Symptoms of Gambling


Gambling is an activity that involves putting something of value at risk, on the outcome of a random event (i.e., a game of chance). It can be done in many ways, including: playing card games, video poker, roulette and slot machines, placing bets on horse and greyhound races or football accumulators, buying lottery tickets, scratchcards, or wagering money on events that may not occur (such as winning the lottery or being elected president).

While gambling is a fun way to spend time, it can be very addictive. For some people, it can lead to serious problems that can affect their personal and financial lives. Gambling addiction can cause health and relationship issues, and can even result in bankruptcy and homelessness. Luckily, help is available for those struggling with this problem. Symptoms of Gambling include:

A person may have a gambling problem if he or she:

Frequently bets more than he or she can afford to lose. Bets for pleasure, rather than to win a prize or avoid financial loss. Repeatedly attempts to regain losses, often by increasing the size of bets. Is preoccupied with gambling and spends a lot of time thinking about it. Frequently lies to family members, therapists and others about the extent of his or her involvement in gambling. Often gambles to escape unpleasant feelings, such as anger or depression. Frequently resorts to forgery, theft or embezzlement to finance his or her gambling.

When a person gambles, his or her brain releases dopamine, which is a feel-good neurotransmitter. This is why people become excited when they win, but also why some feel compelled to continue gambling even after they have lost money. Several factors can contribute to problematic gambling, including:

A person is considered to have a gambling disorder if he or she:

Is often unable to control their urge to gamble, and it negatively impacts their daily functioning and quality of life. This includes a deterioration in physical or emotional well-being, work or school performance, relationships and social life. Moreover, gambling can lead to serious legal problems and debt.

If you are concerned that you have a gambling problem, speak with one of our counsellors today. Our services are free, confidential and available 24/7.

If you are a family member of someone with a gambling problem, you can learn how to cope with it by seeking support from other families who have experienced similar difficulties. You can also get help from a professional therapist, who is trained to address gambling disorders and other related mental health concerns. You can use our online therapist directory to find a therapist who is best suited for you and your loved ones’ needs. Getting help is important, because the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more difficult it will be to overcome your gambling addiction. It takes courage to admit that you have a gambling problem, especially if it has cost you money or strained your relationships. However, it is possible to overcome this difficult habit, and rebuild your life.