There are more signs of an early gambling addiction in the ‘winning phase’. For example, a person wants to gamble alone most of the time and doesn’t like company. Other persons can destroy the concentration or, worse, could ask questions. As a gambler you notice that you think about gambling more and more. Perhaps you even dream about it! Gambling becomes an important activity in your life, especially when you’re bored.
There is still hope
There is still hope in the ‘winning phase’. Perhaps the gambler a lot of money, and it wakes you up. However, if a person ignores the loss the gambling could become problematic. Make sure that you pay attention to these signs, and take action when a friend or family member has them.
The losing phase
When a gambler is in the so-called ‘losing phase’, he or she already has a big problem. Concentration at work becomes less, financial problems emerge and there are conflicts with people that worry about the behavior of the gambler. He or she tries to ignore it as much as possible, which is quite a problem because it’s no rational thinking. It often happens that an addicted gambler takes a loan and doesn’t pay back. Debts are paid back with new loans, which makes the situation even more hopeless.
Mental and physical problems emerge
Financial problems are not the only thing a gambler in the ‘losing phase’ has to deal with. There are mental and physical complaints as well. The addict cannot concentrate on anything else than gambling. He or she is constantly tense and worries a lot, something that leads to physical problems as well. Think about terrible headaches, for example. The addict knows that there is something wrong, but cannot think about a solution anymore. Thus, despite these problems, the gambler continues with the devastating activities.
More bets, more money spend
Instead of quitting the gambling activities, an addict visits a casino more than ever. The number of bets and the amount of money increases. It can lead to a higher win, but the chance to lose a lot might be even bigger. If an addict doesn’t play, he or she still tries to get money to play. A loss at the gambling table isn’t accepted. When the addict loses, he or she wants to win back the money at any cost. It now has become an obsession. So bigger risks are taken, even it could end in a big financial disaster.
One win will (not) solve all the problems
An addicted gambler thinks that one big win will solve all the problems. Everything will be ‘all right’ and loans can be paid back. People who commented on your behavior The truth is that a win doesn’t matter, since the gambler will not stop visiting the casino. Gambling is now an addiction, something that he or she simply can’t stop.
As we said, a gambling addict worries a lot. Although he or she tries to ignore the signs, sometimes there is serious doubt at the ‘magical solution’ mentioned above. The gambler is now in an isolated position and thus finds it difficult to reach out to another person. It’s really difficult to seek help. It’s never too late to turn the tide though. If someone can’t do it on his or her own, another person must be taken in confidence. Think about a therapist or a doctor, for example. If this isn’t done, the third ‘desperate phase’ is in sight.
The ‘desperate phase’
The ‘desperate phase’ is even worse than the ‘losing phase’. The problems are now too big to solve in an easy way. A gambler has lost his or her job and is more isolated than ever. Other people know about the addict and don’t try to help anymore, since other attempts have been fruitless. Huge debts make the situation even worse. What’s more, the tax authority can garnish the income and in the worst case the house has to be sold. Gamblers in these phase often mislead other people or steal other people’s money to continue gambling. There’s a high risk of becoming involved in criminal activities.
Thinking about gambling all the time
In the ‘desperate phase’ gambling has overtaken a person’s life. There’s nothing else to think about and a visits to the casino are constantly on the agenda. A new gambling session must be planned, because it’s simply impossible not to go. Money is needed and if theft is needed to get it, so be it. The addicted gambler often thinks about earlier gambling experiences, often when he or she was lucky. The addicted gambler isn’t rational anymore and constantly tense and irritable. Negative comments from other people make it worse instead of better.
The risk of alcohol and drug addiction
Sometimes a gambling addiction also leads to other problems, like drugs and alcohol abuse. These substances can make the uneasy feeling temporarily go away. They don’t bring the help a gambler needs though. He or she can become depressive or anxious all the time. Panic attacts often appear, and suddenly there’s the thought of suicide.
Is there still a way out?
Is there still a way out? Not according to the gambling addict. The moment he or she tries to quit gambling, withdrawal symptoms appear. These symptoms can be the following:
- Feeling of unrest all the time.
- Heavy headaches
Despite the big problems, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. An addicted gambler in every phase needs to call for help. That is the only way to end the crisis and defeat the gambling demons.