Gambling can become a problem. Here are the Signs and Symptoms of Problem Gambling. Getting help is crucial if you are concerned about your gambling habit. Gambling can become a major distraction and an escape from boredom, worry, and trouble. Thoughts about gambling can disrupt sleep, and it can even lead to self-destructive behaviors. Even loved ones may hide their food money or leave you food at the casino.
The term “problem gambling” dates back centuries. Emil Kraepelin first described it as a “gambling mania” and in 1980 the American Psychiatric Association published the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Based on Robert Custer’s work, the criteria for defining problem gambling were revised in the 1980 edition of the DSM. Today, these criteria are based on a more evaluative approach and include surveys of 222 compulsive gamblers and 104 substance-abusing social gamblers. These studies used cluster analyses to identify nine symptom criteria.
The term problem gambling describes an individual’s compulsion to gamble despite the negative effects. Typically, the behavior starts out as harmless but rapidly escalates, causing a number of problems for the gambler, his family, and the lives of others around him or her. The negative effects of problem gambling can range from strained relationships and financial loss to social isolation, physical harm, and even alienation from loved ones and friends. Some people with problem gambling even lie about it to avoid consequences.
There are many signs that a person may be suffering from an addiction to gambling. Although gambling can be fun and necessary for happiness, it is a serious problem when the urge to gamble takes control of a person’s life. Signs of gambling addiction include increased mood swings and a double life. Gambling is typically hidden from family members and friends, and mood swings are often mistaken for normal emotions. Nonetheless, these symptoms of gambling addiction should be taken seriously and treated as quickly as possible.
Other signs of an addiction to gambling include lying, staying out late, and stealing. The onset of an addiction to gambling can be difficult to recognize, as the signs of a gambling problem can mimic those of drug addiction. A person who becomes depressed or anxious due to a gambling problem may engage in lying about where they are and how much they spend. The individual may even engage in lying and accusation to obtain money to gamble.
Problem gambling affects many people in different ways. It can lead to the loss of personal relationships, careers, hobbies, and even physical abuse. People who are suffering from gambling addictions can lose interest in their social life, suffer from insomnia, and even experience chest tightness and difficulty breathing. Additionally, problem gamblers may borrow money or have debts they cannot pay. All of these symptoms can make it difficult to cope with daily life and work.
The DSM-IV includes a symptom pattern, similar to that of substance-use disorders. Among the symptoms of gambling syndrome are preoccupation with the game, increased gambling frequency and amount of money wagered, and relapse after a period of abstinence. Other symptoms include a sense of restlessness or loneliness, deprivation from other pursuits, lying about gambling, or relying on others to help with the financial situation.
Gambling addiction can be a difficult condition to live with, but treatment options are available. Whether you want to overcome your problem or you simply want to live a normal life, treatment for gambling addiction can help you. Luckily, there are many organizations and therapies that specialize in this type of problem. Depending on the type of addiction you suffer from, therapy may include lifestyle changes or medication. BetterHelp is an online therapy program with over 20,000 licensed therapists. The service is affordable, convenient, and matched with the best therapist for you.
Compulsive gambling affects 2%-3% of the population. While it is more common in men, women are now suffering from the disorder at a significantly higher rate. While compulsive gambling is a more common problem for men, women make up approximately 25% of all pathological gamblers. Men typically develop their addictions during their teenage years, while women begin theirs later in life. Furthermore, women often experience more severe symptoms than men. They also tend to engage in more social forms of gaming, including poker, blackjack, and roulette.