There’s never a good end to a gambling addiction – unless it’s stopped in its path. That usually takes either an intervention from family and friends, or the sheer will of the gambler themselves. Like many behavior-based disorders, gambling comes in many guises, and due to the likely denial of the gambler, the symptoms can be hard to spot.
Spot The Gambler
Of the various different symptoms that can be present with the ‘average’ gambler, here are the most common, the ones that commonly present or are picked up by friends and family members.
Mood swings – a gambler will be o a high if they win, or on the floor if they’ve lost. Something that a person can hide if they’re either supremely conscious of it, or they’re a loner.
Overly preoccupied – gamblers tend towards worrying. Some worry more than others but, generally, when a gambler is in a relationship, the worrying is pretty common, as they’re bothered about being found out, or that they’ve gone too far.
Secretive behaviour – again something more likely to present in a person that’s living with or in a relationship with someone.
Disappearing – this can have either a definite pattern or none at all. If they’re a card player for example, they may well be gone hours and hours due to the length of game-play, or vanish more often but for shorter periods because they’re the type that use slots.
Money – they either have loads, or none. If they have a lot it may well only last as long as it takes them to lose it all again – which is dependent upon the type of gambling that they do.
Again, the above symptoms are the most familiar; there are others, such as stealing to fund the habit, or borrowing. Unfortunately, if left unchecked, a serious gambling habit can lead to dire circumstances, such as having their home foreclosed, or a relationship breakdown.
If you suspect that someone you care about is gambling, then it’s time to seek help – if you feel that you can’t handle it alone. Gambling does require specialist help, and every state provides a list of interventionists and counselors. Don’t wait until you regret not trying sooner.