Gambling Addiction – Signs, Treatment, and Health Consequences of Excessive Gambling


If you’re having a hard time deciding whether to stop gambling, you may be suffering from an addiction to it. This article will explore the signs of an addiction and treatment options, as well as the health consequences of excessive gambling. The first step toward recovery is strengthening your support system. Try reaching out to family and friends, enrolling in classes to improve your skills, volunteering for a good cause, and joining a peer support group. For help, consider joining Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step recovery program modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous. It requires the assistance of a sponsor, a former gambler who can provide guidance and support.

Problem gambling

There is considerable variation in the prevalence of adolescent problem gambling in European countries. While there are some similar findings, the etiology of problem gambling varies considerably. In general, research focuses on psychosocial correlates such as maleness, peer deviance, parental gambling and academic failure. Genetic influences are also implicated in the development of problem gambling in young people. Although the research is still preliminary, several factors are common to problem gamblers.

Research suggests that problem gambling can be categorized according to its severity. A gambler with a gambling disorder is considered to be suffering from anxiety or depression, which contribute to their impulsive behavior. This problem is more likely to occur in young people, who are prone to developing peer groups. In addition, adolescents with problem gambling tend to be less involved in school and are more likely to engage in higher risk activities. Hence, it is difficult to determine whether depression or anxiety are the primary cause of problem gambling.

Signs of a problem

If you have an excessive gambling habit, you might be in danger of developing an addiction. Gambling addiction is a hidden illness, which is why it’s hard to recognize its symptoms. Unlike other substance use disorders, gambling does not have any outward physical indicators. Instead, symptoms of an addiction can include irritability, depression, and changes in mood. If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, it may be time to get help.

Mood swings, excessive gambling, and a “double life” – a second life that allows a gambler to hide the problem from family and friends. These symptoms are often misinterpreted as normal upsets, but are common warning signs of a gambling addiction. Gamblers may also experience acne and dark circles under their eyes. These are just a few of the symptoms of gambling addiction. A gambling addiction can also cause a person to have an irregular sleep schedule.

Treatment options

Treatment options for gambling problems vary, depending on the severity of the problem. While a person might resist the idea of receiving therapy, these types of sessions can be beneficial in restoring control and healing relationships and finances damaged by gambling. Behavioral approaches may be beneficial, and these therapies focus on learning coping strategies and developing healthy beliefs about gambling. A person might also benefit from a family therapy program. Treatment options for gambling can help individuals find a balance between these two types of therapy.

Professional help for gambling addiction can include inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs. Individuals may benefit from CBT, which involves challenging harmful gambling thoughts and behaviors. Alternatively, a person may find solace in a 12-step support group, similar to AA or NA. There are also many other options for help. Inpatient rehab programs can also help individuals overcome the emotional and psychological triggers that can lead to gambling problems. Regardless of the treatment option that is right for a person, a family-oriented approach is important to their recovery.

Health consequences

The health consequences of gambling are difficult to measure because of the lack of causal relationships. Often, problems with gambling stem from disorders or life circumstances, so the cost of gambling to society is not always immediately apparent. Therefore, most studies discount costs by applying an adjustment factor to account for causality. A recent study by the Australian Productivity Commission adopted this adjustment factor and assumed that 80% of people with gambling problems would still face consequences without engaging in such behavior.

The extent and persistence of gambling harms are outlined in the Global Burden of Disease. This methodology allows the calculation of health utility for people worldwide. The burden of health derived from gambling harms is comparable to the costs of alcohol and major depressive disorders. The greatest proportion of lost health is amongst those who are low-risk gamblers. The impact on family members and friends is also not captured in these studies. Hence, a mandatory levy for the treatment and prevention of gambling harms may be a practical option.