Gambling is sometimes referred to as a hidden addiction because it lacks some of the tell-tale signifiers of drug or alcohol addiction. When someone needs gambling addiction help, however, 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 an individual is experiencing an unhealthy relationship with gambling is when they 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 a gambling addiction.
Inventing reasons to go gambling
When a person starts to invent reasons to go gambling, it is time to start paying close attention to their habits. Suggesting going gambling as a celebration, with a constantly lower bar as to what deserves such a celebration is a common tactic. Some addiction sufferers lean on gambling for emotional catharsis as well, saying 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 of the group 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 almost never 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.
You probably won’t smell gambling on a loved one’s breath, find hidden gambling paraphernalia in their room, or note dilated pupils after a hit of gambling. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t signs to watch for. A concerned loved one is often an addict’s best hope. If you’re concerned after reading this, call us at (855) 441-2449 to talk about gambling addiction treatment centers, and how we can help.