5 Elements of a Gambling Addiction

A huge majority of the population will gamble at least once in their life, a perfectly normal occurrence. Gambling can be a fun way to spend an evening; lose a few bucks here, win a few bucks there. You may even be lucky enough win a large amount of money. Even though there are several people out there who gamble carelessly for the fun of it, there is a small percentage of people that will start to form an unhealthy habit of gambling that could in fact lead to a terrible gambling addiction.

If you suspect that somebody you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, a sure sign of this would be if that person is exhibiting one or more of these signs:

The first and foremost way to spot a gambling addiction is if a person is constantly fixated on any form of gambling; be it poker, horse races, football or any other activity that presents an opportunity to gamble. If you suspect a person is suffering from a gambling addiction then he or she will always be thinking about it constantly. That person will always want to gamble and even plan out the next trip long before it happens. A lot of addiction specialists will refer to this fixation as “preoccupation.”

If a person is always in pursuit of winning back lost money, then he or she may be suffering from a gambling addiction. This habit can cause some major financial problems because in the attempt to win back previously lost money, a person may end up actually losing double, triple or even quadruple what he or she lost in the first place. Whatever you do, if you know someone who is always attempting to win back lost money, he or she may be doing horrible financially and may end up trying to borrow money from you; Do not give it to them!

A person who may be suffering from a gambling addiction will usually attempt to stop gambling on several different occasions. If you know a person that has tried to stop gambling on more than one occasion but ended up going right back to it, then that person most likely has a gambling addiction. Gambling addicts will usually exhibit the same behavior as controlled substance and narcotic addicts when they try to stop; behaviors such as irritability, anger and even insomnia.

If a person you know has just been through something traumatic and has been gambling a lot ever since, then that person is most likely using gambling as a substitute to cope with said traumatic experience. A lot of gamblers will experience a euphoria similar to a “high” that lets that person escape from something in their lives and feel good. A bad side effect of feeling “high” when gambling is that to sustain the high, larger and larger amounts of money must be bet.

Finally, probably one of the easiest signs to spot not only a gambling addiction, but any addiction, is lying. Gambling addicts will often lie when asked how much money they have spent, lost or won so that their true losses do not show and they can gamble feeling a little less guilty. However, some gamblers do actually feel guilty with every lie told which can actually cause that person to gamble more to cope with the emotional guilt.

An addiction, no matter what it is from, will always prove to be an unhealthy aspect of a person’s life. This is why it is important to step in and intervene before an addiction gets to strong a grasp on family, friend or loved one. If you suspect someone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, start by looking for the five signs listed above.