For many people around the world, gambling is a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. From time to time, people indulge for entertainment and for the experience. However, for some out there, it has turned into an addiction. A gambling addiction creates serious family and financial security problems.
What Is Gambling Addiction?
An addition is an impulse-control disorder in which a person is unable to control their actions. This is even when they know that it is harming them and others. A gambling addiction is not at all different from someone who compulsively sets fires or who steals.
There are different versions of gambling addictions and not everyone who is addicted acts the same. 3 most common types of gambling addiction are listed below.
- Compulsive Gambling: A compulsive gambler has no control at all over their gambling. They will carry on betting money. They don’t care about the consequences. They look for any excuse to make a bet. This is even when they know that they don’t even have the available funds to cover the bet in the case they lose.
- Binge Gambling: Binge Gambling shares many of the same symptoms as compulsive. The person acts like a compulsive gambler, but this is only for certain periods of time. This can make them believe they have their gambling under control since they can go weeks or months without gambling. But as soon as they start gambling, they act as a compulsive gambler.
- Problem Gambling: This is the least extreme type. The player isn’t completely addicted to gambling in this instance. However, their gambling still creates some problems in their life. This person lies to their families and chases their losses. They do realise that they’re gambling more often but cannot stop themselves.
How Common Is Gambling Addiction?
The only way to tell is if the player or their family are able to identify the symptoms. Several studies to determine how many players suffer from gambling addiction all reach a similar conclusion.
The most widely reported figure for problem gamblers sits at between 2% and 3%. The compulsive gamblers are rarer with this affecting roughly 1% of gamblers. However, these figures are a bit higher in areas where gambling is a bigger part of life culture e.g. Las Vegas.
Identifying a Gambling Addiction
Usually, signs of a gambling addiction go unnoticed. This is because gamblers are often able to rationalise many of their problems. This, in turn, helps to hide the problem itself. Below is a list of symptoms to look out for. These have been provided by the American Psychiatric Association:
- The person constantly thinks about gambling or when they can gamble next
- They constantly need to bet more money so as to receive the same thrill
- are agitated or annoyed when they try cutting back on their gambling
- Often uses gambling as a way to escape real world problems and anxieties
- Often chases losses, no matter the cost
- Often lies to friends and family in order to conceal their activities
- Will turn to illegal activities sometimes to fund their addiction
- Often uses friends and family for financial bailouts so they can cover gambling losses
- Often tries to stop gambling but repeatedly fail
Gambling addictions can put your family and their financial security at risk. Seek assistance immediately If you, or a loved one, exhibits some of the symptoms.