Gambling is not a problem unless the person who is gambling has recognizable signs of compulsive behavior. Some people are able to gamble here and there, set limits and stop when desired. Other individuals struggle with ‘problem gambling’ which is a progressive addiction with many negative consequences. Learn about the symptoms of gambling addiction and how to seek help if a gambling problem has been identified.
An individual who is unable to stop gambling as desired may have a gambling problem. Other symptoms may be present as well. Some of the signs and symptoms of a gambling problem may include the following:
- Craving for gaming
- Remorse following gambling
- Feeling the need to gamble in spite of escalating losses to recuperate money
- Increasing financial debt
- Loss of control
- Loss of sleep
- Persisting in gambling behavior in spite of negative consequences
- Rising obsession with gambling
Gambling addiction is an emotional problem that can have severe financial repercussions for not only an individual but family members and loved ones as well.
Any person who gambles can develop severe problems if the person is not aware of the risks. Gambling becomes a problem when the behavior interferes with relationships, finances and employment. Gamblers often take time to realize a serious problem exists. People who have an existing addiction or had one in the past are more likely to develop an addiction in another area of life. Alcoholism and drug abuse are common among gamblers. Some problem gamblers never experience other addictions but the probability is higher. Family patterns and upbringing can predispose a person to drinking or gambling problems. Genetics may also play a factor as well as stress or difficult life circumstances.
Types of Gambling
Casinos and lotteries provide space and opportunity to gamble. A person who is unable to control impulsive behavior may not be able to stop spending money in casinos or on lottery tickets. Any type of gambling (racing, bingo, card games, dice games, slots, etc) can become problematic. Various types of games which a faster response is given to the stimulus (pulling a lever, pushing a button, playing cards) may present a higher risk for some players.
When a person recognizes a problem exists, this is the first step to seeking help for a gambling addiction. Self-tests are available online to diagnose one’s own issue with gambling but is not a firm diagnosis of a severe problem. A face-to-face evaluation with a trained clinical professional is best. Brief screens are tools to help people decide whether to seek formal evaluation of gambling behavior. Following an assessment, a treatment plan will be drafted which can be followed according to the individual’s needs and goals. Support may also be needed from family, friends and loved ones to help the individual with addiction stay away from gambling and focused on a healthy recovery.
Gambling addiction can develop quickly before anyone knows there’s a problem. If you are unable to stop gambling or feel a problem exists, call The Villa. Let us help get you on the right path to recovery.