Signs of a compulsive gambling problem

There is often an underlying issue as to why people begin gambling for example problems at work, unresolved issues within a relationship, drug addiction and so on. Feeling a constant urge to gamble when already in a difficult financial situation,  or gambling as a way out of financial difficulty are both common symptoms of a gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is a type of impulse-control disorder where gamblers have little or no control over their urge to gamble, even when they are aware that their actions can hurt themselves and others and even when the odds are against them.

Problem gambling can cause problems in relationships and at work and the cost of funding this habit can become a huge burden as well as an emotional pressure.

Do I have a gambling addiction?

The following points are key signs of signs of a gambling problem:

  • A preoccupation with gambling and loss of interest in other aspects of life for example ignoring family responsibilities and focusing only on the results of gambling
  • Loss of control being unable to manage impulsive urges to gamble even when the odds are against you
  • Increasing the amount of money used to gamble in order to pay for lost bets or to experience the thrill feeling trapped either financially or in another way is a common factor of this symptom
  • A negative impact upon relationships with those closest to you potentially losing a partner as a result of a gambling addiction is very common due to the strains and burdens that problem gambling places on a relationship
  • Problems within the workplace for example increased absence from work or lack of concentration
  • Concealing the amount of money and time spent betting from family members. The secrecy that is often involved in problem gambling leads to lack of trust and often further problems at home
  • Denial that you have a problem with gambling is a great concern as the first step to recovery is accepting that you have a problem.

What are the emotional symptoms?-

People with a compulsive gambling problem may also feel the following emotional symptoms

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Clouded judgement
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of sleep
  • Feeling on edge
  • Anger 
  • Impatience

If you have concerns that you may have a problem with gambling and would like to find out about the treatment options available at a Priory hospital or clinic near to you, then please call: 01483 745060.