What are the symptoms of gambling addiction?

As with most mental afflictions, the symptoms of gambling addiction appear when the addictive behaviour begins to impact on the individual’s everyday life and relationships. Given that compulsive gambling is not a physical condition, its symptoms can sometimes be harder to spot.
However, compulsive gamblers can display behaviours including:

  • Gambling and thinking/talking about gambling for long periods of time
  • Irritable, highly-strung behaviour when trying to stop or reduce gambling
  • A tendency to borrow money as a temporary solution to financial problems
  • Repeated failed attempts at controlling, reducing or stopping gambling
  • Long or unexplained absences from the home and the workplace
  • Taking out multiple bank loans, overloaded credit cards, unpaid bills and inexplicable holes in the family budget
  • Excessive amounts of time spent studying sources of gambling information in the Media
  • Spending time alone to consider gambling tactics
  • Refusal to engage with suggestions from others relating to their gambling
  • Reduced productivity at work
  • Discomfort, anger and rising tension if something prevents them from gambling
  • Euphoria, a swollen sense of self worth and relief should they win.
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