Gambling is a fun way to pass the time for a lot of different people. It is an interactive way to feel the thrill of the win and to bet on lady luck. Luckily, for the majority of gamblers, this is where it stops. It is simply a fun way to spend an afternoon. But for an unfortunate few, gambling becomes a dark and addictive vice that is hard to overcome. Their desire to gamble becomes stronger than their will to do anything else.
It can be very difficult for some to know when gambling transitions from hobby to full blown addiction in the ones that they love. It is not an overnight process. Rather, it is a gradual progression that may take many months or even years to finish. This can make it very hard to recognize a problem. Over time, the gambler will likely find clever ways to hide his or her problem and become very adept at finding ways to throw others off the trail. But, take heed. There are some signs to look for if suspicion begins to grow surrounding a loved one’s gambling habits.
One of the earliest signs of a gambling problem occurs when a person begins to hide the fact that the act of gambling is going on. During this time period, the person may sneak out of the house to pursue gambling. If this cannot be done, he or she may opt to fabricate reasons to leave the home. These excuses will act a cover for gambling outings. In extreme cases, some may forgo work in order to gamble.
A gambling addict will also begin to search for money as his or her supply dries up. The gambler will most likely do whatever it takes to get money to fund his or her gambling habit. Asking for money every once in a while does not necessarily denote a gambling problem. But if money requests become more frequent and tinged with desperation, it is likely there is a problem. When asking for money fails to provide, the gambler may begin to steal or pawn belongings. The need for money will intensive as the gambling problem escalates.
Becoming overly secretive can also point to a gambling problem. An addict may not want anyone to know their financial situation. A gambler with a problem may no longer be as forthcoming with financial information as they were previously. If a spouse is now having to search for or demand financial records, it is a clue that the gambler is hiding something.
A gambling addict will also become very defensive about their habits. Instead of rationally explaining what is going on, the person will likely become poised for a fight. This is an attempt to deflect attention away from their problem. This defensiveness will likely cover all aspects of gambling. Money and whereabouts will likely become hot button topics that set the person off. Abrupt personality changes may also be a sign of a gambling problem. Looking for any changes, whether large or small, is key in determining if there is a problem.