What are the Risks of a Gambling Addiction?


Addiction comes in many forms. All of them will eventually affect human physiology in one way or the other, but not all start as physical addictions.

Some begin as behavioral. Like gambling. Gambling as a problematic issue is on the rise, and is causing public health concerns in many countries. A progressive addiction, gambling can have multiple negative consequences affect your psychological, physical, and even social health. Those dealing with gambling addictions often find themselves suffering from depression, migraines, intestinal disorders, and other anxiety issues. In extreme cases, obsessive gamblers have been known to turn to suicide as an escape route. It is important to remember that gambling in itself is not a financial problem, but rather, an emotional problem with financial consequences. Gambling becomes a problem when your desire to engage in the behavior starts interfering with finances, relationships, and your workplace obligations.

How is Problem Gambling Triggered?

Most of the people who can be categorized as “problem gamblers” are considered to be responsible dependable members of society. Precipitating factors often lead to changes in behavior, such as retirement, traumatic circumstances, or job-related stress. Family patterns and routines could also have a hand in a person’s gambling habits. For example, many gamblers have reported their parents had drinking and/or gambling problems of their own. Parental attitudes, morals, and social behavior are important factors in determining the potential effects of gambling in children and adolescents as is age of initial exposure. Studies have shown that humans in general are predisposed to addictive behaviors. Further, studies have also shown that once one addiction is in place, it becomes easier to fall into the addiction trap with other areas of your life as well.

Why is Gambling Addictive?

Although no chemical substances are actually ingested when gambling, the effect from gambling can be comparable to taking a tranquilizer, a drug, or having a drink. The sensations experienced are similar, as the act of gambling can alter a person's mood and state of mind—especially when they win. The gambler gets hooked and repeats the behavior in an effort to achieve the same effect.

Signs and Symptoms of Problem Gambling

  • craving or rising obsession for gaming/gambling
  • feelings of remorse after partaking in gambling
  • gambler feels it’s necessary to increase the frequency of their bets
  • growing financial debt by using income and savings or borrowing money for gambling
  • despite perpetual losses they continue to gamble, believing losses will be recuperated
  • multiple attempts to stop gambling have been unsuccessful
  • gambling behavior continues despite negative consequences because attempting to stop causes irritability or restlessness
  • loss of control in your life
  • loss of sleep
  • depression/mood swings
  • stress related medical issues (migraines, intestinal disorders, anxiety)

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