An addiction to gambling, or compulsive gambling, is sometimes called a type of “impulse control disorder” where someone has trouble restraining themselves from acting on an inclination or impulse.
Online gambling addiction is particularly prevelant – it is now easier than ever to jump online and take place in games of blackjack, poker, roulette or virtual slot machines. Other common examples are betting on sports, the lottery or even compulsive use of scratchcards.
Gambling becomes a serious addiction when it interferes with a person’s normal life, job and relationships. Finances often become very strained as the compulsion takes no account of this and the addict will not be able to stop even if he or she runs out of money.
Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
Do you know someone who is worrying you by exhibiting a possible addiction to gambling? Try asking yourself the following questions.
- Do they seem to be having problems with money but dismiss these or get angry if questioned about it?
- Are they preoccupied with gambling and tend to do it a lot at the expense of relationships and other commitments?
- Do they stay out all night at casinos or betting shops, or spend much of their time on their computer using virtual gambling sites?
- Have you found money or valuables going missing with no explanation, followed by another “binge” of gambling acitivity?