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Gambling addiction shows itself as a repetitive behavior. Early on there are no outward gambling addiction signs, there is nothing physical, nothing you can see or touch. Over time it does manifest itself the deeper a person gets into the addictive behavior. People with this addiction have difficulty resisting or controlling the impulse to gamble, most times in any form.
Although it can be similar in nature to OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder, a gambling addiction is a very different condition. People who have developed a gambling addiction have very different tell tale signs of addiction. More often than not, people with this addictive behavior do not seek treatment. They become embarrassed and ashamed of their behavior and make every attempt to pretend it is not a problem. At times the addict has been known to even do such things as miss family or important events, ask for salary advances and even develop interrupted patterns of eating and sleeping.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine gambling addiction will usually begin to show warning signs in early adolescence for men, and between ages 20 and 40 for women. Untreated this addiction can also lead into other destructive addictions such as drug and alcohol abuse.
Signs of addictive behavior:
- The person is consistently lying to hide the extent of which they are gambling
- The person has repeatedly tried, although unsuccessfully, to cut down or stop gambling completely.
- The person has jeopardized or already destroyed a significant relationship, job, or career opportunity due to gambling.
- The person is almost always preoccupied with gambling such as always thinking about the next way to go about it.
- The person is relying on other people to provide them money to relieve desperate financial situations that have been caused by gambling.
In addition to the signs listed above there are some other behaviors, which can cause concern and should be noted as warning signs. If a person begins to commit crimes to either finance their next gambling adventure or resolve a tough financial situation seek help immediately. It may mean that the addiction is possibly getting worse and they need help in getting things back into control.
It is very important for them to get treatment, while it is very similar to a drug or alcohol dependency there are several options of treatment programs and getting the gambling addict to take the first step towards recovery is key. People who seek treatment for this addiction typically do well once they have begun their treatment program while as with any other addiction they will always need and rely on a support program for aftercare.