Also widely known as compulsive gambling or problem gambling, gambling addiction is an impulse control disorder that affects thousands of individuals and those who care about them in many negative ways. Sometimes considered the “silent killer” because there are few recognizable signs and symptoms until the addiction has set in to a point in which major consequences occur, gambling addiction is one of the most deadly addictions there and leads to thousands of suicides or deaths related to the addiction each and every year.
Compulsive gamblers keep gambling despite the known consequences that result from their desire to play. No matter how much they lose, they always feel like “just one more time” will get them back on top of the game. Although they know that the odds are completely against them and that winning is very unlikely, they continue to place bets and to gamble away money or material items that they really can’t afford to lose. No matter how hard they try, problem gamblers cannot stop making bets.
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Gambling addiction can lead to many adverse consequences that are potentially dangerous and deadly for the addict. Disruptions in life, financial problems, relationship problems and a world of hurt can come from a compulsive desire to gamble. These losses and the serious consequences that are felt only escalate with each bet that is lost.
Gambling Addiction Facts
There are many myths and facts surrounding gambling addiction. Understanding the facts that surround this dangerous disease can help you to better understand the addiction, how to recognize it and what can be done to help.
- Fact 1: Gambling addiction is not always the result of daily gambling. If you know someone who gambles periodically or regularly but they do not gamble everyday, they could still be suffering from a gambling addiction. If gambling causes problems in life, it may be an addiction despite a desire to gamble daily, weekly or even monthly.
- Fact 2: Gambling addiction does not only affect those who cannot afford to gamble. Even those with large amounts of money are negatively affected by gambling addiction. This is not an addiction that only affects those who can’t afford to play. The negative effects of gambling addiction run much deeper than simple financial consequences, there are also many consequences associated with spending too much time gambling and not focusing on healthy relationships.
- Fact 3: Gambling addiction is not the result of a partner driving their loved one to gamble. Despite the negative remarks that may come from a problem gambler, placing blame on their loved ones as the primary cause of their gambling addiction, this addiction is not caused by someone else.
- Fact 4: If you help someone who has a gambling debt, you really are not helping them at all. This is called a “handout” or “the feeding hand” because by helping someone who has a gambling debt you are actually facilitating their ability to gamble again, you are bailing them out and showing them that they do not have to suffer the consequences of gambling. This does not help the situation and will only make matters worse.
Help for Gambling Addiction
If you or someone you know is addicted to gambling, there is help available. Many gambling rehab centers and support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous can provide treatment, support and care for those who are addicted to playing the game. Gambling is a serious addiction and can lead to a lifetime of consequences if left untreated. As time goes on, the addiction will only become worse and require more extensive treatment in order to help the patient recover. Get help by calling to speak with a specialist today about gambling addiction.