Online gambling provides the ability to gamble at all hours from the comfort of your own home. It is incredibly difficult to let go of an addiction that practically knocks on your front door. The good news is that with effective gambling addiction treatment an individual can find him or herself on the way toward a long-lasting recovery.
Knowing the Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
The symptoms of gambling addiction vary in type and severity depending largely on the economic status of the person with the gambling problem. However, the following symptoms of a gambling addiction tend to be the same for all gambling addicts:
- Financial stress. This is perhaps the most obvious symptom that someone has a problem gambling. As the addiction progresses, more money will be spent which means that less money will be available for household and life essentials.
- Family stress. As the addiction progresses and financial stress becomes more apparent, the addicted gambler may also experience mood changes that are expressed toward family members.
- Withdrawing from social events. Many addictions bring a level of depression with them. As the gambling addiction continues, the addict may find that he or she prefers spending time at home in front of the computer.
- Withdrawing from family and friends. Gambling addicts may withdraw from those that care for them the most by spending more time in front of their computers obsessing over their games.
- Problems at work. Problems at work can arise, as the person with the online gambling addiction starts to be unreliable and may even utilize company computers for Internet gambling purposes.
- Lying about money. Telling untruths about where money spent on gambling went or where winnings came from can further isolate online gambling addicts.
- Resorting to petty theft. When money starts to become thin and the gambler is on a “losing streak,” he or she may resort to petty theft to come up with more money to support online gambling. This could lead to time spent in jail and a criminal record.
The costs of an online gambling addiction go much further than financial losses. While financial troubles can be devastating to everyone involved, the real losses come from the loss of stability and security for the family. The loss of a job and career can jeopardize the gambler’s ability to support himself or her self or family. The destruction of relationships with friends and family members can also prove to be a costly loss and can be difficult to mend.