Are you wondering if you or a loved one is addicted to gambling?  It is not always easy to determine what constitutes gambling addiction or gambling obsession.

How to tell if someone you love is addicted to gambling:

It can be difficult to tell if someone close to you is addicted to gambling. Gambling addicts often hide their addictive behaviors. Here are 38 behaviors or circumstances to look for that could be indications of gambling addiction or obsession.

  • Financial difficulties
  • Missing valuables or other household/personal items (sold to pay for losses)
  • Stays up late using the computer or phone, particularly behind closed doors
  • Spends increasing amount of time and money gambling or more frequently
  • Gets bored or irritable when not gambling
  • Borrows money from others
  • Gets numerous calls from collection agencies
  • Does not inform loved ones of their whereabouts, has unaccountable time
  • Increased moodiness when not gambling
  • Often angry or defensive if someone discusses or shows concern about gambling
  • Avoids socializing with others
  • Feels depressed
  • Increasingly dishonest
  • Unexplained charges or use of money, carrying large amounts of cash
  • Lying about how money spent
  • Absences from home/work
  • Preoccupied with gambling: relives past gambling wins or losses, plans next gambling opportunity, or thinks of ways to gamble

Are you addicted to gambling?

Gambling may be a fun form of entertainment.  However, for many people it can turn into an obsession or addiction.  If you have concerns about your gambling, see if any of the below items apply to you.

  • Gamble even though you have no more money, going into debt to gamble, or failing to pay bills while continuing to gamble
  • Chase your losses to win back money
  • See gambling as a way to make money
  • Stealing or selling family items to pay for gambling
  • Gamble alone or longer than intend to
  • Spend increasing amounts of time and money gambling
  • Boast about wins and downplay losses
  • Lie to cover up gambling, either directly or by omission
  • Gamble when upset, angry, frustrated, depressed, stressed
  • Gamble to celebrate good news
  • Become restless or irritable when trying to stop or reduce gambling
  • Use gambling to escape problems
  • Cannot cut down or stop gambling
  • Commit illegal acts to finance gambling
  • Jeopardized or lost significant relationships or education/career opportunities because of gambling
  • Rely on others to get out of debt
  • Refuse to explain your behavior, or lie about it
  • Look for new places or ways to gamble
  • Believe one big win will solve all financial and other problems or “make you happy”
  • Put yourself or a loved one at risk because of gambling
  • Fail to meet responsibilities to family and friends because of gambling

New Hope Recovery Center has experience treating all forms of addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with compulsive gambling, please call New Hope Recovery Center at 773-883-3916 or contact us via email at info@new-hope-recovery.com.

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center