Gambling addiction Page
Understanding Gambling Addiction:
Gambling addiction is recognised as a mental health disorder, sharing traits with other forms of addiction (like substance abuse) and certain impulse-control disorders (such as pyromania or kleptomania).
In each of these scenarios, the individual grappling with the addiction finds it challenging to cease their behaviour, even when aware of the detrimental impact on themselves or their loved ones. It’s crucial to note that the manifestation and intensity of symptoms can vary significantly among those battling gambling addiction. Below are some prevalent forms of gambling addiction:
Gambling addiction can manifest in various forms, depending on the individual’s behaviours and the type of gambling they engage in. Here are some common forms of gambling addiction:
Individuals with compulsive gambling issues cannot control their urge to gamble, even when they are aware of the negative consequences.
They continue to gamble whether they win or lose and often chase losses in the hope of recovering their money.
Binge gamblers may exhibit compulsive gambling symptoms but only during certain periods or under specific circumstances.
They may appear to have control over their gambling most of the time but go through phases where they lose this control.
Problem gamblers may not have a full-blown addiction, but their gambling habits cause distress or interfere with their life.
They may lie about their gambling, chase losses, or find that they gamble more often over time.
Online Gambling Addiction:
This form of addiction is related to internet gambling on casino games, sports betting, or any other online betting activities.
The ease of access and anonymity online gambling provides can exacerbate gambling problems.
Sports Betting Addiction:
Individuals with this addiction are compelled to bet on sports events, regardless of the financial or personal consequences.
They may have a compulsive need to chase losses or bet more to achieve a high from the win.
Casino Gambling Addiction:
This addiction is associated with traditional casino games like slot machines, poker, blackjack, roulette, etc.
Individuals may spend excessive amounts of time and money at casinos, often chasing the thrill of the win or trying to recover losses.
Lottery and Scratch Card Addiction:
Individuals may become addicted to buying lottery tickets or scratch cards in the hope of winning big.
The low cost of entry and the potential for a large payoff can be enticing, leading to a cycle of buying more tickets or cards to chase a win.
Stock Market Gambling Addiction:
This form of gambling addiction involves risky stock market investments or day trading.
Individuals may become addicted to the thrill of making money quickly, even if they incur significant financial losses.
Video Poker and Slot Machine Addiction:
Individuals may become addicted to electronic gambling machines, often due to the fast pace and immediate gratification these machines provide.
Each form of gambling addiction can have severe negative consequences on an individual’s financial, personal, and mental well-being. Treatment and support are available to help individuals overcome gambling addiction and regain control of their lives.
Signs of Gambling Addiction
The signs of gambling addiction can vary from person to person, but there are common indicators that may suggest an adult is struggling with a gambling problem. Here are some signs of gambling addiction in adults:
Preoccupation with Gambling:
Constantly thinking about gambling, planning the next gambling venture, or thinking of ways to get money to gamble.
Feeling the need to bet more money more frequently to achieve the desired excitement or to chase losses.
Unsuccessful Attempts to Quit:
Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling.
Restlessness or Irritability:
Feeling restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.
Gambling to Escape Problems:
Gambling to escape problems or to relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, or depression.
Trying to win back lost money by gambling more.
Lying to Conceal Activity:
Lying to family members, therapists, or others to conceal the extent of gambling.
Jeopardising Relationships or Career:
Gambling despite the harm it’s causing to relationships, work, or other important aspects of life.
Relying on Others for Financial Bailouts:
Relying on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling.
Neglecting Personal or Professional Responsibilities:
Neglecting family, personal health, or professional responsibilities due to gambling.
Loss of Control:
Losing control over how much time and money is spent on gambling.
Engaging in illegal activities such as fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling.
Experiencing financial strain or hardship due to gambling, including borrowing money, selling possessions, or not paying bills.
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, irritability, or other unpleasant feelings when unable to gamble.
Denying there’s a problem or minimising the extent of the gambling behaviour.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting several of these signs, it may be a good idea to seek professional help or contact a helpline such as the National Council on Problem Gambling (0808 8020 133) in the UK or visit begambleaware.org for help.