These 10 Gambling addiction signs and symptoms are not always easy to spot. Gambling can be an addiction as poisonous as any other kind of addiction out there. Gambling addicts are also known as compulsive gamblers because they can’t stop once they have started. Below are 10 signs and symptoms to help in recognizing a gambling addiction.
- Secrecy. Problem gamblers tend to become very secretive about things like where they are going or how much they gamble. But, one of the biggest signs of gambling addiction is secrecy about the finances.
- Denial. A huge sign of a gambling addiction is denial of the problem. As with any addiction the addict is not going to simply admit to having a problem. They will deny having a gambling addiction, deny having gambled at all, and deny the gambling is affecting anyone around them.
- Being Defensive. Normally, a sign or symptom of a gambling addiction is becoming defensive about the gambling. This can occur in many ways, but one of the most common is claiming that they are gambling to help the family.
- Borrowing Money. It isn’t uncommon at all for a person who has a gambling addiction to borrow money from their friends or family.
- Creating Debt. Gambling is one of those addictions where sometimes the signs and symptoms aren’t right on the surface. Creating debt by running up credit cards and overdrawing bank accounts are a couple of examples of creating debt.
- Becoming a Criminal. Not everyone addicted to gambling goes this way, but some begin to commit crimes like stealing from people they know and pawning the items for money. Sometimes it stays within the circle of people they know, but sometimes it becomes bigger and they may begin to steal from larger businesses and people they don’t know. An addiction is an addiction because an addict will do anything they can to get a fix. It is a vicious cycle.
- Losing Relationships. Regardless if it is a lover, a friend, or a family member, the loss of a relationship because of gambling is something which cannot be easily remedied after a gambler recovers. Gambling addicts tend to borrow money, steal, and lie to friends and family before strangers and this can result in the loss of relationships over gambling.
- Withdrawal. When a gambling addict is not gambling, the signs and symptoms of withdrawal may become noticeable. Being irritable and moody, feeling restless, and daydreaming about gambling are signs of withdrawal. Sometimes actual pain, like headaches, can occur from this withdrawal.
- Raising the Bets. Another sign and symptom of a gambling addiction is betting more to try and win back lost money. It is very common for a gambling addict to try and raise the amount of the bet for a quick and big win.
- Blaming. As with any addiction, the addict may start to blame others for their excessive habits and gambling is no different. The gambler may start to blame his spouse or others in the family for his addiction.
Remember, not all ten gambling addiction signs and symptoms will always be present.
National Council on Problem Gambling
Problem Gambling Services