Signs of Gambling Addiction

Playing a game of roulette can be a fun way to relax after a day of hard work. But when it goes overboard and you find yourself at the table or by the slot machine all day, then you could have a gambling problem. An occasional overdose of playing does no more harm than just leaving you with an empty pocket when you go back home. But in extreme cases, it can get you into so much trouble and also cause problems for the people around you.

So how do you know that you or someone else you know has a gambling problem? Here are some common symptoms and behavior changes that are associated with problem gamblers. If you find more of these symptoms, it is better to get professional help sooner than later.

  1. Lying

A very common symptom of excessive gambling is lying. They lie to the people around them and even to their spouse, family, and friends.

  1. Not quitting early

It is good to take some risks while gambling as one can easily see if they are beginning to lose money. But problem gamblers are unable to stop even when they are losing too much money. The urge to play is so strong that even if they want to quit they are unable to do so.

  1. Chasing losses

Another classic symptom of problem gambling is playing more in the name of chasing losses. You can find these gamblers telling themselves and the people around them that they are only trying to win back the money lost. They will also promise that they will stop once they win that big prize money. But in reality, they only end up spending more and losing more money in the bargain.

  1. Borrowing money

The problem with problem gambling is that the gamblers don’t want to stop even when they have used up all their money. Therefore, they feel compelled to ask for money from their family members, friends, and even total strangers. But the problem remains undetected as these gamblers do not give the real reason when they borrow the money. They even end up borrowing more money to pay up their debts.

  1. Betting more

Problem gambling does not only involve playing more and more but more often than not these gamblers bet more too. The adrenaline rush that they players get when they are able to bet a large amount of money pushes them to bet more.Eventually, they end up losing more money than they anticipated.

  1. Obsession

This is when the players lose a sense of time and gambling is the only thing on their minds. So they do not allocate a specific time for playing. Any time becomes a good time to play. This is why you can find problem gamblers literally living in casinos. You can find them waiting out the gates way ahead of time for the casino to open. They are also the last people to leave the venue.

Due to this kind of behavior, they miss important family events and put gambling before everything else. Even basic things like proper dressing and hygiene take a back seat.

  1. Attitude

Though anyone can be moody, people with a gambling problem tend to have mood swings. You can find them to be very excited at times or easily irritated or even depressed. They also tend to shy away from people and prefer to be alone.  They can easily get into an argumentative mode. Also, you will find that they are not as excited about winning as a regular person would.

  1. Reason

It’s fine if you play after a week of slogging at work. But problem gamblers play just because they are so addicted to it and simply will play without any reason. It goes to a point where they just have to play like someone who has a drinking problem.

  1. Escape

Many problem gamblers use gambling as a way to forget their worries and to distract themselves from a bigger problem. But the truth is that gambling causes them additional problems and just makes things go from bad to worse.

  • Stealing

Problem gamblers cannot stop playing and when they are unable to borrow money from others anymore they resort to stealing or even get into crimes.

  1. Health

In addition to being moody, problem gamblers can also have health problems as they constantly stress and obsess about playing and winning. Some of the common problems associated with addictive gambling are

  • Recurring or frequent headaches
  • Problems related to the stomach and digestion
  • Unable to sleep
  • Binge eating or a loss of appetite
  1. Work

Problem gamblers tend to call in sick at work more often. They may also be always late for meetings or not stick to deadlines. They can also be seen to take unusually longer duration for completing simple tasks as gambling is always on their mind