Symptoms of a Gambling Disorder

Gambling is a form of risk-taking in which individuals place a value on the outcome of an event with an uncertain probability. It can take many forms, from lottery tickets and scratch-off games to sports betting and casino games. While not all gambling is addictive, it can lead to problems if it is a compulsive habit. People who have gambling disorder may feel compelled to gamble even when it interferes with their work, family, education and personal relationships.

Problem gamblers often lie about their gambling to conceal the extent of their habit. They also may steal money or other resources to fund their gambling activities, or borrow money to pay for gambling. This type of behavior can destroy families and cause children to grow up without a stable home environment.

Some people have a genetic predisposition to develop an addiction to gambling. Other factors that can increase the risk of developing a gambling disorder include:

Symptoms of a gambling problem can vary from person to person. Some signs of a gambling problem include:

Difficulty controlling your spending. Gambling can be expensive and you may have trouble controlling how much you spend. You might keep increasing your bets or chasing your losses in an attempt to recoup your losses.

Loss of interest in other activities. People who have a gambling disorder may stop participating in hobbies or other activities that they previously enjoyed. They may even begin to neglect their appearance and hygiene.

Financial problems. Gambling can cause financial difficulties for you or your loved ones. You might find yourself borrowing money to fund your gambling or putting other financial commitments on hold in order to gamble. You might also find yourself lying to others about your gambling behavior or hiding evidence of your gambling activity from your family and friends.

A change in your mood or emotions. Whenever you feel depressed or anxious, it’s a good idea to seek professional help. It can be hard to cope with these feelings when you have a gambling disorder, and they can worsen your symptoms.

Gambling can affect your ability to think clearly. If you’re having trouble concentrating, try taking regular breaks. This will allow you to focus better when you’re gambling and will help you avoid losing too much money.

Set a budget for how much you can afford to spend on gambling. When this amount is spent, quit gambling for the day. Also, remove your credit cards from your phone or computer, close online betting accounts and only carry a small amount of cash with you when gambling. This will prevent you from being tempted to bet more money when your luck turns around. Finally, don’t play while you are tired or irritable. This can lead to a big loss. Instead, take a walk or do something else to distract yourself. Also, make sure to get enough sleep and eat well. The right diet and exercise can also improve your concentration.