Gambling Addiction – What Are the Symptoms of a Gambling Problem?

If you or a loved one has a problem with gambling, you may want to consult with a mental health professional. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists Gambling Disorder alongside other forms of compulsive behavior. Gambling Disorder is a serious psychological disorder that is characterized by repeated attempts to stop the behavior. The Gambler has repeatedly failed to control their urge to gamble.

Problem gamblers

It’s common for people to gamble, but not everyone gets addicted to it. Problem gamblers experience an acute state of stress during their gambling sessions, increasing levels of catecholamines and pituitary-adrenal axis hormones. Problem gamblers also have elevated levels of cortisol, the same hormone released during acute stressors. Interestingly, these high levels of cortisol persist for a prolonged period, making them likely to be problem gamblers.

Signs of a problem

Gambling addiction is a serious illness that can be just as destructive as drug or alcohol addiction. Symptoms of an addiction can vary, but they are indicative of a gambling problem. Signs that you might have a problem include lying, staying out late, or stealing money to finance your gambling habit. Ultimately, you might find yourself unable to quit gambling. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help you detect a problem and recover your life.

A gambler’s gambling habit may become so extreme that it begins to affect other aspects of his or her life. These activities may result in depression or suicidal thoughts. In extreme cases, a gambler may even resort to stealing or selling things to make money for gambling. Another sign of gambling addiction is financial instability. As a result, a gambler may end up in a position where he or she has little or no disposable income, which may threaten their employment or their home. They may even experience bankruptcy if they don’t stop gambling. Gambling addiction is common among young people, but it can also affect adults.

Treatment

In order to find a solution to your gambling problem, you will need to see a mental health professional or talk to your primary care physician. Your primary care physician will likely ask you about your gambling behaviors and may want to talk to you and your family members about the problem. The good news is that confidentiality laws prevent doctors from disclosing medical information without your permission. In addition, some drugs may be causing your compulsive behavior, so a physical examination is crucial.

An environment that triggers a gambling addiction can make the problem worse. Gambling can also be an emotional release, a means of solving a financial problem, or a coping mechanism for negative emotions. It can also affect your judgment and inhibit impulse control. In addition, you might experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the addiction. The good news is that it is possible to get treatment for gambling addiction and learn to live a sober, healthy relationship with money.