The Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Addiction


Gambling is a practice that dates back to Paleolithic times, before written history was invented. The oldest dice were found in Mesopotamia, around 3000 BC. In Japan, records of gambling date back to the 14th century. But does gambling have a history? This article will explore the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction and how to address the problem. The first signs of gambling addiction are often the result of a compulsion to win.

Problem gambling

Problem gambling, also known as pathological gambling or compulsive gaming, is a serious behavior that can destroy personal relationships, finance, and even lead to criminal activity. This condition affects people from all walks of life and can manifest itself in many ways. Those with problem gambling tend to display a variety of behaviors, including excessive and frequent gambling, a need to play increasingly large amounts of money, and a need to make up losses through increased gambling.

The term ‘problem gambling’ is not new. In fact, it has been defined and diagnosed for centuries. Emil Kraepelin, a Russian-born sociologist, first described it as a “gambling mania.” The diagnosis was officially recognized in 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association, with criteria based on Robert Custer’s work. These criteria are now more evaluative, based on the experiences of 222 compulsive gamblers.


There are many warning signs of a person suffering from gambling addiction. One of the most concerning of these is engaging in criminal acts to meet his or her gambling needs. It may be anything from committing robbery to killing people for money. A person may even lie to others to get away with cheating or stealing. If you suspect your partner is a gambler, be sure to check up on them. You may also notice that their work schedule is inconsistent, and they are less likely to spend time with their family.

These signs may seem similar to those of substance or alcohol addiction. Some of these include restlessness, irritability, and depression. These are all a person’s symptoms of emotional withdrawal due to the obsession with gambling. The person may feel a need to gamble to make themselves happy, and this obsession may become so intense that they are willing to go to any lengths to achieve their goal. In such a case, the gambler may even resort to illegal activities, such as betting on sports events.


The signs of a gambling problem are many, and can range from a mild indifference to debilitating compulsiveness. People who have a gambling disorder are preoccupied with the process of gambling, often doing it to relieve distress or to get revenge on a past wrong. Problem gamblers may also lie to others about their behavior and depend on others for money. Gambling symptoms can start early in life or develop over time.

According to the DSM-IV-PGD-endorsed criteria for gambling addiction, one in four gamblers reported experiencing withdrawal-like symptoms. In addition, 40.9% endorsed additional withdrawal-like symptoms, including somatic complaints, guilt, and feelings of disappointment in oneself. Other symptoms, including anger and loss of control, were endorsed by a greater percentage of gamblers. The eighth-most-common symptom was shame, followed by loss of control.


Gambling addiction is often a problem that begins as an escape from other problems. In the case of mental health conditions such as depression, a gambling addiction often develops as a distraction from these issues. Ultimately, the perceived rewards from gambling can lead to a compulsion to keep gambling. When both issues aren’t addressed, the gambling addiction often fades but the depression often returns. To prevent this recurrence, treatment should include addressing the underlying causes of the depression.

First of all, admitting that you have a problem with gambling is an important first step toward recovery. You may feel ashamed or embarrassed at first, but you must accept that you have a problem. You must also own up to the emotional pain your gambling has caused, especially if you’ve already lost a significant amount of money. Your loved ones may feel angry and disappointed with you for not being able to pay them back. Once you’ve admitted that you’ve got a problem, you can look for treatment.