Learn to recognize the symptoms of compulsive gambling to help your friend or loved one overcome their addiction. This is an impulse control disorder which can be treated with therapy.
A gambling addiction is very similar to a drug or alcohol addiction. It is the excitement of the game, not necessarily the money that keeps the gambler coming back for more. Over time, more money is waged to increase the thrill, often in amounts that you cannot afford to lose. Unlike normal gamblers, compulsive gamblers keep playing to win their money back, which eventually ends in ruin. You can recognize the symptoms of compulsive gambling if you think about your behavior towards gambling.
Signs of Compulsive Gambling:
Being preoccupied by gambling.
Concealing your gambling from others.
Lying to hide your gambling from others.
Borrowing money or stealing money to continue gambling.
Feeling guilty after gambling.
Gaining a thrill from risking money gambling.
Increasing your gambling risks.
Reviewing past gambling experiences in your mind.
Trying to cut back on gambling without success.
Reducing the time you spend with family to gamble.
Reducing the time you spend at work to gamble.
Financial ruin due to gambling.
Legal troubles as a result of gambling.
Loss of career due to gambling.
Loss of friendships or family relationships due to gambling.
Suicide attempts due to gambling, gambling losses or embarrassment.
You Should Seek Professional Medical Advice If Any of the Following Apply to You:
You have tried to cut back on gambling, but have failed.
You beg, borrow or steal money to continue gambling.
You hide your gambling from others.
The amount of time that you devote to gambling increases.
Gambling is affecting your job and relationships.
If someone has asked you about your problem or has suggested that you have a gambling problem it is a good sign that there may be a problem. If your family members, friends, co-workers, boss or teacher has asked you about your gambling, you may want to review the symptoms above. If you think that you have a problem, contact your doctor or another medical professional to be evaluated, diagnosed and receive treatment. Just because you have experienced one of the above symptoms does not mean that you are a compulsive gambler, but it does mean you should investigate it further.
If you suspect that a family member or friend has a gambling addiction, contact your doctor or a professional interventionist for further advice on how to proceed properly.