Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Addiction


Gambling can be a fun and enjoyable pastime when done in a spirit of fun, but it can quickly become a destructive addiction when done improperly. Many people call problem gambling a “hidden addiction,” because it rarely shows outward physical symptoms. Unfortunately, problem gambling can affect both men and women, and treatment options can range from medications to therapy. Here are some signs and symptoms that you may be experiencing a gambling problem. Continue reading to learn more about the symptoms of problem gambling.

Problematic gambling

Researchers have identified three risk factors for pathological gambling: age, demographics, and physiological characteristics. They also identified comorbidity, personality characteristics, and schedules of reinforcement. In general, individuals are more likely to develop a problem when they engage in common and popular activities, such as gambling. Some risk factors for pathological gambling are discussed below. Some of these factors are common in people of different ages and cultures. Some of them are rare, however.

The incidence of violence against individuals who engage in problem gambling varies, but most studies report a significant increase in the risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) among those with problem gambling. Intimate partners of problem gamblers are also vulnerable to violence, though such instances are small compared to the overall number of crimes committed by problem gamblers. Further, there are many ways in which a partner can become a victim of problem gambling.

Signs of a problem

While most people can gamble without any problems, those who engage in an excessive gambling habit can cause serious problems. Gambling addiction can result in a host of emotional and physical symptoms, including self-harming tendencies and suicidal thoughts. In extreme cases, losing everything to gambling can leave a person feeling hopeless. Additionally, sleep deprivation can lead to acne or dark circles under the eyes. These symptoms are all signs of a gambling problem.

Gambling addiction often manifests in symptoms similar to drug addiction. Individuals may find themselves spending most of their time gambling and have little time for friends and family. They may even have trouble keeping up with their jobs or other interests. Another sign of a gambling addiction is if the individual starts to make larger bets to achieve the same rush of excitement. The person may even start to hide money and become secretive about it, resulting in frequent inability to pay bills and a decrease in quality of life.

Treatment options

There are several treatment options for gambling addiction. Some people benefit from day treatment sessions, which are a series of one-on-one therapy sessions. Other individuals find outpatient treatment to be more effective. Outpatient programs often combine individual therapy sessions with group therapy. Individuals can also attend online therapy sessions for gambling addiction. These sessions can also help individuals develop coping skills to manage their gambling behaviors. Some facilities also offer dual diagnosis assessment, which can be beneficial for those with dual diagnoses.

In addition to seeking treatment, a person can also work with a therapist to determine which of these methods would work best for them. Depending on the level of addiction, therapy may require different approaches. In some cases, a gambling therapist will recommend a different type of therapy. Individuals who feel more comfortable talking about their gambling problems with a therapist or a loved one may be better suited for such treatment.