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Top 10 Gambling Addiction Symptoms

Many people enjoy gambling. Some enjoy this so much that it turns into an addiction. When this happens, the person soon realizes that the activity is taking over their life.

Nobody begins to gamble with the idea that it will turn into a serious problem, however, this happens all the time. Even though the person believes they are in control, this is rarely the case. Instead, they continue to gamble despite the fact that it is having a negative impact on many aspects of their life, from their family to their career to their finances.

Just the same as a drug or alcohol addiction, there are signs and symptoms associated with a gambling problem.

addiction to gambling

When you lose control over your gambling and grow preoccupied with it, you know you have a problem.

  1. Preoccupation with gambling, regardless of the time of day or what else is going on. People who are addicted to gambling rarely stop thinking about this activity. It takes over every aspect of their life, leading them to make decisions that are not always the best.
  2. Lying about gambling. Do you find yourself lying to others about what you are doing with your time and money? Do you hide the fact that you have been gambling? If you answered yes to either question, there is a good chance you have an addiction.
  3. Spending family, work, or school time gambling. This could be anything from skipping work to gamble at the casino to sneaking out at night, after your family is asleep, to bet on sports.
  4. Feeling bad but never doing anything to get help. Many people who are addicted to gambling feel bad about the path they are on. Unfortunately, some never take the first step in finding a solution. They continue to gamble, even though they are feeling bad about it, because they don’t know what else to do.
  5. Gambling with money that is set aside for other things in life, such as paying bills. It is common for people with a gambling addiction to spend some or all of their money on this, forgetting that they were supposed to use the funds for specific expenses. Not only can this lead to financial concerns, but it can do the same in your personal life. It goes without saying that the decision to spend your money recklessly could have a negative impact on your family.
  6. Making excuses for yourself. I am going to quit next week. I am going to cut back in the near future. I am going to stop gambling once I break even. These are all excuses that people utter in an attempt to believe that things will get better in the future. At some point, you need to stop making excuses and take the time to realize what the problem truly is.
  7. Bringing other people into the equation. For example, you may begin to search for friends or family members who share the same interest in gambling as you. From there, these people become your primary contacts because they are okay with the way you are living your life. This doesn’t do you, or the other party, any good. Involving others can only make things worse over the long run.
  8. Borrowing money to gamble. Those with a serious gambling addiction often find that they are completely out of money. Even then, it doesn’t mean they are going to stop. This leads them to borrow money, such as from friends or credit card companies, to keep their addiction going strong. This digs an even deeper financial hole.
  9. Confrontational when somebody wants to discuss your gambling activity. Do you get into a fight with your significant other every time the person asks about your gambling? This is a serious problem, because it can begin to put a lot of stress on your personal life. Remember, there are people in your life who want nothing more than to help you. They are not asking about this because they want to start a fight. They are asking because they want to help you reclaim control of your life.
  10. Avoiding gambling addiction treatment. It is easy to say that you can quit on your own. It is easy to assume that you can put this addiction in the past without seeking professional treatment. Of course, if it were that easy everybody in this position would be able to fix the problem.

Help is Available

Anybody with an addiction, including gambling, will begin to feel alone at some point. Despite this feeling, it is essential to realize that help is available. There are treatment centers and counselors all over the country who are dedicated to helping people beat a gambling addiction.

The first step in getting help is admitting you have a problem. From there, you can begin to make small changes that will put you on the right path to a better life.

Do you believe you have a gambling addiction? Are you seeing some of the signs and symptoms above in a loved one? If so, this doesn’t have to remain a problem. There are ways to overcome an addiction to gambling. Those who are dedicated to beating their addiction can begin to make immediate progress.