If you believe someone in your family may have a gambling issue, it is essential to watch for these signs and symptoms. They can help identify whether there is an underlying addiction and whether professional help is needed.
Gambling can be a hazardous activity, leading to financial strain and emotional trauma. That is why it should be treated as an illness.
Loss of control
Loss of control is a hallmark sign of gambling addiction, as those addicted cannot restrain their behavior or set losses limits.
Unfortunately, many individuals wind up losing more money than intended. This cycle has many negative repercussions and can have a substantial impact on an individual’s mental, emotional and financial well-being.
Self-medicating gamblers attempt to reduce psychological discomfort caused by unhealthy behaviors and thoughts by rationalizing or false beliefs. Furthermore, they use dishonesty and deceit in an effort to manipulate others into giving them money or bailing them out of difficult situations.
Denial is a common defense mechanism used by people to avoid facing difficult or frightening facts. While denial can be an understandable response in certain circumstances, when it becomes an ongoing pattern it can have harmful consequences.
If you feel your loved one’s excessive gambling is causing significant problems in their life, there are steps you can take to help. For instance, staging an intervention with them to discuss their gambling behavior and how it’s impacting them can be beneficial.
Individuals suffering from gambling addiction may find relief through behavioral therapy and support groups. These tools can help reduce urges, alter beliefs and create new habits.
Depression can be a common side effect of gambling. Gambling is highly addictive and causes the brain to release certain feel-good chemicals, leading to feelings of euphoria.
These chemicals help the individual feel better and distract them from negative thoughts. Unfortunately, when they stop gambling, their levels of these chemicals return to normal or even below normal.
Gamblers often experience psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. If you are struggling with gambling addiction, it’s essential to seek treatment if any of these signs or symptoms appear.
Depression is a serious mental health disorder that can be treated with medication, therapy and support groups. If you or someone close to you struggles with gambling and depression, it’s essential that they seek assistance as soon as possible.
Casino gambling addiction may be linked with other issues like alcohol and drug abuse or mental health disorders. This combination of factors, known as a dual diagnosis, may create more intense symptoms that are difficult to treat.
Individuals living with a dual diagnosis often experience greater social challenges than those without. They may isolate themselves from friends and family members, diminishing their support network.
Brain chemistry, genetic vulnerabilities and environmental triggers all play an important role in developing a dual diagnosis. Furthermore, people may develop mental illness or an addiction as the result of trauma.
Compulsive gamblers, like those addicted to alcohol, experience withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to cease gambling. These signs vary from person to person but usually include irritability, restlessness, anxiety, cravings and insomnia.
With any addiction, withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating. If you’re dealing with these difficulties, it is imperative to seek professional help for your issue.
Inpatient and residential programs can help you gain control over your gambling habits and learn how to prevent relapse. They provide support from others who have had similar struggles; such as Gamblers Anonymous meetings, 12-step programs or cognitive behavioral therapy. Not only will these programs identify underlying issues but they’ll give you a sense of belonging; plus you’ll acquire skills that will enable you to better handle future temptations.