Gambling is the risking of money or something of material value in the hope of winning a large amount, or getting something of even greater value. Gambling addiction or compulsive gambling is often described as a type of impulse-control disorder in which addicted individuals develop an uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite its negative consequences on themselves or their loved ones.
Gambling addiction is relentless like drug addicton
Like substance addiction, gambling can lead an individual towards addiction by stimulating the reward system and inducing an uncontrollable impulse in the brain. Addicted gamblers keep gambling no matter the toll it takes on their life. Gambling is the only thing they can think about and want to do.
It really doesn’t matter whether they’re broke or ruined, up or down, overjoyed or depressed. Individuals with a gambling addiction are also more likely to go to prison because of illegal activity. They often resort to theft or fraud, as they can’t “stay off the bet.” Authentic christian rehab centers like Devotions Recovery can help you restore your connection with the power to break free from your gambling addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of a gambling addiction
Unlike drug or alcohol addiction, there are no exact signs or symptoms of compulsive gambling. Problem gamblers usually deny the addiction. They also give their best efforts to hide their gambling from others.
However, unlike other addictions, problem gambling is a bit difficult to hide. Gambling creates a high anticipation and thrill that is near impossible to avoid for addicted gamblers. They need recurrent access to nearby casinos or available online gambling sites.
Signs and symptoms of gambling addiction include:
- Obsession over gambling
- Increasing the amount of time and money gambled
- Taking progressively higher gambling risks
- Having a thrill from taking a high risk event
- Spending an excessive amount of time and money in gambling
- Gambling as a means to escape problems or to feel better about life
- Neglecting obligations at work or home
- Disintegration of relationships with friends, family members, or loved ones
- Loss of house, work, car, or other own properties
- Spending most of the time thinking about ways to get money with which to gamble
- Borrowing or stealing money to gamble
- Lying or secretive behavior to conceal about gambling
- Feeling guilt or remorse after a gambling session
- Repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut back, or stop gambling
Gambling addiction self-assessment
The American Psychiatric Association published the symptom criteria to diagnose a person with a gambling disorder. According to the diagnostic criteria, an addict must show some specific signs and symptoms within one year to be considered as a problem gambler.
The following questions include the specific aspects mentioned in the diagnostic criteria. To self-assess your condition, consider asking yourself the following questions.
If four or more of the answers are “yes”, you’re probably having the problem.
- Are you preoccupied with gambling?
- Do you need to gamble with increasing amounts of value or money to have the desired thrill?
- Have you had failed efforts to quit or stop gambling?
- Do you feel irritable when unable to do gambling?
- Are you gambling as a way to get rid of problems or to feel better about life?
- Have you taken secret loans as a way to get money for gambling?
- Are you borrowing money from others to keep gambling?
- Do you gamble to chase lost money in gambling?
- Have you lost or risked an important academic or career opportunity, job, or relationship as a result of gambling?
- Have you lied to your therapists, family members, or loved ones to conceal about gambling?
- Are you involved in fraud, theft, or stealing in order to finance gambling?
How to Help Someone with a Gambling Addiction?
Overcoming an addiction to gambling isn’t an easy process. Problem gamblers require a special care and support from their family members or loved ones to help them cope with their addiction.
If someone you care is struggling with a compulsive gambling, don’t be too hard on him/her. Try having an open talk without being judgmental and discuss your worries about him/her in a suitable manner. Offer him/her help and support.
For more help and support, call Devotions Recovery Center today.