For many, gambling is a harmless form of entertainment. However, for some, it can spiral into an all-consuming addiction, wreaking havoc on their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Gambling addiction is widely considered a compulsive disorder – and it can be difficult to overcome.
You’ll need to understand the signs of gambling addiction in order to understand when a hobby or pastime has turned into a problem.
But what exactly are the key warning signs of gambling addiction? And are there any risk factors to look out for? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post.
Read on to learn more about the signs of gambling addiction, as well as how gambling addiction can impact your life. We’ll also be exploring how our team at Rehubs can help you control your gambling habits and get your life back on track.
Recognising The Signs of Gambling Addiction
Problematic gambling behaviour is not always as obvious as you’d think. Many people successfully hide the gambling signs from loved ones until the urge to gamble has already drained their bank accounts.
Compulsive gambling often begins subtly – you may begin gambling more and more whilst being unaware of the potential harm. Unlike drug addiction or alcohol addiction, there aren’t many physical symptoms of problem gambling to consider; instead, gambling addiction signs are typically behavioural and psychological.
Recognising the signs early on can make a significant difference when it comes to seeking support and overcoming your gambling problem. Here are some of the key signs to be aware of:
Spending More Time on Gambling Sites
If you find yourself becoming preoccupied with gambling, and spending more and more time in casinos, betting shops or on gambling websites, it may be time to consider seeking support to overcome this compulsion. Spending more and more time gambling is one of the most common signs of a gambling disorder.
Although it may begin as an occasional bet or game, it can quickly escalate into excessive gambling. You may begin to find it hard to set limits on your gambling – and your online gambling habit may begin to intensify, along with risks associated with gambling harm.
Continuing to Gamble Despite The Negative Consequences
One of the key compulsive gambling symptoms is that you continue to gamble despite the negative impact it is having on your life. For example, if you still gamble despite it causing relationship problems and financial problems.
Gambling can also take its toll on your mental health. Gambling problems can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. The cycle of anticipation, losing money, and the search for recovery can create a rollercoaster of emotions that can have a huge impact on your well-being.
Financial Problems Due to Gambling
Excessive gambling goes hand in hand with financial issues. You may find yourself spending money on gambling that you can’t afford to lose. You may also end up borrowing money to fund your gambling habits and getting into debt. This can then cause you to borrow money again, and gamble more to make up for the lost money.
If you find yourself experiencing financial issues or neglecting your bills and other financial responsibilities in order to fund your gambling problem, it’s time to seek support. At Rehubs, we are here to help you quit gambling for good and turn over a new leaf.
Gambling Addiction Risk Factors
Gambling addiction doesn’t typically come from nowhere – it often stems from a complex combination of risk factors that can increase your susceptibility to compulsive gambling.
One of the key reasons that you may develop a gambling addiction is financial difficulties. If you are struggling with your finances, you may be more likely to turn to gambling as a solution.
There are also psychological risk factors to consider – mental health issues can contribute to the allure of gambling. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, for example, you may turn to gambling as an escape. However, this can create a cycle that can worsen your mental health.
Early exposure to gambling, such as through family members or societal norms, can increase the likelihood of developing an addiction later in life. This ties into the Social Learning Theory – the idea that our behaviours are learned at an early age.
Having a lack of societal support and not having effective coping mechanisms in place can also make you more vulnerable to gambling addiction. Understanding and recognising these risk factors is essential when it comes to developing preventive strategies.
The Effects of Gambling Addiction
As gambling disorders escalate, they can begin to impact all aspects of your life. What was once a fun activity can quickly develop into a time-consuming obsession.
As your addiction progresses, your priorities may shift – you may begin to neglect your daily responsibilities and focus on the next big win instead. This can impact your employment, relationships, and of course, your personal well-being.
Your loved ones may also notice a change in your behaviour and mood as you become withdrawn from social activities. Many recovering gambling addicts recall that whilst they were in active gambling addiction, they were a shadow of their former selves.
Seeking help can feel like an impossible task – but gambling treatment can provide you with the support you need to beat your addiction. It’s important to recognise that gambling is not just a lack of willpower – it’s a genuine condition and often requires professional treatment to recover.
How to Get Help for Gambling Addiction
If you wish to stop gambling for good, there is support out there for you. Recovery from gambling addiction involves more than just abstaining from gambling. Long-term recovery requires a holistic approach that addresses the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of addiction.
Although you may not necessarily experience withdrawal symptoms when you quit gambling, some people report feelings of anxiety, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, and gambling cravings.
There are several types of therapy that can help you regain control. Psychoanalytic therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) can be effective treatments. Liaising with a therapist can help you understand the root causes of your gambling addiction as well as your potential triggers.
At Rehubs, we offer a combination of group therapy and one-to-one counselling to give you the best chance of long-term recovery.
Begin Your Recovery Journey With Rehubs
At Rehubs, we can provide you with the professional treatment you need to overcome your gambling problem. Our convenient online rehab platform has helped many problem gamblers get their lives back on track, and can help you too.
Likewise, if you are concerned about any family or friends, we can provide them with the support they need to stop gambling and turn over a new leaf.
It’s important to remember that choosing rehab is not a sign of weakness. Instead, it’s a sign of strength – a sign that you’re committed to a better future. It’s a decision to break free from the cycle of compulsive gambling, reclaim your life, and rebuild relationships that may have been strained by addiction.
Our online platform can connect you with the resources and support you need to navigate the challenging journey of addiction recovery. We take a person-centred approach when it comes to recovery, and we understand that everybody’s journey is different. This is why we tailor our program to meet your unique needs.
At Rehubs, we understand that addiction is not just about the substance or behaviour; it’s about addressing the underlying issues that contribute to the addictive cycle.
Whether it’s the need for coping mechanisms, support in managing stress, or strategies to rebuild one’s life, we work to provide a comprehensive and compassionate environment for recovery. Turn over a new leaf today with Rehubs – we are here for you.
Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab centre called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade.