How to Identify Problem Gambling in a Love One

The National Council on Problem Gambling has estimated that around 2 million adults in America can be viewed as pathological gamblers according to the criteria. In addition to this 4 to 6 other million adults in America are considered to be problem gamblers. A problem gambler is an individual who does not fall under all of the diagnostic criteria, but they do fall under one or more of them as well as experience certain problems due to their gambling. Having a gambling addiction is not only a devastating situation for the individual who is dealing with the addiction; it is also just as devastating for that individual's friends and loved ones. Some individuals who have a gambling addiction have lost their homes, vehicles, their marriages have ended along with their relationship with their children, and in some cases individuals have lost their lives. Gambling addictions should be taken as seriously as if the individual had an addiction to drugs. If you suspect that your loved one has a gambling problem you should get informed about how to identify the addiction. Characteristics that one should look for in their loved ones if they think they have a problem with gambling can be found by doing research online at websites such as GamblingRecovery.org. Concerned family members and friends may also turn to treatment centers and hotlines for help if their suspicions turn out to be true.

One of the first signs that your loved one may be addicted to gambling is if it becomes a preoccupation for them. You can tell if gambling is preoccupying the thoughts of an individual if they think about the act on a consistent basis and relive gambling experiences that happen in the past regularly. They may also try to find different ways that they can obtain money to go gambling with and always want to talk about planning trips to go gambling.

If your loved one has to constantly increase the amount of money they use to gamble with just to get excited and have fun this is also a sign that they may be addicted to gambling. It is the same scenario as a drug addict needing more and more drugs to get the high that they are looking for. It is helpful to determine if your loved one has tried to control their gambling habits or have tried to decrease the amount of time they spend participating in this activity or stop the act, but have not had any success with their attempts. If your loved one is trying to control their gambling habits observe if there have been any changes in their mood as a result; they may show signs of restlessness or irritability as a result of attempting to decrease or stop their gambling. Another sign that your loved one has an addiction to gambling is if they use it as a way of avoiding certain problems; they may gamble in order to escape from a bad or sad mood that they may be having. Concerned individuals should observe their loved ones gambling patterns. Some gambling addicts do what is called 'chasing their losses' which means after gambling and losing all of their money they go back soon usually that same day in order to 'get even' and try to win big.

If your loved one is secretive and tries to hide just how much they gamble then this too is a sign that they may be addicted. Here is one site you can check out for getting help Gambling addicts will usually lie to their family members and friends about how much they gamble and how much money they have lost in the process.

If you see these signs in a loved one it is important that you get them help as soon as possible before the addiction gets any worse and ruins their life.