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5 Ways to Spot a Gambling Addiction

Not every person who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic, and not every person that gambles has a gambling addiction. Normally, there are signs when a person has a gambling problem, and it will impact those around him or her. If you see these signs in someone you love, or yourself, it's important that you receive the help you need for yourself or your loved one.

Obsessed with Gambling

Those who are addicted to gambling can't stop thinking about the last time they played. They might replay every moment of it in their heads to try and analyze what they did right or wrong in anticipation of the next time they gamble. This obsession means that even if they try to stop, they can't. The urge to play is too strong for them to resist. The next time they play, they'll switch up their strategy and spend hours trying to win. It's all very serious for them, and all entertainment value is lost with a gambler who has an addiction.

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Lying about Gambling

Someone with an addiction will lie about that addiction. They understand deep down that it's become an issue, but they don't want to admit it to anyone. Friends, family and spouses might not notice a problem until it's something the gambler can't hide any longer. In other cases, the gambler will be confronted about the gambling, so he or she will lie in the future to avoid arguments. Even without being confronted, the person knows there's a serious problem with the amount of money that they use for gambling, or how obsessed they are with it. This is the root of most of the lies.

Borrowing or Stealing to Gamble

Gamblers with an addiction will often lose money frequently. To continue playing, they'll need more money. This means borrowing from friends or family without telling them the real reason for the loan. It can quickly become out of control. They'll rack up serious credit card debt or take out a second mortgage on their home to continue playing or pay off old debts. If they can't borrow from anyone, they may resort to stealing to fund their gambling.

Chasing Their Losses

When a gambling addict begins to chase their losses, that's when the money they owe can become out of control. They say they'll stop after they win back all their money. They'll play longer and more often trying to win back any money they lost, which is how they end up thousands of dollars in debt with friends and family members. The gambler will claim that the loss was a fluke, or the next hand will be luckier. They really believe that their luck will change if they just play a little longer.

Increasing the Adrenaline

As they become more obsessed with gambling, they'll take bigger chances with their money. They have to increase the rush they get from the process. Instead of spending $20 on a roulette spin, they'll start placing $100 on each spin. They'll place bigger bets on card games, or spend more on scratch tickets. The games and amounts will vary for each individual, but it'll start to escalate as they become addicted.

A person with a gambling addiction can have any of these 5 signs or all of them when they need to receive help. It can be difficult to confront a person with a gambling addiction, but if gambling is in control of their life, they need to seek the advice of a mental health professional.