What Are the Symptoms of Problem Gambling?


Problem gambling has many different symptoms and may not be immediately apparent. Gamblers are preoccupied with the behavior, often betting even when distressed. They may return to gambling after losing money, and may lie about their gambling activity to avoid being confronted about it. Many times, the problem gambler may seek money from friends and family to help alleviate their financial crisis. But when the gambling behavior becomes severe, it may be the first sign of a more serious problem.

Gambling involves a risk of money or other valuable items, usually in the form of tickets to a lottery or a scratch-off. The prize, chance, and consideration of the game make it an addictive activity. Historically, gambling has been around for thousands of years. Early six-sided dice originated in Mesopotamia around 3000 BC, while records date gambling in Japan to the 14th century. However, it is not uncommon for people to bet on future events as well.

Gambling is a serious issue with physical, psychological, and social consequences. It can affect health, relationships, and work. It can also lead to debt and gambling addiction. There are various ways to treat problem gambling, including a self-assessment tool and resources that help people change their habits. Medications can cause compulsive behavior, including some prescribed for Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome. There is also a strong connection between gambling and certain genetic factors.