Spotting Gambling Addiction and Determining Its Causes. By Patrick Bailey
Gambling can be considered as a very dangerous kind of vice. To the person engaged in gambling, money is very easy to risk. He is living in an illusion that whatever he gambles now, he can easily get back. In the long run, this mindset can lead to a person’s financial downfall. The truth of the matter is, odds will never be in the gambler’s favor even if its blackjack or poker he’s playing. Gambling is thriving continuously because it’s the house that’s always taking the wins.
What are the different kinds of gambling?
Gambling is composed of many different kinds of activities, so this means that there are also many different kinds of addiction-related to gambling. The only challenge with gambling is that it’s not evident when a person gets addicted to it. And as opposed to traditional belief, gambling doesn’t end with casinos, cards, or slot machines. It also doesn’t end with gambling or alcohol rehab centers. Joining a raffle, betting with friends, or buying lottery tickets are all considered different kinds of gambling.
Addiction happens when the individual already believes that they’re in a deep financial mess and that this problem can only be solved by risking that they possess in hopes of getting a bigger sum of money in exchange. Regrettably, this only sends the person into a vicious cycle of wanting to win back what they lost. This dangerous and damaging cycle continues to occur until the person is forced to enter rehab to break the habit.
Another kind of addiction to gambling happens when the individual joins the game and offers to make risky bets just to get that emotional high resulting from placing big and risky bets. These kinds of bets only pay off occasionally. In both circumstances, the individual bearing this kind of addiction should have that innate desire to stop risking and gambling for himself and not merely to appease friends or family members.
So what’s causing gambling addiction and when does it become a problem?
There are many contributory factors when it comes to addiction to gambling. One factor here is the desperate need for money. Another factor would be the need to feel high and thrill. Also, it could be because the individual wants the social status attached to the names of successful gamblers or he simply clamors for the entertaining and fun atmosphere of most gambling places.
The sad thing is that the moment the person gets addicted to gambling, the cycle can’t be broken easily. What’s even sadder is the fact that the severe kind of addiction can set at the moment the person feels financially desperate and commits to taking back the entirety of what he had lost in gambling.
And while he can gather a massive amount of wealth from winning, more often than not, it won’t equal to the amount of money he already lost along the way. More often than not, gamblers don’t even come close to break even.
How do we know if a loved one is getting addicted to gambling?
The red flags and signs that an individual is having gambling problems are pretty similar to the signs of other kinds of addiction that require admittance to treatment facilities. These signs may be one of the following:
- The urge to keep his gambling habit a secret
- Experiencing difficulties in managing his gambling habits
- Continuously gambling even if he can’t afford it
- One’s family and friends express their concern over his gambling habits
And just like any kind of addiction, the trademark of gambling addiction is the feeling that you can’t stop even if you want to. If an individual feels like he needs to gamble one more time, if he is anxious over the thought of stopping, or if he is hiding this from his loved ones, there is a very high chance that that person is struggling with gambling addiction.
Excessive Gambling and its Emotional Symptoms
Too much gambling usually leads to a plethora of emotional red signs and symptoms. Among these signs are suicidal tendencies, depression, and anxiety. In severe cases, these depressive and suicidal thoughts can actually make the gambler end his life. Losing all you have to gambling can be a very devastating situation and it can easily lead the person to feel totally hopeless.
Excessive Gambling and its Physical Symptoms
Since gambling can lead to self-harm, anxiety, and depression, physical manifestations should be seriously looked into. Anxiety and depression usually lead to being sleep deprives, resulting in dark eye circles, acne, weight loss, weight gain, or pale skin.
Gambling Addiction and it‘s Long-Term and Short-Term Effects
Gambling can lead to numerous long-term and short-term effects. Addiction to gambling also leads to other kinds of addiction as coping mechanisms especially for people who get easily anxious and stressed out by the act of gambling. As a result, these gamblers can also turn to alcohol, drugs, and other activities to lessen the anxiety accompanying their lifestyle. In these cases, they might need to be admitted to rehab centers.
Apart from the financial, physical, emotional, and psychological damages brought by gambling addiction, it can also cause damage to relationships.
If you or a loved one is struggling with gambling addiction or any kind of addiction, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Who knows, one phone call or a rehab visit can save your life, property, and financial future.
About Patrick Bailey
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. He attended the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business and hold a Bachelor’s Degree and resides in the state of Michigan. He writes for several publications and on his Official Website – Patrick Bailey.