Compulsive gambling is recognized as an addictive disorder that can wreak havoc on the lives it touches. Whether you believe you may be addicted to gambling, or you’re concerned about a loved one, it’s essential to recognize the signs and symptoms so that you can seek help.
Take the quiz below to see if you or a loved one exhibit symptoms of gambling addiction and keep reading to learn more.
What is Compulsive Gambling?
Compulsive gambling, or gambling addiction, is a mental health disorder that occurs when a person is unable to stop gambling despite the negative consequences it has on their lives. A person struggling with a gambling disorder may isolate themselves from others to hide their addiction.
Ultimately, it can lead to devastation, as those who don’t seek help can severely impact their lives and the lives of loved ones.
Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
Gambling addiction is much like drug addiction, and compulsive gamblers often exhibit symptoms that mirror those with substance abuse.
Signs and symptoms of gambling addiction include:
- Being unable to stop gambling despite adverse consequences.
- Stealing from loved ones to acquire money for gambling.
- Preoccupation with gambling, including always planning one’s next gambling trip and how to get more money to gamble.
- Feeling agitated when unable to participate in gambling.
- Lying about or covering up the frequency or amount of gambling.
- Trying to control or stop gambling without success.
What to Do if You’re Struggling
Gambling addiction can have serious consequences, including bankruptcy, foreclosure on your home or repossession of your car, and ruined relationships with loved ones. However, it is possible to recover. There are professional mental health counselors who specialize in gambling addiction. As well as, treatment centers where those with severe addictions can go to enter long-term recovery.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in America offers resources and a 24/7 hotline for anyone in need of help.