Gambling is a sure shot way of releasing some stress, getting an adrenalin rush and making some extra money. But as they say, too much of anything is bad. Once you get that taste of winning, if not kept under control, gambling can actually turn into a major addiction, often difficult to let go. Also called as ludomania, problem gambling is a craving to gamble constantly, completely neglecting any harmful consequences. Excessive addiction to gambling often permanently alters a person’s behavior towards himself as well as others.  

How to identify gambling addiction?

There are certain characters, common to most gambling addicts, which can help you identify their problem easily.

  • Facing problems to control the constant craving to gamble in any form
  • An urge to gamble with or without money 
  • Serious denial about their problem
  • Feeling the need to keep their gambling addiction  secret

Irrespective of the fact that he/she is losing heard earned money, a compulsive gambler cannot demean their urge to place just another bet. Do you face a similar kind of problem, or are trying to help a friend out suffering from gambling addiction. If so, few essential points can help you to stay on track and maximize your efforts to help a loved one.

  • First thing first, any compulsive gambler will try to convince you with different reasons to help them out financially. Never fall for any such reasons no matter how convincing they seem. An addict must learn to face the consequences of excessive gambling; a lack of adequate finances will be the first step to it.
  • Pretty much similar to asking a chain smoker to quit, asking a compulsive gambler to quit in a day is nothing but foolishness. They will completely misunderstand your effort and feel alienated. In order to develop a sense of trust between you and the addict, you must first try to be on the same page as him.
  • Thirdly, serious counseling should be suggested to someone suffering from gambling addiction. These therapeutic counseling sessions can help the addicts to let go of their constant desire to gamble and in turn hike their self esteem. Besides one is to one therapy, meeting other addicts can also help addictive gamblers. You can encourage a compulsive gambler to attend anonymous meetings to share their tales and get inspired from others. Often addicts feel completely alienated and meeting ones suffering from similar issues can give them the much required moral boost. 
  • Next, try be to emotionally supportive, even if it seems too much at times. Usually addicts suffer from serious lack of self esteem, and without that extra bit of attention and emotional push, it’ll can very tricky to get them back on track.

Having said all that, each gambler differs from another; hence the addiction patter differs as well. It takes an incredible amount of courage to face your problem and own up to it with head held high. With the right guidance and support from loved ones, one can gradually identify the problem and get rid of it for good.