Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Disorder


If you think you have a gambling problem, you’re not alone. Millions of people have struggled with the same problem, and you can too. Here are some signs and symptoms of problem gambling. Read on to learn how to get help. You may also want to take a quiz to find the right therapist for you. The process of therapy is confidential and can begin immediately. You may be surprised at how quickly your gambling problem will clear up.

Problem gambling

Known by many different names, problem gambling is a serious issue that can cause financial ruin, legal problems, loss of family and even suicide. It can be mild, moderate or severe, and it can also worsen over time. The American Psychiatric Association has developed specific criteria for diagnosing the condition. Problem gamblers are likely to exhibit symptoms such as a preoccupation with gambling, increased risk-taking behavior, restlessness, and attempts to compensate for losses with gambling.

Most problem gambling treatment involves counseling, step-based programs, self-help, peer-support, and medications. However, there is no one treatment that is proven to be effective for everyone. In the U.S., there is no medication approved specifically for pathological gambling. Instead, gambling treatment is a process of determining which treatment is the best for a specific individual. During this process, a gambler may be referred to a counselor or a therapist.


There are many telltale signs that a person may be experiencing a gambling problem. These symptoms are not as easily noticeable as those of other addictions, such as drug or alcohol abuse. However, they may include irritability, feeling on edge, and changes in mental health. People with a gambling addiction may also exhibit signs of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Whether or not these signs are present in a person is not always clear, but the need to win at gambling should not be ignored.

Financial problems are another common sign. An addiction to gambling can leave the gambler in a position where they have no other means of earning money. They often end up having to rely on others to make ends meet and rely on other sources of income to fund their habit. Eventually, this can lead to a life of hopelessness and depression. Further, the problem gamblers often do not tell friends and family that they are experiencing a gambling problem.


Symptoms of gambling disorder vary widely, but are often similar to substance-use disorders. Affected people typically gamble when they are stressed, or to get even with someone. They may also lie to hide their problem and rely on others for money. The symptoms of gambling addiction may start during early adolescence or later in life. In addition to the physical symptoms, compulsive gamblers may also experience social, occupational, and personal dysfunction.

In addition to physical symptoms, gambling can lead to depression. The symptoms of depression are difficult to manage. Depressed individuals may experience lethargy, change in appetite, and feelings of hopelessness. However, treatment for gambling addiction can address both problems simultaneously. Symptoms of depression and compulsive gambling disorder can be matched through dual diagnosis. If these symptoms are present in one person, it’s highly likely that they are linked.


Among the most effective ways to fight the urge to gamble is identifying the triggers that lead to an obsession with the game. For example, if you’ve become dependent on online gambling, avoid situations where you’re likely to find temptation. Similarly, stay away from social situations where gambling is likely to take place. If possible, engage in some form of healthy activity instead. While these are only a few ways to beat gambling addiction, they’ll go a long way.

In addition to these options, you can consider joining a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous. These groups provide social support and tips to combat the addictive nature of online gambling. Self-help groups can be an alternative to rehab, but they’re unlikely to be as effective as one-on-one counseling. While there’s no substitute for a professional therapist, there’s something about a calming, detached atmosphere that can help you focus on your recovery. Moreover, rehab offers a personalized approach to addiction treatment, and they teach the tools you need to fight your problem.