and then I’ll quit” First off, that’s rarely true, and second, it becomes less and less likely to get ahead the longer one plays. This mentality can lead to spending money allocated for bills, rent, etc., for gambling on the mistaken belief that a win that will set everything right is just around the corner.
Finding the Root
Gambling, like other compulsions, is often a side effect of some other issue. You can try to hide from it with cards or lottery tickets, but the longer you resist tackling the core problem, the harder it will be. You may be using gambling to self-medicate for depression, or perhaps it’s the thrill of the dopamine release or a side effect of bipolarity. There are many reasons why an addiction may exist, and there are many people who understand what you are experiencing. Help and support groups are available to help you recover and deal with this compulsive behavior. Gambling addiction support groups help you work on confronting your addiction, create coping strategies to resist it, and tackle the root of your addiction.
The effects of gambling can have a lasting impact that affects you, your family, and general societal consequences. But it is something that can be defeated. Please call us at (833) 596-3502 to learn more about what options exist to help you build the tools necessary to defeat an addiction to gambling.