We all have our issues – difficulties and temptations that are beyond our control. These are part of the elements that shape us and make us the individuals that we are today. How we react to stress goes a long in shaping our future. Stressors are major factors defining pathological disorder. Just like other addictive behaviors, the issues surrounding addiction go far beyond gambling – its more about our reactions to the gambling activity.
You have plans to spend the next weekend on a trip to Vegas to spend some time with friends. For lots of people, it’s usually a controlled habit. Things can get out of hand sometimes – especially for someone with compulsive gambling behaviors.
Compulsive gambling is prevalent in America, more commonplace than you could ever imagine. Yearly, over two million Americans struggle with gambling addiction. There are signs, only if you can pay close attention. In this piece, we will share with you some of the signs your loved one has a gambling addiction.
Here are some warning signs to look out for.
A gambling addict will display most of these signs. The effects of gambling can the equated to that of drugs and alcohol addiction. The results can be as devastating as alcohol /drugs, even deadly in some cases. We’ve heard stories of people committing suicide an aftereffect of losing everything to gambling addiction.
They become secretive about their finances.
One of the few signs your loved one has a gambling problem is that they become secretive about everything. More importantly, they become secretive about their finances, and their payslips. ‘investing’ hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars into gambling takes its toll on gamblers.
Over time, they keep their financial records away, making it difficult for other family members, especially their significant others from accessing it. That’s when they start asking you some strange questions such as “can you lend me some cash?”. Whether it’s the drive to keep gambling or out of shame, they struggle to keep their finances in check.
Obsession – they find it hard to stop.
No sign beats this. This is when your loved one lives revolve around gambling. They can’t stop talking about it. They tell you or any other person that cares to listen about their past gambling experiences – the game they won, and many more they’ve lost. You’ll often catch them on their laptop or smartphones surfing through online casinos or placing bets. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times they’ve promised to quite; they seem to fall back.
They take lots of time over simple tasks.
You know how active your partner is; that’s why it’s easy to spot the strange occurrence. When your partner can’t complete simple tasks in the home, they take hours to complete tasks that should take less than a minute. They go out to pick up a few things, and they are nowhere to be found after that. You noticed it because it is becoming a common trend at home. If you can relate to this, then chances are, your loved one has a gambling problem.
They are showing withdrawal symptoms when they aren’t gambling.
When a problem gambler stops gambling, emotional withdrawal symptoms can occur, even if it’s just for a day. These withdrawal symptoms may include depression, decreased sleep, irritability, loss of appetite, anxiety, and wavy sex drive. When in this state, a compulsive gambler thinks he needs to gamble in order to feel ‘whole’ again. That’s as clear as it can get.
Reporting feeling depressed, hopeless, or always having their energy sapped out.
When your loved one report to you that they often feel depressed, hopeless, and frustrated, then its time to see a professional. These are all signs of gambling addiction, one that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. You will do yourself a whole lot of good by listening to them.
This could be your chance to get to the bottom of it by reaching out to a rehab center. Compulsive gamblers have an increased risk of developing health conditions like sleep deprivation, peptic ulcer disease, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.
They express Remorse or Guilt after gambling.
When your loved one expresses remorse or guilt after gambling, then this may be the sign you are looking for. Gambling under control can be fun. But where do you draw the line? People struggling with this form of addiction are unable to control themselves.
Money and household items start missing.
When the problem spirals down, these are the types of signs you’ll be seeing. At this stage, the condition won’t only affect the gambler, and the ripple effect will be felt by their family members and loved ones (you). This is when money starts to miss, problem gamblers in search of funds will sell their items, home appliances, and steal money too. This kind of behavior has a negative impact on the gambler’s home.
Speaking of finance, most of the issues you’ll start to witness includes:
- Using unhealthy medium to get money from others. For instance, using falsehoods or charm.
- They often ask to borrow money to cover some strange expenses.
- They make excuses – lots of reasons as to why they are unable to pay back the loan.
- Inability to pay bills.
So many dysfunctions
They can’t live a day without trouble. They are faced with it at work; they have difficulty maintaining their relationships and withdraw from social gatherings a lot.
If you’ve seen any of these signs, its time to do something drastic about it, seek professional help and get ready to be faced with a denial because that’s what they will show you—lots of it. Talk to trusted friends, discuss it with other family members, and notify them of their strange behavior. Rather than leaving them out to dry, encourage them, and give them the support they need at this point.