7 Most common Gambling Addiction Symptoms
Gambling addiction, medically known as pathological gambling or compulsive gambling, is a strong uncontrollable dependency to gamble and betting despite the negative consequences or the desire of the addicted person to stop. Severe problems can be diagnosed as a clinical gambling if the gambler meets certain excessive criteria. This disorder is recognized as a disorder of habits and impulses by The American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Among gamblers, some people develop a pathology, causing the gambling to become a disease or addiction that results in an irresistible impulse to bet money. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association recognized gambling addiction as an increasing impulse disorder (DSM-III, 1980). Since then the problem has not been improved. According to a recent study, 1-2% of adults would meet the criteria for pathological gambling.
Discover top 7 Gambling Addiction Symptoms
Do you find yourself frequently looking for your laptop so that you can log right back into your online gambling account? Asides from wanting to be online every time, you start noticing how you are always thinking about gambling even when you are doing something that is unrelated to it. When these activities start becoming an obsession rather than just a pastime, this is a clear sign that you might be getting addicted to it.
- You just can’t quit
This happens to everyone who develops an addiction, regardless of the form. In fact, most people who develop addiction usually feel bad about it and they have tried quitting at one point but they just can’t. If you’ve ever promised yourself that you’ll quit your gambling habits but gave up on this initiative each and every time you do so, then you have a gambling addiction. In most cases, you would go back to your gambling behaviour because you would have used reasons to justify that it is okay for you to continue doing this.
- Withdrawal Symptoms
I am sure you’ve come across these two words in reading other articles or news related to other forms of addiction. But most of the times they are normally associated with drug and alcohol addicts. When a person is experiencing gambling withdrawal symptoms, he or she usually feels both restless and irritated for no apparent reasons. Sometimes the emotions might be so severe that a person can become hostile and unfriendly. Why does this happen? This is because addiction often tends to be connected or correlated to a person’s happiness. Such emotions/traits clearly indicate an online gambling addiction.
- Disregarding the law
Gambling involves money and money can be uneasy to get especially if the gambler does not have a consistent revenue stream. Now, what happens when a person who’s addicted to gambling fails to find money for the activity? They normally would go out of their way to get money to play, even if it means to break the law by stealing it. This is why it is not unusual to watch on the news addicted gamblers steal from bank or their own family members only to splurge the money in online betting.
If you are an addicted gambler, each time you are caught by a loved one on your laptop, you’ll go out of your way to deny that you are actually gambling. You will come up with excuses such as, “I’m just surfing the web.” Denial is one of the most prominent signs of gambling addiction. Most people who have an online gambling addiction problem will never accept that they are indeed addicted. This is also why online gambling addictions remain prevalent because most people who are addicted do not accept the fact they have the disorder in order to seek help. They prevent themselves from accessing any form of professional assistance.
Apart from Denial, any person with an addiction will do their best in order to hide their gambling behaviour. This will normally happen after a loved one has pointed it out and tried to help them. So the process begins with denial and then continues to being secretive.
- Financial Disasters
When gambling, most of the times money is lost, a lot of money in fact. One clear sign of an online gambling addiction is a financial disaster or ruin due to the practice. Gambling addicts can easily max out their credit card on online slots or blackjack. Sometimes, a gambling addiction can push you to such a point where you’ll have to dig deep into your life-savings or even selling all your assets just to satisfy it.
- Mood Swings
I said above that an addiction is normally connected to a person’s happiness. And gambling is a really emotional activity as it involves money. When a person loses a much anticipated bet, they are likely to spend the rest of the day upset and angry. If a loved one tries to communicate, they will respond with an outburst of anger that will push everyone away. This is a clear sign of an addiction.
Gambling Addiction Help and Prevention
The fight against gambling addiction begins with the elaboration of prevention methods and campaigns to limit audiovisual advertising. Thus, researchers publish some steps that can keep minors from getting involved in gambling and adult gamblers from becoming addicted.
These measures include many approaches, including prohibition of advertising on television and radio stations watched or listened by minors:
- prohibition of commercial communication thirty minutes before and after a program for minors;
- obligation to post a warning message when gambling advertising is broadcast;
- prohibition of advertisement on gambling sites to money lending sites or incentives for loans between players;
- Use of motivational interviewing programs to help addicted individuals which aim at changing the mindset of the addicted gamblers through thinking and self-help;
- Getting free assistance from online peer-support groups that aid the gambling victims in their recovery. These groups allow patients to hide their identity and allow them to attempt recovery on their own.