Signs Of Gambling Addiction

If you have been spending more time in gambling districts and you are constantly preoccupied with gambling, you may be a gambling addict.

DSM IV listed the following signs of gambling addiction:

Preoccupation: It is marked by any or all of the following symptoms-

  • you constantly think about gambling
  • you divert funds for other activities just to satisfy your desire to gamble
  • you frequently recall your past experiences in gambling
  • your daily activities centers on acquiring money to gamble
  • your life centers on gambling

Tolerance: You are tolerant to gambling if you already need more money each day just to satisfy your desire to gamble. You don’t stop to a certain level of gambling. On the contrary, you desire to gamble more and more just to achieve the sensation you desire when you gamble.

Escape: If you gamble because you want to escape from your problems, you may be a gambling addict. People addicted to gambling attempt to run away from the world through their gambling activities. In most cases, they gamble because they want to fight against their negative emotions like-

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • guilt
  • helplessness
  • sadness

Chasing: You may want to chase after your losses. When you lose money, you want to go back to recover your losses. You feel uneasy until you regain your money. As you try to recoup losses, you gamble more and more, until it becomes a vicious cycle of losing and trying to recoup.

Withdrawal: Although you may not exhibit physical symptoms of withdrawal lie drug addicts and alcoholics, you can experience emotional withdrawal. Examples of these include uneasiness, irritability and agitation every time you try to quit gambling.

Loss of control: You tried to stop gambling but you cannot. In spite of your determination to stop it, you simply can’t quit that easy. At this point, it will be helpful to seek gambling addiction help.

Lying: You may lie to your loved ones about how you gamble, how much you spend and how much time you devote to the gambling activities.

Bail Out: You rely on other people to support your gambling behavior.

Engaging in illegal acts: Your addiction may lead to compulsions that can get you behind bars. Many gambling addicts steal, embezzle and do petty or serious crimes just to fund their gambling addiction.

Putting personal relationships at risk: Gambling addiction affects the gambler’s relationships with his loved ones, friends. It also destroys a person’s career and /or education.


Call your addiction counselor to learn more about gambling addiction and to discover the right treatment program for you.