Gambling Addiction Symptoms

Gambling Addiction SymptomsDo you know someone who likes to bet on anything? This is the person who organizes the office football pool or turns a relaxing game of golf into an intense betting session. Engaging in these kinds of behaviors doesn’t automatically mean that the person is a gambling addict.

However, there are some clear symptoms that you might recognize in a love one or yourself that could be an indication of a problem. You don’t necessarily need to hit the panic button if all you can think about is winning the huge lottery jackpot. Instead, take an honest assessment to rate how severe these symptoms might be in your life.

  • Obsession. Anyone with a gambling addiction (or any addiction for that matter) will be spending most of their time lost in a cycle of thoughts about that addiction. Don’t think it’s a problem for you? Keep a pad and pencil handy. During the course of one single day, make a mark on the page any time your mind drifts to thoughts of gambling. At the end of the day, count up those  marks. If you end up with more than one or two, you’ll know you have a problem.
  • Lack of Impulse Control. This symptom of gambling addiction shows up every time a bet is made or the gambler logs onto a gaming site. Even when they know they shouldn’t be gambling, they still go through with the action. They have lost the ability to control their actions. That’s a big warning sign.
  • Lost Money. This is probably the most recognizable symptom for a gambling addict — they are always broke. The very definition of gambling is to put your money at risk. Once you lose that money, it isn’t coming back. If you notice bills going unpaid or the constant need to borrow money, then you might be dealing with someone who has a gambling problem.
  • Lost Hours. A gambling addict can probably account for every dime they’ve lost at the tables or with betting. What they can’t keep track of is all the time devoted to feeding their habit. It’s one thing to play in a friendly game of poker that lasts until midnight. It’s quite another to wander into a casino or go online and lose hours of productively.
  • Secrets and Lies. If you were to be asked by your spouse, “What did you do today?” or “How much money did you spend today?” could you answer honestly? The only time to lie is if you want to hide something like sneaking off to the casino or blowing your paycheck at the track. If you are the one that is being lied to, then this will become an issue to help the addict see where the real problem is. If you are the one doing the lying then it’s time to get help.

Just because you or that special person in your life is exhibiting any of these symptoms doesn’t mean all hope is lost. In fact, it’s the opposite. Recognizing these gambling addiction symptoms means you might be ready to seek out help. You can find that help by calling our toll-free number for a gambling treatment helpline. Don’t delay; get the help you need.