Identifying the Symptoms of Gambling Addiction

  • 11, 29, 2016
  •  Family Health 
  • As is the case with basically all addictions, detrimental gambling habits don’t suddenly become apparent overnight. Often called the “silent killer” of all addictions, gambling issues could go undetected for a long period of time. More often than not, what becomes a fully developed addiction starts as something much more innocent – exactly why professional help is so commonly sought only when the situation hits a critical point.

    According to the professionals at, gambling problems are the very definition of an addiction that could destroy lives with almost no prior warning. Nonetheless, there are many ways and means by which the warning symptoms of gambling addiction could be detected. It is often a very difficult topic to broach, but to nip a gambling issue in the but is to stand the best chance of comprehensively dealing with it.

    So if you or a close one exhibits any of the following, it could be a good idea to arrange a consultation with a professional:

    1 – Being Obsessive-Compulsive

    First up, if the situation has escalated to such a point where gambling activities are really the only thing one is interested in, this right away represents a common symptom of addiction. There is a big difference between having fun doing something and feeling compelled in an obsessive manner to take part on a constant basis. Even if you aren’t gambling all the time, obsessive thoughts and the compulsion to gamble have the potential to be equally dangerous in the long term.

    2 – Not Being Able to Quit

    As is the case with every addiction, one of the most common signs of a gambling issue is not being able to quit, regardless of attempts to do so. The truth is that if one believes something is harming them and they are not addicted to it, being able to quit should be quite straightforward. To the contrary, when one is fighting a genuine addiction, being able to quit could often require the intervention and help of a third party.

    3 – Ignoring the Consequences

    It is quite common for the actions of addicts to cause seriously negative consequences. From family problems to job issues to money difficulties and more, such results represent quite strong symptoms of addiction. Nevertheless, what is even more revealing of a dangerous addiction is when these consequences are being overlooked or ignored, with gambling representing the only priority.

    4 – Withdrawal Signs

    When a person with advanced gambling addiction is removed from an environment where they can gamble, they might begin experiencing psychological withdrawal symptoms. They could become depressed or restless, some find themselves not able to control their moods – all of which are symptoms of a gambling addiction that has gone out of control. Where withdrawal signs manifest, this leads to the person feeling the real “need” to gamble in order to start feeling normal again.

    5 – Happiness Source

    Along similar lines, another common sign of gambling addiction is when a person appears unable to experience real happiness from any other situation or activity. Gambling could be one of the many sources of happiness for some people without this becoming problematic. Nevertheless, if it’s clear that gambling activities have become the only source of pleasure or the primary happiness source, this is usually a sign of addiction.

    6 – Financial Problems

    The simple fact is that when a person is in control of their gambling habits, they will only ever gamble an amount of their income they could genuinely afford to lose. And in the instances where they can’t afford to lose, they will accept they can’t afford to gamble. By contrast, an addict would often chase losses to the point where they have nothing left, or might even begin pawning or selling belongings to raise enough money to fuel their gambling activities.

    7 – Spending Too Much

    Similarly, gamblers in control will usually allow themselves a certain budget, after which their activities come to an end. In the instances of gamblers who set out to spend a specific amount though continuously come away with losses, control has been evidently lost.

    8 – Hiding the Habit

    Last up, it is only when obsessive gamblers start to acknowledge that their habits have begun spiralling out of control that they usually start hiding their actions from the people around them. This is a clear confirmation that the person in question is aware their habits are becoming problematic, though are unable to regain control of them. Hiding gambling activities is one of the most common signs of addiction and should not be overlooked.



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