Compulsive Gambling Symptoms, Causes and Effects

Gambling can be a fun and exciting, low-risk recreational activity for some people. Remove any means for ending your life e. Physical consequences of gaming addiction include carpal tunnel, migraines, sleep disturbances, backaches, eating irregularities, and poor personal hygiene. Substance Abuse and Gambling A dual diagnosis means that someone who is suffering from an addiction to substances or gambling is diagnosed with the addiction along with a mental health disorder. The social awkwardness created by the isolationism of gaming addiction, unfortunately, feeds the addiction.

The Cost of Problem Gambling in Your Community

Who Is at Risk for Getting Addicted?

Other people promise to quit, but can't. They fear their loved ones will find them out. This drives them deeper into hiding and further into debt. They keep hoping a big win will end their problems.

Once in a while they may win, which keeps their hope alive until the losses mount up again. If they quit now, they will feel like a loser.

They will have to face all the problems gambling has caused. If you are like most people who gamble excessively, you may have tried to cut down or stop many times. It is hard to change your gambling on your own.

Counselling can help you find long-term solutions to your problems. Many people who gamble excessively feel stressed, anxious and depressed. This can make sleeping, thinking and solving problems more difficult. If you have some of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, making your day-to-day life difficult, you may have chronic depression:. If you have any of these difficulties, speak to your family doctor or other health care professional a gambling counsellor can also make sure you get the help you need.

Tell him or her about your gambling problems too. Rates of suicide are higher for people who gamble excessively, and for their family members. The people most likely to attempt suicide are those who also have mental health problems like depression or who heavily use alcohol or other drugs.

People who have threatened suicide or hurt themselves in the past are also more at risk. If you feel suicidal or are making plans to end your life, get help right away. You don't have to deal with your problems alone. For more advice, see the box on this page. Are you wondering whether you, or someone you know, has a problem with gambling? Fill out this quiz and find out! Do you think your gambling may have become a problem? There is help available. About Gambling What are Odds?

Gambling Quiz Answering these nine questions will help you understand if gambling is having a negative impact on your life. Mobile App also available. Community Forum Share with other people affected by problem gambling on this discussion board. Self-Help for Those who Gamble Do you gamble?

These interactive tools will help you explore, cut down or stop gambling. Self-Help for Family and Friends Does someone you care about gamble too much? With these interactive excercises, learn why they gamble and what you can do to help. Information on this site is not to be used for diagnosis, treatment or referral services and CAMH does not provide diagnostic, treatment or referral services through the Internet.

You will be logged out due to inactivity soon. Purchasing a lottery ticket, entering a raffle or making a bet with a friend are also forms of gambling. Gambling addiction can occur when a person feels that they are in financial ruin and can only solve their problems by gambling what little they have in an attempt to get a large sum of money.

Unfortunately, this almost always leads to a cycle in which the gambler feels they must win back their losses, and the cycle goes on until the person is forced to seek rehabilitation to break their habit. Another type of gambling addiction results when a gambler plays the games and makes risky bets to experience the emotional high associated with taking huge risks that occasionally pay off.

In both cases, the person affected by this addiction must have the desire to stop the behavior, not just to please family and friends. Many factors can contribute to a gambling addiction, including desperation for money, the desire to experience thrills and highs, the social status associated with being a successful gambler, and the entertaining atmosphere of the mainstream gambling scene. Unfortunately, once a gambling addiction takes hold, breaking the cycle is difficult.

Severe addictions can take hold when someone feels desperate financially and wants to make back what they have lost. Once the person finally wins, while they may end up collecting a massive amount of money from that win, it is rarely enough to cover what has already been lost. Most gamblers never even come close to breaking even. The signs of a gambling problem are often the same as the signs of other addictions. Common signs of addiction include, but are not limited to, the following:.

Of course, as with any other addiction, the hallmark sign of a gambling problem is that you feel you cannot stop. If you feel like you need to try just one more time, or if you feel anxious when you think about quitting, it is highly likely you are suffering from a gambling addiction.

If you think you or your loved one may be suffering from a gambling addiction, call to talk about the signs of a gambling addiction and your individual situation. Excessive gambling often causes a multitude of emotional symptoms, including anxiety , depression, and even suicidal thoughts and tendencies. In extreme situations, these thoughts may lead a gambler to actually making an attempt to end their life.

Losing everything to gambling is devastating and leaves many people feeling completely hopeless. Because gambling can cause depression, anxiety and self-harming tendencies, several physical signs are to be watched out for. Depression and anxiety sometimes lead to sleep deprivation, which may result in pale skin, weight gain or weight loss, acne and dark circles under the eyes.

Gambling is associated with many additional effects, in both the short- and long-term. Gambling addiction frequently results in other addictions that serve as coping mechanisms for people who are stressed out by the activity.

Many gamblers turn to drugs, alcohol and other activities to alleviate the anxiety brought on by the gambling lifestyle. Even if a gambler never experiences financial ruin as a result of the lifestyle, they may struggle with drug and alcohol addiction for the rest of life after self-medicating to deal with the stress.

Also, relationships are often permanently damaged as a result of gambling. If you think you may have a gambling problem, ask yourself whether you would be okay if you stopped gambling right now. However, if you are not sure, call our hotline any time at to speak with someone who can help you assess whether or not you have a problem and need help to recover.

While gambling cannot be directly treated with medication, it is possible to alleviate the anxiety and depression that results from gambling and often lead to it in the first place. If you have any questions about medication options and treatment for your gambling addiction , call us at.

The most common way to treat a gambling problem with medication is to prescribe anti-anxiety and antidepressant medicines. Feeling depressed and anxious often exacerbates gambling addiction, so treating these disorders may make it easier to break the cycle and get back to a normal life. As with just about any medication, certain side effects are associated with antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication.

Some of these medications may make you feel worse before you feel better. For detailed information on the side effects of various depression and anxiety medications, consult your psychiatrist, or call our hotline at for advice. Remember, you should never try to self-medicate for anxiety or depression. These disorders are serious, and self-medication can be extremely dangerous. While anxiety and depression medications are often highly successful helpers on the path to recovery, it is possible to become addicted to these medications as well.

For this reason, it is often a good idea to enroll in an inpatient treatment center while you recover from your addiction, so a trained team of professionals can monitor you for dependence and withdrawal symptoms related to your medications. One of the major problems associated with medications is that many of them do provide a high if you take more than the prescribed amount.

Many gamblers are looking for that high, so prescription drug abuse is rampant among gamblers who are in the process of recovery and feel the need to get that high from something else.

Overdose is one of many risks associated with substance abuse, and it is one of the reasons inpatient treatment centers are always recommended for anyone recovering from an addiction to gambling.

Why Do People Start Gambling?