How to recognize if you have a gambling addiction
Gambling addiction is a progressive issue, so most of the time, gamblers don’t even realize they have a problem until it becomes severe. Whether you are worrying you might have a gambling addiction yourself or are concerned that someone close to you is dealing with it, there are signs you can look for. You can check for these yourself, but some gamers may need the help of a professional to open their eyes to their addiction.
The different types of gambling addiction
There are different types of gambling addiction, or better said, different ways in which it is expressed. So before we dive into its symptoms, we should first know what we are dealing with.
Most people think that gambling addiction is exclusively related to casinos, slot machines, and games such as Poker and Roulette. However, that is not all. Gambling comes in many forms that may not even include casino games. Buying a lottery ticket, making a bet with a friend, or entering a raffle are also types of gambling, and they are dangerous to people who are battling gambling addiction.
Gambling in any form may occur either as a form of entertainment at first or when a person feels like they need to win money and fix their pre-existing financial issues. This is a fantasy, as it usually leads to a cycle of winning and losing and then chasing the losses.
Some gamblers engage in risky betting not because they don’t know they are placing risky bets, but because they want to experience the emotional high that this brings them.
Therefore, depending on the type of gambler we are talking about, the symptoms may be different. However, they will be noticeable after a while. As mentioned before, gambling addiction is a progressive issue, and if overlooked, it can cause a lot of harm to the gambler’s social and personal life and his own health.
Gambling addiction symptoms
Gambling addiction affects the individual in many aspects, not just one. The first thing people think about when it comes to compulsive gambling is the financial aspect. This, indeed, is the most affected, but there are other areas in their life that problems will appear when dealing with this addiction.
Financial signs of gambling addiction
Since any real gambling activity requires money, this is the first aspect of your life that will see some significant changes and, quickly, some significant problems. The signs that one may be a compulsive gambler are the following:
Depending on the severity of the addiction, all the signs may be present or only a few. However, the main sign everyone should always take seriously is when a person who is working and earning a wage continually complains about money or cannot make ends meet.
Compulsive gambling starts with casual gambling, but as time passes by, some players spend more time engaging in this activity, some even to the point they do not have the time to do much of anything. Here are the signs to look for when it comes to time management:
These changes can be seen especially in people who are organized and almost always on time. These signs alone do not prove the existence of gambling addiction, but paired with the other ones, they can make everything obvious.
Aside from time and financial changes, people dealing with a gambling addiction will show plenty of mood changes and symptoms related to their day-to-day behaviour. These include but may not be limited to:
Family and close friends will know the individual’s behavioural baseline and will be able to notice these changes. If they appear together with the ones mentioned above, the possibility of them suffering from gambling addiction is relatively high.
Self-assessment – how to know if you are a compulsive gambler
If the person of interest here is not someone around but yourself, you can check and see yourself if you are dealing with a gambling problem. Here’s what to pay attention to:
If you show these signs, it is best to get in touch with a professional and talk to your family or friends. A professional will always be able to recommend the best treatment, and the support of the family will help you overcome this issue and get back on track quicker.
Risk factors to consider
Although it can become addictive, gambling does not affect everyone. Some factors need to be taken into consideration, especially when trying to figure out if someone else has a gambling problem:
Conclusions and references
Gambling addiction can be treated, and it is a lot easier to do so when treatment begins in its early stages. For that to happen, you may look for these signs in yourself and others. This is a severe problem that can have plenty of complications and harm many aspects of the gambler’s life. That is why it is essential always to gamble responsibly and keep an eye out for the symptoms described above. Also, keep in mind that if you think you might be having a gambling problem, it is best to seek professional help!
The following websites have been used for references:
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