Recognizing the signs of gambling addiction isn’t always easy. People who suffer from a gambling addiction often lead normal lives with good jobs and families. However, once you start looking deeper, you will see signs of a problem. Gambling addiction is less obvious to notice than, for example, heroin addiction. If you suspect someone has a problem or see these signs in someone close to you, you should get help immediately.
An obsession with gambling – This means that the person cannot think about anything else or do anything else. They are completely preoccupied with gambling to the extent that they start neglecting other aspects of their lives.
Psychological withdrawal – A person who has a gambling addiction will be irritable, restless, and come across as depressed or withdrawn when he or she is not gambling. When they are not gambling, they are not happy and that is why they withdraw or get restless to go gamble again.
Inability to stop gambling – It often happens that people realize they have a problem and try to stop. People who have a gambling addiction is unable to stop even when they try. A person who wants to quit but is unable to has a gambling addiction.
Stealing to continue gambling – People with a gambling addiction inevitably get to a point where they no longer have money to gamble with or they just keep wanting more. They will go to extremes to be able to continue gambling and they may steal or commit fraud to do so.
Denial – This is one of the common signs of any addiction. Addicts don’t realize that they have a problem or they don’t want to admit it. There is a reason why we have the saying ‘admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery’.
Sudden financial problems – Someone who suddenly has big financial problems or is constantly borrowing money from family and friends may have a gambling addiction. There may be other reasons for financial problems, but this is usually one of the tell-tale signs of a gambling addiction.
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or someone you know, contact your nearest addiction hotline to take the first step to recovery.