According to the National Centre for Responsible Gambling, about 1% of the US adult population has a severe gambling problem. Additionally, they suggest that an even higher percentage of young adults has this problem. It makes sense. Casino games are better, more engaging, more rewarding, and more aesthetically pleasing than ever before.
Casinos and casino game developers spend a lot of money every year to understand their customers and improve their user experience. This article is not written to condemn casino players or casinos. Done responsibly, playing casino games can be a relaxing and fun experience. If you find a great casino like the Sloto cash online casino, it can also be a rewarding experience for you.
This article is for those who suspect that they or someone they love may have a gambling addiction. How do you recognize the signs? We will give you a list of some of the symptoms to watch out for. If you see that you or your loved one exhibits any of these symptoms, you can then look for a way forward to help them.
What is an addiction?
According to Medical News Today, addiction refers to the inability to stop using a substance or performing an action even when it causes physical or psychological harm. This article will divide the symptoms of gambling addiction into four sections; behavioral, emotional, financial, and personality. Some of these symptoms may overlap.
What are the behavioral symptoms of problem gambling?
- The person impulsively gambles even when they said they would not do it. They are unable to go for periods without thinking about gambling or engaging in the activity.
- The person may engage in illegal activity to get the money to gamble. For example, they may steal people’s possessions and sell them for gambling money.
- They may be consistently late for work or other obligations without having any relevant reasons.
- They may take longer to do actions that took them a short time in the past. For example, they may take unusually long to run errands or do their chores suggesting that they are doing something else.
- They may withdraw from their typical day-to-day activities and from people to create more time for gambling.
- They may obsessively talk about gambling. Their conversations predominantly revolve around casinos and gambling.
- The person has lied or being caught lying about their gambling.
- They may jeopardize their job, relationships, or other essential things for gambling.
- The person has co-occurring substance abuse problems. Statistics show that people with gambling addiction are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop Alcohol Use Disorder, so it’s not uncommon to find the two occurring together.
- They may develop unusual or unhealthy sleeping patterns as they often gamble for two long. This is especially true if they have a day job that keeps them engaged.
- They may become more secretive as they try to hide their use or its extent
- They engage in revenge gambling. This is when they gamble to try and recover lost money.
- They may often act without thinking of the consequences of their actions.
What are some emotional symptoms?
- They may show extreme mood swings after their gambling sessions that correlate with their performance.
- The person may act more anxious and agitated when they have been away from a casino or casino game for an extended period.
- They may show symptoms of depression. Many addictions, including problem gambling, often occur together with depression. There is still more to be studied on addictions and depression, but they often seem to feed on each other.
- They may no longer show interest in activities that they had previously found enjoyable.
- They may have intense feelings of guilt or remorse after gambling. This is especially true if they have tried quitting before.
What are the financial symptoms of problem gambling?
- The person often fluctuates between having money and being broke and not in a typical after salary and before salary fluctuation.
- The person may have a lot of unpaid bills even if their income has not changed.
- The person may take on a second job without any visible added expenses or goals that explain the need for a new income.
- They may spend more money than they anticipated when gambling.
- They may put extremely high stakes in an attempt to recover lost money.
- They may start taking loans or borrowing money again without any visible expenses or goals that explain the need.
- They may try and incite people to make bets to try and win money. They may try and put a stake on different outcomes in their lives even when it is unnecessary.
- They may have secret money accounts to try and hide their money trail.
What are some personality changes associated with problem gambling
- The person may neglect taking care of themselves in place of gambling. For example, they may neglect their self-care routines and environment.
- The person may act differently from how they used to before, for example, by withdrawing and having mood changes.
- The person stops any of their healthy coping mechanisms and replaces them with gambling.
- The person seems to have replaced a different addiction with gambling. For example, they may replace a previous drug addiction with compulsive gambling.
No one engages with a behavior deliberately attempting to get addicted to it. That is why, if you or your loved one is showing signs of addiction, you should approach the situation with compassion, not just condemnation. A good place to start if you think you have a gambling addiction is joining a Gamblers Anonymous program or other addiction programs to find support among people who understand what you are going through.