Gambling is widely popular everywhere, from casinos to the lottery. The thrill of the win can be addicting, leading people to continue gambling despite the negative consequences. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, about 2 million Americans meet the criteria for gambling addiction.
If you or your loved one is unsure if you’re struggling with gambling addiction, this article will show you 8 symptoms of addiction to gambling.
8 Symptoms That You Are Addicted to Gambling
While most people can gamble without any problems, some develop an addiction that can ruin their lives. Here are 8 symptoms of gambling addiction.
1. You Gamble More Than You Can Afford to Lose
If you find yourself gambling with money you can’t afford to lose, then it’s a sign that you have a problem. This is especially true if you’re borrowing money to gamble;, or using your rent, or mortgage money to gamble.
Many gamblers have a mindset where they think they will win back the money they’ve lost, but this is rarely the case. It’s important, to be honest with yourself about your gambling habits and how much money you can afford to lose.
2. You Keep Gambling Despite the Consequences
Despite the negative consequences, addicts will continue to gamble. They may lie to family and friends about their whereabouts or how much money they’ve spent. They may also miss work or school to gamble.
Addicts may even resort to stealing to get money for gambling. If you find that you can’t stop gambling despite the negative consequences, it’s a sign that you have a problem.
3. You Have Trouble Controlling Your Gambling
If you can’t control your gambling, it’s a sign of addiction. Addicts will often gamble for longer periods of time than they intended or bet more money than they can afford to lose. They may also chase their losses, trying to win back the money they’ve lost.
Some gamblers may also feel like they need to gamble with larger amounts of money to get the same feeling of excitement. This is called escalation and can lead to even more problems.
4. You Feel Anxious or Nervous When Not Gambling
Do you feel anxious or nervous when you’re not gambling? This may be a sign that you’re addicted. Addicts can become so focused on gambling that they can’t focus on anything else. They may also experience social problems or relationship issues due to their gambling behavior.
5. You Have Difficulty Controlling Your Behavior Around Gambling
Many addicts will lie about their gambling habits, sometimes even hiding it from those closest to them. They may also isolate themselves and spend most of their time thinking about or planning for upcoming gambling trips.
6. You Are Unable To Stop Gambling Even When You Try
If you have tried to stop gambling but find that you’re unable to control your impulses, it’s a sign of addiction. Many addicts continue gambling despite the consequences because they feel like they need it to cope with their problems.
7. You Neglect Your Responsibilities in Order to Gamble
Addicts may neglect their responsibilities at home, work, or school to gamble. This can lead to job loss, missed opportunities, and strained relationships.
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, about 15% of gambling addicts are estimated to have filed for bankruptcy.
8. You Have Relationship Problems Due To Your Gambling
Gambling addiction can cause problems in all areas of your life, including your personal relationships. Addicts may lie to their loved ones about their gambling habits or how much money they’ve lost. They may also spend less time with family and friends to gamble more.
This can lead to feelings of isolation, guilt, and shame. If you’re struggling with gambling addiction, it’s important to seek help before it destroys your relationships.
If you or someone you know is displaying any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek help for gambling addiction. With the right treatment and support, you can overcome your addiction and rebuild your life.
Some possible strategies for treatment include counseling, support groups, and medication. Talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to learn more about these options and find the right treatment plan for you.
What To Do If You’re Addicted to Gambling:
1. Recognize that you have a problem and seek help.
Calling out for help is not a weakness. It takes a lot of strength and courage to admit that you have a problem and need help.
2. Join a support group or go to therapy.
Support groups like Gamblers Anonymous use a 12-step program to help members recover from their addiction. You can also talk to a therapist about your gambling addiction and get individualized treatment.
3. Avoid triggers and high-risk situations.
Some people may find that they’re more likely to gamble when they’re drinking alcohol or visiting certain locations. If this is the case, it’s important to avoid these triggers and high-risk situations.
4. Set realistic goals for yourself and stick to them.
If you’re trying to quit gambling, set realistic goals for yourself and make a plan to stick to them. This may mean setting limits on how much money you spend or only gambling in certain situations.
5. Find other activities to replace gambling.
Part of recovery from addiction is finding other activities to take up your time and attention. This may include hobbies, sports, or spending time with friends and family.
6. Get rid of anything that reminds you of gambling.
Remove any reminders of your gambling habit from your home and office, such as gambling paraphernalia or lottery tickets.
7. Seek financial help if necessary.
If gambling has led to financial problems, seek help from a financial advisor or credit counseling service. They can help you create a budget and get your finances back on track.
Gambling addiction is a serious problem that can lead to financial ruin, job loss, and strained relationships. If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling addiction, seek help as soon as possible.
If you need professional help and want to change for the better, experts at Restore Center have the experience and resources to help you recover from gambling addiction. With treatment programs designed specifically for your needs, we can help you overcome your addiction and move forward into a happier, healthier life. Contact us today to learn more about our services and start on the road to recovery!