How to Recognize Gambling Addiction and Get Help

Gambling addiction can cause serious problems that affect nearly every part of a person’s life – from personal and family relationships to financial matters, loss of occupation and much more. Left unchecked, it can also lead to legal problems such as having to file for bankruptcy – or even worse – engaging in illegal activities such as theft, fraud, etc. in an attempt to obtain money to support the gambling habit.

If you suspect that someone you care about may be addicted to gambling, there are a number of common signs to watch for, including the following.

  • Repeatedly asking for money to pay bills or other expenses.
  • Lying about where they are going or how much money they have lost gambling.
  • Overwhelming need to gamble the next day after a loss to recoup their money.
  • Repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit gambling permanently.
  • Anxiety or irritability when attempting to end their gambling habit.
  • Continuous thoughts about gambling or reminiscing about past gambling experiences.
  • Relationships being damaged by gambling.
  • Losing their job because of gambling.

If you believe that yourself or a loved one are addicted to gambling, there are treatments available that can help you to overcome the addiction. Options include various types of psychological therapy, medication-assisted therapy and organizations such as Gamblers Anonymous. It is extremely hard to stop gambling on your own – so it’s vital that you seek professional help for yourself or your loved one. With the right kind of treatment and support, even the most serious gambling problem can be overcome.