Symptoms of Gambling Addiction


Gambling involves risking something of value (such as money or goods) on an event with a chance of winning. It can include games of chance such as lotteries, scratch cards, fruit machines and two-up, betting on events such as horse racing and football accumulators, and other types of speculative activities.

While some gambling activity is acceptable and harmless, for others it can become addictive and cause problems in their lives. In severe cases, people may lose a large amount of money and even their homes and jobs. In addition, gambling can cause a range of emotional and psychological difficulties such as depression and anxiety.

Problem gamblers often experience difficulty in recognizing that they have a gambling problem and may resist seeking treatment for their illness. However, it is important to seek help if you believe you have a problem, as it can lead to serious consequences including debt and bankruptcy, and affect your relationships with family, friends and colleagues.

Symptoms of gambling addiction can include a need to gamble more frequently or with higher stakes in order to feel the same excitement. You may also find yourself spending longer periods of time gambling and feeling restless or irritable when you try to cut down or stop gambling. You might also be secretive about your gambling or lie to family and friends about how much you spend.

Some people are more likely to develop a gambling problem than others, and it is particularly common for people who have a family history of depression or other mental health issues to develop a gambling addiction. It is also very common for gambling to be a way for people to self-soothe unpleasant feelings or to relieve boredom, and it can be difficult to break this habit. There are a number of things that you can do to help you control your gambling and reduce the risk of becoming addicted, including trying out different strategies to increase your chances of winning, practicing relaxation techniques and finding other ways to relieve boredom or self-soothe.

When gambling, always gamble with disposable income and never use money that you need to pay bills or rent. It is also helpful to budget for gambling as you would for a night out at the cinema, and make sure that you do not go over the loss threshold that triggers a relapse. If you’re struggling with a gambling addiction, contact us to talk to a trained therapist. We’ll match you with a professional, licensed and vetted therapist in less than 48 hours. Start with a free online consultation. It’s fast, easy and completely confidential.