Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
It is mainly men who cannot stop gambling, but many women also find
themselves unable to quit. In this article, we will call the gambler
“he” but it could just as easily read “she.”
1. Preoccupied With Gambling
The gambler who cannot put a stop to gambling will
walk, talk and breathe gambling. He will tell stories of previous big
wins, often exaggerating the size of the jackpot. He will regularly
corner others, telling anybody who will listen, about his latest scheme,
or his unbeatable strategy. He will usually use more than one form of
gambling, being unable to stop gambling online,
at the track, or on the pokies. Even bingo and the lottery hold him
spell-bound. He loses interest in his normal activities and hobbies,
instead of becoming increasingly obsessed with gambling.
2. More And More
Just as a drug addict needs an ever-increasing supply of drugs to
achieve the same high, so a gambling addict finds himself getting more
and more – not for greater winnings, but to obtain the same kick and
level of excitement as before.
3. Can’t Stop
Even if he wanted to, the problem gambler is powerless to quit gambling.
He becomes impatient and irritable when trying to even cut back. For
the gambler, betting is a method of escaping problems, or relieving
4. The Cover-Up
The gambler lies to family and friends – and sometimes even to himself –
about the amount being gambled in order to hide his dependency. At the
same time, he brags and exaggerates the size of winnings. When
confronted, he denies having a problem at all, and he becomes angry if
the subject is pursued. The lies become a way of life. He withdraws from
family and friends and even lies about his whereabouts while gambling.
The gambler will start relying on others to bail him out of financial
crises. He regularly borrows from family and friends until their goodwill
has been used up and they refuse to lend him any more – at least
until he repays what he already owes them – and that doesn’t happen,
although the gambler genuinely intends to repay everybody once he wins
that elusive jackpot. After using up friends and family, mortgages and
loans are refinanced. Bills remain unpaid. Life assurance is cashed in.
The gambler may even start committing fraud and thefts to finance his
6. Self Destructive
The gambler’s career is jeopardized, and relationships with
family and friends become eroded as his obsession with gambling
escalates. He feels a tremendous amount of shame and guilt after
gambling the grocery money yet again and he will consider, or even
attempt, suicide because he feels so helpless and useless.
7. Losing Control
The gambler’s personality gradually changes. He can become controlling
of those around him because he himself is out of control. He can be
bad-tempered, contrary, fault-finding and manipulative. He blames
everyone else for his financial problems, refusing to take
responsibility for his own actions.
8. No Sense Of Time
The problem gambler tends to gamble even during times of celebration and
special events. He spends his time gambling while on holiday, and
during times of crisis to make himself feel better. Inevitably, he
spends more time gambling than he originally planned.
Below are two examples of powerful flawed ways of thinking that results in a gambler to hold false beliefs that do not provide the outcome they imagined in the first place and keeps them on the ground.
Earliest signs of flawed reasoning would generally include the gamblers fallacy. The mistaken belief that, if something happens more frequently than normal during a given period, it will happen less frequently in the future. It may also be stated as the belief that, if something happens less frequently than normal during a given period, it will happen more frequently in the future. This is a sure way to start your journey down the rabid pit of addiction.
Another mistaken belief that a person who experiences a successful outcome with a random event has a greater probability of success in further attempts. This is simply a lie. If you were lucky yesterday your chances of being lucky tomorrow or any other day in the future are not greater or even equal to that of previous attempt. To see through this initial stages of denial is a good step in taking control of yourself.