Symptoms of Gambling Addiction

The dangers of legalized gambling are well-known. It increases crime and local property values, and the addictive nature of the activity leads to compulsive behavior. Compulsive gambling destroys individuals and their families, not to mention the financial strain on local communities. While legalized gambling increases revenues, local crime rates rise, and many states have passed legislation to allow gambling. Regardless of the risks, gambling is harmful to individuals and their families.

Problem gambling

While gambling is a fun pastime for some people, it is a very different matter altogether when it is done in a way that is harmful. Problem gambling is often referred to as a hidden addiction because it usually has no obvious physical or behavioral symptoms. However, there are a few things you should know if you or someone you love is suffering from this issue. Listed below are some ways to identify problem gambling and get help.

The first thing to know is what constitutes a problem. Problem gambling is defined as the compulsion to place a valuable item at risk in exchange for money, property, or other things. It can be severe enough to cause financial ruin, the loss of a career, and even the death of a loved one. Several different diagnostic terms have been used to describe the condition, including compulsive gambling and pathological gambling. The latest diagnosis is disordered gambling.


If you suspect that someone in your family or friend group is suffering from a gambling addiction, there are several ways to recognize the signs. It may be difficult for the individual to recognize these signs, because they are hidden from the outside world. Some common symptoms of an addiction are increased denial, irritability, and changes in the person’s mental health. These people may also become sleep deprived or depressed. Symptoms of a gambling addiction include the following:

Excessive gambling can also cause emotional symptoms. It can even lead to suicidal thoughts and attempts. When a person loses everything through excessive gambling, they may feel hopeless. These feelings may lead them to engage in self-harming behaviors. Other signs of an addiction to gambling include lack of sleep, pale skin, weight gain or loss, and dark circles under the eyes. While it is essential to seek treatment for these symptoms, the symptoms of a gambling addiction should not be ignored if they do not get better on their own.


Many people are afflicted with the symptoms of gambling addiction. These include depression, lethargy, change in appetite, and unhappiness. These symptoms can go undiagnosed for years, making treatment more difficult. However, there are treatment options that can help treat both problems. In some cases, dual diagnosis may be necessary to ensure recovery. Here are some common signs that your loved one may be experiencing gambling addiction. The following symptoms may signal that you should seek treatment.

Compulsive gambling is a disorder in which the gambler is unable to stop the behavior. It can be very destructive for the individual, his family, and society. Those with gambling disorders have a hard time controlling their impulses and often bet more than they should to reach their desired level of excitement. They are often restless and irritable when trying to limit their gambling and risk losing a close relationship. Those with this problem may not show any signs of problem gambling between periods of greater symptoms.


Treatment for gambling addiction includes several steps, including the identification of new, healthy activities. Often, men are less likely to seek counseling for their gambling addiction than their female counterparts. Identifying replacement behaviors, such as learning new hobbies, is also essential to preventing relapse. Treatment for gambling addiction begins with establishing a new lifestyle. It will also help the addicted person develop new coping mechanisms, such as avoiding temptations that bring back the problem.

Inpatient treatment may be necessary for individuals with severe gambling addiction. While inpatient treatment can be costly, this type of program allows for close supervision, intensive daily sessions, and coaching on new, more successful ways of managing life. Although an inpatient stay will not completely cure a person of gambling addiction, a few weeks in an inpatient program will set them on the path to recovery. While a few weeks of such treatment won’t lead to a permanent recovery, it can break the cycle of compulsion and establish a new way of being.