Gambling can be pretty addictive and maybe a hard habit to stop. Do you or a loved one have a gambling problem? Learn about the warning signs and symptoms and how to quit.
What is the difference between gambling addiction and problem gambling?
Gambling addiction may affect people from many walks of life. Gambling progresses from a harmless amusement to an unhealthy habit with significant repercussions. A gambling habit may strain your relationships, impede employment, and lead to financial ruin whether you wager on sports, scratch cards, roulette, poker, or slots in a casino, at the track, or online. You may even do things you never imagined you’d do, such as incurring massive debts or stealing money to gamble.
Gambling addiction is an impulse-control illness, often known as pathological gambling, compulsive gambling, or gambling disorder. If you’re a compulsive gambler, you can’t stop yourself from gambling, even if it’s terrible for you or your loved ones. You’ll gamble whether you’re up to or down, broke or flush, and you’ll keep gambling no matter what the repercussions are—even if you know the chances are stacked against you or you can’t afford to lose.
You may, of course, have a gambling issue without being entirely out of control. Problem gambling is defined as any gambling activity that interferes with your daily life. If you are concerned with gambling, you have a gambling issue, spending more and more time and money on it, chasing losses, or gambling despite significant implications in your life.
Gambling addiction or issue is often linked to other behavioural or emotional problems. Many problem gamblers also have drug abuse problems, untreated ADHD, stress, depression, anxiety, or bipolar illness. To overcome your gambling issues, you must also address these and any other underlying factors.
Although it may seem as if you have no control over your gambling, there are many things you can do to solve the issue, heal your relationships and money, and recover control of your life.
Gambling addiction is a “hidden sickness” since there are no evident physical indications or symptoms, unlike drug or alcohol addiction. Problem gamblers often deny or downplay their addiction, even to themselves. You may, nevertheless, have a gambling issue if you:
Feel the urge to keep your gambling habits a secret. You may gamble in secret or lie about your gambling habits, believing that others will not understand or that you will surprise them with an enormous victory.
Even if you don’t have any money, you can gamble. You may gamble until you’ve spent your last dollar, then move on to money you don’t have—money to pay bills, credit cards, or buy stuff for your children. You may feel compelled to borrow, sell, or even steal for gaming money.