Recognizing the Consequences of Gambling Addiction

Around the world, it’s a favorite family past time. We gamble in the casinos and stock markets, and on lotteries, sports, races, games, and the latest, greatest, phenomenon, the internet.  Most people are social or recreational gamblers. They gamble briefly and don’t risk harm to themselves or others by spending more than they can afford.

When a person’s quality of life is suffering because of their continuous gambling and despite any negative consequences they continue, they can be classified as having a gambling addiction. The term has always referred to those individuals who had a compulsive or pathological disorder and either couldn’t control his impulse to gamble or pathologically needed to gamble.

Pathological gamblers, actually, suffer withdrawals when they cease to gamble and they will go to the highest extremes to continue their gambling addiction. Problem gamblers have gambling problems that compromise, disrupt, or damage personal, family, or vocational pursuits, and they have been added to the low end of the spectrum for gambling addiction. Some may progress to the compulsive or pathological stage, others may not.

Recognizing the Consequences of Gambling Addiction

gambling problem

Gambling addiction can have a profoundly negative effect on your life.

We know that the core symptoms of gambling addiction are cognitive distortions about gambling, loss of control, impulsive behaviors and continuing to gamble despite negative consequences. Studies by the University of California, Los Angeles report that “Gambling addiction has been called the silent addiction, because the consequences are so easy to hide. Gamblers do not “overdose” and end up in the emergency rooms, nor do they present to doctors specifically asking for help for their gambling problems.”  So, what are the negative consequences of a gambling addiction?

Gambling addiction can affect a person’s financial status. Gambling addicts tend to spend more money than they can afford and may, unscrupulously, seek financial resources elsewhere to continue their gambling habits. Relationships suffer as family, friends, or coworkers are affected by the addict’s continued gambling.

Gambling addicts may leverage or sale assets that not only belong to them but, also to other family or friends. They are typically, in denial about their problem, so they may lie to others to cover up their mistakes, take time away from important events, or miss work or school to gamble.

Hardships within the family setting can extend to mental health problems for each household member as they deal with issues of stress, anger, withdrawal, mood swings, and depression. It is not uncommon for the gambling addict to steal or break the law and the legal and financial issues can raise the toll that unlimited stress can have on an addict and the people they are closest to.