• Gambling addiction

    Staking your life?

Gambling addiction is not simply called the addiction that most closely resembles drug addiction. The tension and intensity associated with betting are very high. Get help before it's too late.

What is a gambling addiction?

Gambling addiction - also known as pathological gambling or gambling disorder - is an impulse control disorder. If you are a compulsive gambler, you cannot control the urge to gamble, even if it negatively affects you or your loved ones. You always gamble: when you feel good or down, whether you just won or lost ... you keep gambling regardless of the consequences. You keep going even if you know the odds of winning are very slim or you don't actually have any money to lose.

Gambling problems can occur in anyone, regardless of life course. Gambling goes from a fun, harmless distraction to an unhealthy obsession with dire consequences. Whether you're betting on sports, scratch cards, roulette, poker or slots - in a casino, on the track or online, a gambling problem can strain your relationships, disrupt work and lead to financial disaster. You can even do things you never thought you'd do (like go into huge debt or even steal money to gamble).

In Belgium there are an estimated 55.000 gambling addicts.

What are the symptoms of a gambling addiction?

Gambling addiction is sometimes referred to as a “hidden disease” because there are no obvious physical signs or symptoms like drug or alcohol addiction. Problem gamblers usually deny or minimize the problem - even for themselves. However, you could have a gambling problem if you:

Feel the need to be secretive about your gambling activities. You secretly gamble or lie about how much you gamble, feeling that others will not understand or that you will surprise them with a big win.

Having trouble controlling your gambling activities? Once you start gambling, can you walk away and quit? Or are you forced to keep going until you've spent the last dollar, increasing your bets to reclaim lost money?

Also gamble when you have no money for it. You gamble until you've spent the last dollar and then move on to the money you need to pay for bills, credit cards, or things for your kids. You may feel compelled to borrow, sell, or even steal things in order to gamble.

Have family and friends who are worried. Denial perpetuates the gambling problem. If friends and family are concerned, listen to them carefully. It's not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Many older gamblers have a hard time calling their grown children when they gamble their inheritance, but it's never too late to change.

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And the underlying problems such as:
aggression, depression and anxiety, low self-esteem, insecurity, avoidance, perfectionism, ...