Who doesn’t love to stake a small wager from time to time? Well, if the betting companies’ advertisements are anything to go by then no one. According to these advertisements gambling is a healthy part of society and a fun pastime.
And in moderation it is. There is nothing wrong with perhaps wagering a few bucks on your favorite sports team or even playing poker with friends.
Most of the time gambling can be quite fun and is accepted in most social circles. However, like anything that comes with a rewarding behavior attached there is a Risk of addiction.
If gambling transcends from an occasional wager to a continued stream of money being gambled every day, then this would point towards the individual having a gambling addiction which while being very different from alcohol or drug addiction still comes with its own issues.
When someone develops a gambling addiction it can impact friendships, relationships and the more obvious one your finances.
How to spot someone who may have a gambling addiction
As with any addiction people will try to hide it from those closest to them. Gambling addiction on the other hand can be a little easier to spot due to the ramifications that come with it.
To gamble someone needs money and if they are suffering from a gambling addiction then there is high chance that they will be burning through money very quickly and this can be seen in their day to day living. If their routines like going for dinner once a week etc. suddenly change this can be a financial decision brought on as a result of the gambling.
Additional things to look out for are:
This applies to almost every addiction but with gambling it can be due to the financial implications. Those who suffer from a gambling addiction would spend their last cent to fund their habit which would mean they would be unable to attend social gatherings with a financial burden attached.
If someone is continually avoiding meals/drinks etc. then this could be a cause for concern.
Increased frequency and stakes.
Anyone who has ever gambled even once will typically bet maybe a few bucks nothing more. But with an addict the first thing that happens is the frequency of betting will increase from maybe just betting at the sports on the weekend to gambling on everything and anything they can during the week.
In addition to that the amount of money they stake, or wager will typically increase too. This is for two reasons. One they want to win bigger to chase that feeling of accomplishment that they feel on the odd occasion when they do win and two to try and recoup losses they have already made on other failed bets.
At this stage the individual will be well and truly suffering from addiction if they have reached the stage where they need to sell their belongings to fund the habit. This will mean that they have exhausted most financial avenues available to them and are now looking for new ways to fund their addiction.
To spot this is fairly easy if things start to disappear from their home or they are all of a sudden missing a watch or necklace etc.
Sadly, for those suffering from a gambling addiction selling their belongings isn’t the worst in the list of things to look out for.
If they have spent all their available funds and moved on their belongings, then the last resort is to steal.
This may seem miles away for someone who places the odd bet at the weekend but for someone in the throws of addiction this will make logical sense to them.
Due to the nature of the addiction and the need to win back what is lost this won’t seem out of the question to them sadly.
Gambling addiction while not routed in a substance such as drugs or alcohol can still be devastating to the person experiencing it.
Someone suffering from a gambling addiction can quickly find themselves in a terrible condition financially where they may even face the possibility of losing their job and even their home.
Add in the social implications where they may have shut themselves off from friends and family and feel completely alienated.
The only way to treat gambling addiction is to seek out professional help. As a gambling addiction is more of a mental than a physical addiction they individual will have to be taught to think of gambling differently in order to beat it.