Pathological Gambling: The Silent Tormentor – Physical and Psychological Effects
Updated At: Aug 31, 2023, 12:26 pm
Created At: Aug 2, 2023, 04:57 pm
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Table of Contents
Be Alert To Signs Of Gambling Addiction
Problem gambling has been on a significant rise since the inception of online gambling. Being free of the stigma of walking into a brick-and-mortar casino or bookies, people can now freely place bets and gamble on their devices in private, which has made the addiction to gambling increasingly problematic, as the signs are so often not obvious to see. As important as seeing the signs of gambling addiction in friends and family is being able to spot signs of gambling dependency and problem gambling in your behavior. Look over the following list to see if any of them jump out at you or ring a bell about your gambling patterns.
Anxiety over gambling losses
Do you gamble with more money than you can afford to lose? Suppose you have had a casino or sportsbook session, after which you have had to reassess your finances or find yourself rationalizing budgeting your living expenses to spend more on gambling. In that case, this is a sign that you are gambling too much, leading to a potential gambling problem.
Playing with big money for the thrill
Have you found that you can't help but up the stake and make increasingly big bets to get the excitement you need from gambling? If you find yourself chasing the gambling “buzz” but betting big, this will quickly lead to heavy losses and a path down the slippery slope to gambling addiction. Limiting your bets is crucial to keep control of gambling habits.
You deposited $100 one evening at a casino and quickly lost this initial deposit. Would you deposit another $100 immediately to win back the $100? The destructive pattern that occurs due to chasing gambling losses is usually where negative gambling habits begin. In nearly all cases, gamblers will find themselves in severe financial trouble when attempting to recoup their losses.
Selling your things or borrowing
Dipping into savings or selling off your cherished items to fund a gambling habit is a significant danger sign. If gambling requires you to jeopardize your comfort and lifestyle, then gambling has become a problem.
Feeling of depression
Waking up anxious after a losing gambling session, financial stress, and deep feelings of depression brought on by habitual gambling are severe signs that you should seek help and stop all gambling activities immediately.
Unable to stop until your balance is zero
Have you had successful gambling sessions where you win but cannot stop gambling until all of your winnings and initial stakes are zero? This is a sign that you are a compulsive gambler, and the winnings will always turn into losses.
Gambling Addiction Profile
Gambling addiction isn't the same for every type of gambler or personality. Symptoms and signs can vary a lot between people. But there are some shared traits that most gambling addicts will have in common.
It may be that a gambling addict already has a compulsive personality. As with many traits, compulsion can be managed in such a way that it can be a positive trait, but with gambling, the obsessive personality is thrown into the lion's pit. Compulsive gamblers have no control over their gambling habits, and no amount of reason or logic will stop them from risking more than they can afford to lose on casino or sportsbook betting.
Like binge drinkers, binge gamblers may go for some time without gambling, but once they start gambling, they will continue uncontrollably until they have nothing left to gamble. It's also worth mentioning that the connection between drinking and gambling is a lethal combination, as alcohol will make players lose inhibitions about betting and often cause players to gamble in situations they would not otherwise.
Helping A Gambling Addict
Pathological gambling is not a simple disorder; the longer gamblers have been fixed within the pattern of destructive gambling without taking accountability for the adverse effects or feeling responsible for the consequences, the worse the problem will be. For pathological gamblers, the reality of their gambling problem has been rationalized, and often, gambling will be the central motivation for their day. The psychological impact of this kind of behavior, if a gambler does not quickly seek gambling addiction treatment, can be as harrowing as substance abuse recovery. Therapy is vital for a gambling disorder that has gotten out of hand.
To gamble daily, however small the stakes, is a worrying early sign that you or someone you are concerned about could be or is becoming a gambler with a gambling addiction. The consequences of this pattern and the effect on family and loved ones can be disastrous. If you or someone you know gambles daily and puts gambling before other more rewarding activities, it is worth voicing your concern. Problem gamblers do not know that they have a disorder until the effects have become too severe to ignore and the impact on their life too negative not to do something about. The emotional strain of being around someone who practices pathological gambling and compulsive gambling is terrible, so for the gambling addict themselves and those around them, seeking help through the intervention of a therapist or psychiatrist, getting in touch with a gambling addiction treatment center and ensuring that the addicts have no access to the games or gambling platforms that feed their addiction, are crucial to stopping the problem from getting worse.
We don't live in the dark ages of gambling anymore, and thankfully there are many avenues gamblers can go down to seek help for pathological gambling habits. The problem is often admitting that one has a gambling problem, to begin with. But, if you have read any of the typical signs above, and feel that your gambling activity harms your personal and family life, now is the time to take stock and get help. Understanding the disorder of compulsive gambling is complex. It is often made more difficult by the rush of online access to gambling apps, sportsbooks, casino bonuses, and big slot titles advertised as harmless fun. Taking a step back from the online hype and looking at the real-world effect gambling addiction has, many players will realize that they are either on the path to becoming a gambling addict or that their betting patterns tick to boxes of pathological gambling. Getting help from various online resources like the National Gambling Helpling and many other local organizations, like the Mayo Clinic, NCPG, Addiction Center, The Recovery Village, or Ohio's Get Set Before you Bet – which provides many tools for helping gamblers with addition, all of these are out there for a reason. Getting in touch and nipping your gambling problem in the bud is never too late.
How Gambling Addiction Affects You Faqs
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have a gambling addiction?
If you feel anxiety about gambling, spend money you cannot afford to lose, or feel there is any negative impact on your life as a result of gambling, but cannot stop gambling, then there is a good chance that you are a gambling addict.
Is gambling everyday pathological gambling?
Daily gambling is not necessarily a sign of gambling addiction. Still, gambling too frequently and spending too much time instead of pursuing more active habits can lead to gambling disorders and negatively impact your life.
Is playing for excitement a sign of compulsive gambling?
If you gamble to get the thrill and buzz from betting big, even when you lose more than you can afford, this is a sign that you are exhibiting signs of compulsive gambling that may lead to more harmful gambling habits.