A gambling compulsion can begin the first time someone places a bet, or it could gradually progress into an addiction over time. According to the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, how long it takes someone to develop a problem varies by the individual, though compulsions tend develop more quickly in people who engage in continuous forms of gambling, such as online betting or using slot machines.
Some gamblers find themselves showing symptoms of a compulsion in less than a year when doing this type of gambling. Many factors could contribute to the problem, such as hereditary or environmental factors. Diagnosing a gambling problem involves looking for signs someone is out of control. Possible signs of a gambling problem include:.
Understanding a Gambling Compulsion
Although compulsive gamblers often share the trait of low self-esteem, two main types of compulsive gamblers are common: escape gamblers and actions gamblers. Recognizing a compulsive gambler is easier if you know the characteristics of each type.
An action gambler is someone who likes to play games involving skill and beating the odds. Poker is an example of an action game. These types of gamblers are often extroverted, self-confident and even arrogant. An escape gambler views gambling as a form of escapism, seeing it as a distraction from real life. These gamblers can appear withdrawn, unhappy or introverted. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs indicate compulsive gamblers approach gambling as a means to escape problems or feelings, such as depression , guilt or helplessness. Some other ways to recognize a compulsive gambler include looking for signs of:.
If you suspect someone you know has a gambling problem, ways to help are available; however, the most important thing you can do is to encourage them to get help from a professional. We can assist you in finding help for a loved if you call. Although it can be challenging to confront someone about a gambling problem, the best thing you can do is to start by asking someone if the problem exists, according to the Victoria State Government. When talking to someone with a gambling problem, remember that if you want someone to be honest with you, be honest yourself.
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Letting someone know you suspect a problem and are worried, in a supportive and concerned manner, is more likely to work than being deceptive, judgmental or aggressive. Some people with gambling problems will be relieved and grateful the subject was broached, as they want to talk about it. If a person lies about having a problem, you can still say you care about your loved one and give them information on where to get help. If a discussion about gambling becomes circular or confrontational, take a break and pick up the subject later.
Gambling addiction: Symptoms, triggers, and treatment
Always keep the lines of communication open. Adolescents and teens are at risk for developing a gambling problem. Compulsive gambling generally starts when someone is in their late teens. Occasionally, people even become addicted the first time they gamble. Teens can gamble casually, but times of stress or depression might trigger overwhelming gambling urges.
This way, you will be letting someone down if you relapse into your gambling ways. However, eventually, you will realise that it is not a solution, and that the inevitable losses begin a cycle of problems, and the issues from which you were initially trying to run are intensified. During this time, it is advisable to seek debt management — as unmanageable debt simply drives the addictive cycle of loss chasing.
Loss chasing, when you keep gambling to win back money you've already lost, is one of the hardest habits to break.
Twelve Ways to Stop Gambling Addiction Forever
This tends to feel the worst for the first week or so after quitting gambling, so it is imperative to stay busy during this time — preferably in the company of others to distract yourself. When you are addicted to gambling you are in a no win situation. This month can also be made a lot easier if professional help is sought. As a result, you should focus on how everyone who has successfully given up online gambling and is now leading a rewarding and wholesome life once felt as you do now.
Simply keep telling yourself that you are not the first person to be going through this process, and that it is entirely possible for you - like others have before - to free yourself of addictive online gambling.
F or more information, visit GamCare , the UK's national help line for people with gambling problems. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Visit our adblocking instructions page. Telegraph Lifestyle Men The Filter. Admit you have a problem. Confide in a trusted individual.
Block your access to gambling. Relinquish control of your finances.