Who doesn't like making a little bit now and then? No one, if the advertising of the betting firms is any indication. According to these ads, gambling is a pleasant hobby and a healthy component of society.
And it is, in moderation. There's nothing wrong with placing a bet on your favorite sports team or playing poker with your pals.
Gambling can be a lot of fun and is generally acceptable in most social groups. However, there is a danger of addiction with everything that comes with a rewarding habit.
If gambling progresses from a one-time bet to a daily wager, the person may be suffering from a gambling addiction, which, although distinct from alcohol or drug addiction, has its own set of problems.
When someone develops a gambling addiction, it may harm their connections, relationships, and, most importantly, their money.
How can you tell if someone has a gambling problem?
People will attempt to conceal their addiction from those closest to them, as they do with any other addiction. Gambling addiction, on the other hand, is a bit simpler to detect because of the consequences.
Someone requires money to gamble, and if they have a gambling addiction, they are likely to burn through money fast, which may be observed in their daily lives. If their habits, such as going out to dinner once a week, suddenly alter, it may be the consequence of a financial choice made as a result of the gambling.
Other things to keep an eye out for are:
This is true of virtually any addiction, but it is especially true with gambling because of the financial consequences. Those with a gambling addiction would spend every penny they had to support their habit, making it impossible for them to attend social events that were financially burdensome.
If someone avoids meals/drinks regularly, this may be a reason for worry.
The stakes and frequency have both increased.
Anyone who has gambled even once will usually just wager a few dollars. But, with an addict, the first thing that occurs is that their betting frequency increases, from maybe simply betting on sports on weekends to gambling on anything and everything throughout the week.
Furthermore, the amount of money they risk, or bet, will almost always rise. This is due to two factors. They want to win more money for two reasons: one, to pursue the sense of achievement they get when they win, and two, to attempt to recover losses they've previously incurred on prior failed bets.
Possessions are being sold
If a person has reached the point where they must sell their possessions to finance their habit, they are suffering from addiction. This means they've exhausted most of their financial options and are now searching for new methods to support their addiction.
It's very simple to notice this if items start to vanish from their house or if they go missing for no apparent reason, such as a watch or jewelry.
Unfortunately, selling one's possessions isn't at the top of the list of things to avoid for people suffering from a gambling addiction.
If they have used all of their available money and have moved on with their possessions, the final option is to steal.
This may sound far away to someone who sometimes bets on the weekends, but it will make perfect sense to someone in the grips of addiction.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the addiction and the need to reclaim what has been lost, this will not seem out of the question to them.
Even if it is not linked to a substance like drugs or alcohol, gambling addiction may be disastrous to the individual who suffers from it.
Someone suffering from gambling addiction may rapidly find themselves in a dire financial situation, with the risk of losing their job and possibly their house.
Add in the social ramifications, where they may have cut themselves off from friends and family, feeling alone.
The only way to recover from gambling addiction is to seek expert assistance. Because gambling addiction is more of a mental than a physical addiction, individuals must be trained to think differently about gambling to overcome it.