A gambling addiction is considered by many to be a secret addiction because most problem gamblers do not display any noticeable physical symptoms. Many gamblers can hide their addiction for a long time before family members begin to realise there is a problem. It is usually only when the person starts to suffer financial hardship that their gambling problem becomes known.
Many gamblers will incur mounting debts and may begin spending money that is needed to pay bills. They will then start borrowing or even stealing to fund their addiction. This is when the addiction has become hugely problematic.
One of the biggest problems with gambling is that it is legal and, in many instances, is encouraged. Gambling adverts are constantly on the media with the promise of free bets for those who open new accounts. With so many struggling to pay bills, the suggestion that they could win big by just depositing a few pounds can be very attractive.
Hearing stories about how someone who was down to his or her last pound before winning the jackpot can make many believe that this could happen to them too. However, once they have deposited their funds and begun playing, they quickly become hooked.
Gambling has also become easily accessible and can be done anywhere, provided you have internet access and a device such as a tablet, mobile phone, or laptop. Many individuals are gambling at home in the evening or during their lunch break at work. It is the easy access and the fact that gambling is legal that makes it such a big problem.
Many problem gamblers do not believe that they have a serious problem. Others will be in denial or will be too embarrassed to admit that they are struggling with addiction issues. Some will not realise the extent of their problem until things get particularly bad, and they feel that they have nowhere to turn.
The problem with gambling is that when the gambler loses money, he or she will often believe that they will have a change of luck that will see them winning back the money they have lost. They will, therefore, continue to gamble hoping that each bet is going to be the one where they hit the jackpot and all their problems will be solved. For most gamblers, this never happens.
It is important to acknowledge the problem as soon as possible and to get help for a gambling addiction. Most problem gamblers will admit that they lost control of the amount of time they were gambling and the amount of money they spent. For others, the issue of time and money pales into insignificance beside their need to gamble.
The implications of gambling addiction are far reaching. Many gamblers believe that they are not harming anyone but, when the addiction becomes severe, they may begin losing large sums of money, which can affect their family members.
Some people will get in so deep that they see no alternative but to lie, cheat and steal in order to continue being able to gamble. In many instances, problem gamblers have committed fraud and have found themselves behind bars.
We have a team of advisors ready to offer advice and support to addicts and their families, and we work with an extensive network of providers where treatments are available. For more information on how we can help, contact Rehab Helper today.