What Causes Problem Gambling?
Compulsive gambling is an uncontrollable urge to continue to gamble despite it taking a negative toll on your life. Because gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system, similar to drugs and alcohol, it can lead to a severe addiction. Those who have a problem with compulsive gambling tend to hide their behaviour, deplete any savings, accumulate debt, and may even resort to theft or fraud in order to support their addiction.
Compulsive gambling is a serious addiction that can destroy lives. Treating a gambling addiction can be challenging, but many who seek professional help have found a way out of their addiction.
Signs of Compulsive Gambling
Some of the signs of compulsive gambling can include:
- Becoming preoccupied with gambling;
- Gambling with increased amounts of money to get the same thrill;
- Feeling restless or irritable when not gambling;
- Being unable to stop gambling;
- Trying to earn back lost money by gambling more;
- Hiding the extent of your gambling;
- Jeopardizing relationships, jobs, or school because of gambling;
- Committing theft or fraud in order to gamble; and
- Relying on others to bail you out of financial trouble due to gambling.
When to Seek Help
Unlike casual gamblers who can stop gambling after a limit, people who gamble compulsively are compelled to continue to play – a pattern that becomes destructive over time. If friends or family members have expressed concerns about your gambling habits, it may be time to seek professional help. Those who have a tendency to gamble compulsively are best to avoiding all types of gambling and places where gambling occurs – and to seek professional treatment if gambling is currently proving to be an issue.