There is nothing wrong with gambling. It’s for fun! After all, it’s a form of entertainment. But as what the old saying goes: “Anything too much is harmful”. Too much sugar leads to diabetes. Too much candies can lead to tooth decay. Too much gambling can lead to addiction.
According to the statistics presented by the University of New York, 80% of American adults gamble in which three out of five have problems with gambling. In other words, almost 800,000 Americans, ages 14 to 21 years old are addicted to gambling.
Most gambling addicts deny that they have problems. In case you are reading this, check out these signs of gambling addiction:
Obsessed with gambling
People suffering from addiction tend to be obsessed with gambling. They always think about gambling to the point that they don’t care about anything else. They always have the urge to gamble.
They also tend to lack discipline and control. They cannot tell themselves to stop when they are in the middle of the game. They will still continue despite series of losses and any other consequences.
Gambling despite problems
Despite consequences like problems at work, in the family or financial problems, they still can find time gambling. They view these problems as less important than gambling as if gambling is their first priority.
Just like drug or alcohol addiction, people with gambling problems tend to exhibit psychological withdrawal symptoms. They are more irritable, depressed, restless, and they often experience mood swings. As a consequence, they seek opportunities to gamble in order for them to feel psychologically normal.
Stealing to gamble
In order for the addict to continue his gambling, he or she will steal money or engage in actions that break the law just to acquire money. This is one of the worst symptoms of gambling addiction that should be addressed immediately.
Apart from stealing money, they also resort to borrowing money from friends, families, banks and financial lending corporations until they get trapped to unending debts. Through borrowing money, the addict can continue his gambling.
Gambling to forget
Instead of seeking for help, addicts gamble to forget about their problems in life. They don’t view gambling as just a mere entertainment, but they look at it as a friend and stress reliever, without knowing that it’s destroying their lives.
Another sign of gambling addiction is the urge to make up for their losses. If the primary motivation of the gambler is to make up for his losses in the past games, then he or she is likely to lose control over decisions. They will continue to fight until they win.
Most addicts tend to lie. People with gambling problems cannot think properly. They also tend to cover up their losses. If their friend and family ask them if they lost money, they will deny it and will tell that they won instead.
Hiding gambling behavior
Lastly, addicts will hide their gambling behavior. They know that people will try to stop them if they continue to gambling. So, they tend to sneak to casinos and gamble secretly.