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How to Identify Gambling Addiction

Scientific breakthroughs have slowly changed the perception of addiction in recent years. Whereas before addictions were merely considered social ills, modern studies have helped society understand that these are medical conditions. Management of addictions now adhere to medical precepts.

Gambling addiction, is one such medical disorder. It was previously identified as an impulse-control illness, but has since been updated as a Non-Substance-Related Disorder, which classifies it as addictive conduct. Typically, compulsive gamblers gamble regardless of their personal conditions, i.e., whether they are broke or not, depressed or happy. Unfortunately, gambling addiction is estimated to affect around two to four percent of our total population.

As a medical condition, it manifests certain symptoms and at least five of below would indicate a gambling addiction.

Withdrawal ñ An addict exhibits irritability, restlessness or general moodiness when he tries to limit or altogether stop gambling.

Losing Control ñ A person is constantly trying to find ways to limit or stop gambling, albeit unsuccessfully.

Preoccupation ñ A person's thoughts, conversations and activities would primarily be about gambling experiences.

Retreat ñ A person feels that gambling is the only way to divert himself from the negative moods and conditions in his life, such as problems, guilt, stress and the like.

Tolerance ñ A person builds tolerance over time and thus needs to spend more time and money to feel the same high.

Lying ñ A person resorts to lies to hide the magnitude of his addiction.

Jeopardized relationships ñ A person may have lost an important personal or professional relationship due to gambling.

Illegal Acts ñ A person engages in illegal activity to support his gambling.

Chasing ñ A person addresses a bad run by gambling some more.

Bail out ñ An addict expects family and friends to bail him out and finance his addiction.