Compulsive gambling, also called gambling disorder, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling means that you're willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value.
Signs and symptoms of compulsive gambling (gambling disorder) include:
- Being preoccupied with gambling, such as constantly planning how to get more gambling money
- Feeling the need to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the thrill
- Trying to control, cut back, or stop gambling without success
- Feeling restless or irritable when trying to cut down on gambling
- Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, or depression
- Trying to get back the lost money by gambling more (chasing losses)
- Lying to family members or others to hide the extent of your gambling
- Jeopardizing or losing important relationships, a job, school, or work opportunities because of gambling
- Resorting to theft or fraud to get gambling money
- Asking others to bail you out of financial trouble because you gambled your money away
In case you feel that any of these symptoms are valid for you, it is advisable to seek professional help, as it's very hard for people to overcome this kind of compulsive behavior on their own. Support from family and friends is also vital because generally compulsive gamblers are unable to reach out and look for professional help.
More information regarding help with addiction can be found on the Responsible Gaming page.