Gambling is tearing your life apart when winning becomes more important than spending time with your family and friends. Gambling is a problem when it affects your work performance or when you are indebting yourself to play.
Problem gamblers can be male or female. They belong to any age groups and come from all walks of life.
While there is no typical problem gambler, he/she is likely to exhibit one or more of the following traits:
- family history of addiction, abuse, or neglect
- recent loss, trauma, or stress
- poor coping and problem-solving skills
- early positive associations with gambling
- belief in “magical thinking” and illusions about the odds of winning
What does problem gambling have in common with other addictions?
- short-lived enjoyable feelings, exhilaration
- symptoms such as sweaty palms, rapid heart beat, and nausea
- relief from negative feelings
- tolerance: increasing amounts needed
- withdrawal symptoms during abstinence, like anxiety and insomnia
- loss of control
- detached states
- continued involvement regardless of consequences