Signs You Might Have a Gambling Addiction

Signs You Might Have a Gambling Addiction

Many people enjoy recreational gambling in all its forms. Yet, for others, gambling becomes a necessary and eventually destructive activity that can lead to a host of financial, legal, family, and relationship issues. These signs of gambling addiction will help you identify if you or someone you love is developing an addiction to gambling that requires treatment.

Gambling Even When You Can’t Afford To

Having a stash of “fun money” allows for gambling without placing other money at risk. However, a sign of problems with gambling is betting with money you can’t afford to lose. Examples are using savings, college funds, or money set aside for bills or borrowing money to gamble or pay gambling debts.

Taking More Risks Than You Used To

Addiction develops out of the need to achieve a greater “high” than before. If betting smaller amounts no longer produces the same rush it used to, you may have found yourself taking risks like placing unusually high bets, staying at the casino for longer, or spending an increasing amount of money on lottery tickets.

Wanting to Stop, but Not Being Able To

Many needing gambling addiction treatment are aware that their habit is getting out of hand, but they can’t seem to stop. You may have told others that you want to stop gambling, and you may have even made plans to do just that, only to feel the overwhelming urge to go back to it. This is a symptom of withdrawal; you are denying your brain and body the dopamine they’ve become dependent on for survival.

Neglecting Work and Family Obligations

When gambling becomes an addiction, it can quickly take priority over other aspects of life. Perhaps you called in sick to work or missed a school play so that you could gamble. Or you were so focused on gambling that you forgot about an important event. All of these can deteriorate your work and spousal and family relationships unless you seek gambling addiction help.

Believing Winning Is Imminent

In casual gambling, a person stops when they start losing. Those who are addicted to gambling, however, believe that the next hand, ticket, horse, or throw of the dice will reverse their bad luck. Others may keep going until they lose a significant amount of money, and then continue gambling to recoup their losses.

Using Gambling to Escape Other Problems

Smiling lady patient thanking her psychologist after depression rehab

Spending a weekend gambling casually is a way for many to escape for a while—but if you’re gambling whenever you feel depressed, anxious, guilty, or helpless, this is a serious sign that you may have developed a gambling problem.

In order to recover fully, you will need treatment that addresses the urge to gamble but also identifies and treats any underlying conditions which may be making it feel impossible to stop.

If you feel that your gambling addiction has gotten out of control, Matthew Bruhin & Associates offers gambling addiction treatment in California. Call (619) 683-3774 to learn more about the treatment services we offer.