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Gambling Addiction

How gambling can become addictive

Gambling addiction is a type of impulse-control disorder where an individual starts gambling compulsively. The main difference between a compulsive gambler and a normal individual is simple – where a normal person will gamble and stop whenever he wants, a person suffering from a gambling addiction cannot control the impulse to gamble even though they know that gambling is hurting them as well as their family. When a person becomes addicted to gambling, it is all they want to do no matter the consequences. Once a person starts compulsively gambling he will do it no matter he is up or down, flush or broke, depressed or happy.

Gambling turns addictive when a person cannot ‘stay off the bet’ even though he knows that odds are against him and he cannot afford to lose. Compulsive gambling is an addiction which is as destructive and dangerous as drug habits or alcoholism; however gamblers can have a problem without being totally out of control – this is known as problem gambling. This condition occurs when an individual becomes extremely preoccupied with gambling and starts spending time and money on his habit which he cannot afford.

Warning Signs of Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is more often than not referred to as a ‘secret illness’ because a person suffering from this habit does not show glaringly obvious physical symptoms and signs as a drug or alcohol addict shows. Most of the time a compulsive or addicted gambler hides or minimizes his problem and try to keep their dual life a secret from their loved ones and family. But you can look for the following warning signs in order to determine whether you or a loved one is suffering from a gambling addiction:

  • When you start hiding or lying about your gambling
  • When you cannot control your impulse to gamble and start having trouble from walking away from a bet
  • You gamble even though you clearly do not have the money to do so
  • You push your friends and family away and they start to show you obvious concern over your habit

Treatment for gambling addiction

Gambling addiction can be overcome with the right treatment program. Group support therapy as well cognitive behavior therapy goes a long way in helping a person recover from his habit.

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