Due to the lack of physical signs that someone is addicted to gambling it is known as the silent killer. This might seem a drastic title but it is a real problem in society and causes a lot of pain to all involved.
A gambling addiction often goes unnoticed as it looks to the world that the person addicted only has a desire to play games and win money, a far cry from someone out of control. Compulsive gamblers seemingly live normal lives but in the background lurks a very serious mental illness. With time the illness will cause devastating issues to the gambler and his loved ones and friends.
What are the common signs of gambling addiction?
- Obsessed with all things gambling – Gambling addicts are preoccupied with gambling and do not give a hoot about anything else. The obsession will eventually cause relationship splits, loss of friendship and loss of a job.
- Can’t quit – If you have made a real effort to stop and you have failed you may have an addiction. The desire to stop is there but you cannot do it.
- Keep gambling no matter what – Even if your life is falling down around you stopping is not an option.
- Withdrawal when not gambling – When you are not gambling and you are irritable but you can’t put your finger on it. Withdrawal can cause depression and restlessness when you are obsessed with gambling.
- Gambling for happiness – Is gambling a great deal of fun for you and if you are not gambling you feel low. It is probably because gambling has given you great feelings that you can’t get anywhere else.
- Crime and stealing – To get money for gambling some addicts will steal or commit fraud in order to fund their addiction.
- Denial – Many addicts will deny that they have a problem and this can be a common sign. If you suspect that there is a problem and evidence can be gained to back up the addiction professional help should be looked into.
- Money Worries – Issues with money, close friends or family suddenly asking for money or discovering your loved one owes a lot of money.
- Moody – Compulsive gambling as part of a double life that your family and friends know nothing about can be confusing for them when your mood swings. Ironically it is a big sign the you have a gambling addiction.
- Hidden behaviour – It is not long into the gambling obsession that the addict will begin to hide or lie about their addiction to family and friends. It is a positive sign if the gambler recognises it is wrong to lie to his loved ones. Hopefully this will lead to them seeking help for a compulsive gambling disorder.