When gambling becomes a problem, it goes from being an occasional fun diversion to an unhealthy obsession that can cause a lot of trouble. It affects relationships, work, and finances.
Gambling addiction is a serious mental illness that requires professional help to stop. It is also a symptom of depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.
Definition of gambling and its warning signs:
The American Psychiatric Association defines gambling as a game where you risk money or belongings on an event with chance or randomness. The purpose is to win something of value.
People can gamble for different reasons: They may feel a rush of adrenaline, a sense of achievement or social rewards. The best way to avoid problem gambling is to set limits on how much you can afford to lose and to resist the temptation to gamble whenever you’re stressed or depressed.
Often, people with gambling problems are embarrassed or ashamed of their habit and try to hide it from others. They can also be depressed or angry about losing money.
In some cases, a person can be addicted to gambling for several years before they realize it’s a problem. If you think you have a problem, seek help right away.
Gambling with increasing amounts of money to achieve a high is an indicator of addiction.
Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop gambling.
People with gambling disorder often have thoughts about reliving past gambling experiences, planning future gambling activities, and thinking of ways to get money to gamble. They also have difficulty controlling their spending, rely on friends or family to provide them with money for gambling, and have lost significant relationships or jobs due to their gambling.