Gambling addiction, also known as pathological gambling, is a behavioural addiction that often occurs due to the illusion of ‘easy money’. This is almost never the case. In fact, it’s rare for gamblers to break even. Keep reading to find out the different types of gambling and what the symptoms, causes and effects of gambling addiction are.
Gambling takes the form of many different activities, meaning it can be difficult to spot if you’re actually addicted. While casinos, slot machines and betting on horse-racing are the most common forms, even purchasing lottery tickets or entering a raffle is a form of gambling that can turn to addiction.
How does gambling addiction occur?
Gambling addiction usually occurs when people are struggling financially and feel that their only way to escape is to gamble. This often leads to a vicious cycle of the gambler spending a lot of money with little/no return and spending even more money to try and win their losses back.
Another type of gambling addiction is when the user gambles high amounts of money on risky bets for the adrenaline rush of the potential (yet, rare) pay off. This feeling of adrenaline can be addictive, especially if this has resulted in a random win. The addict can then crave the feeling of this emotional high and be constantly trying to recreate it.
What are signs of a gambling addiction?
The signs to look out for in a gambling addiction follow the same pattern of other addictions. Some common signs are:
- Feeling the need to be secretive about your gambling
- Gambling when you cannot afford it
- Having friends and family express their concern about your gambling
- The feeling of being unable to stop
Do I have a gambling addiction?
The best way you can assess yourself and consider whether you may have a gambling addiction is to ask yourself how you would feel if you were told you can never gamble again. If this thought made you anxious or edgy, there’s a good chance you may be suffering from a gambling problem.
The physical and emotional effects of gambling
The act of gambling when done excessively can lead to extreme anxiety and depression. Many people lose everything to gambling, including their friends and family. This can lead to self-harming and even suicide attempts.
Here at Leon House we have a team of experts specialising in gambling addiction who are dedicated to getting people the help they deserve. If you think you may be suffering from a gambling problem get in touch with our team confidentially here and find out how we can help you.