Pathological gambling

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Pathological Gambling

Gambling can be an entertaining hobby, fun way to spend an evening, or even a great social activity. But there are, without question, those who have ruined their financial situation, and even family life, with pathological gambling. The act of pathological gambling, classified as an addictive disorder, is extremely dangerous and not to be taken lightly. As with drug abuse, some people can descend into a mental state where it is very difficult for them to resist the urge to perform an action they know to be destructive, such as gambling. This can result in the person behaving irrationally, such as spending money needed for other debts, or even selling assets to obtain funds for gambling. Thankfully, the vast majority of casinos are bound by law to not allow those with gambling addiction to even enter their premises. It is still, however, a very real problem across the world, with sufferers of addiction based gambling far more common then some assume.

Common Symptoms Of Pathological Gambling

As with drug addiction, a pathological gambler can be recognised by certain common behaviours. The first of these behaviours, and most common, is a person who lies about their intentions of going to gamble. Others will often have told this person they need to stop gambling, as it is becoming an obvious problem. In response, the person will make an excuse about where they are going, but instead head off to the local casino or other gambling establishment. This indicates a change in the person’s psychology, as they are beginning to associate gambling as a more important priority then those that care for them. It is not time to panic yet, however, as some people do this simply as a way to find time for themselves, when feeling smothered by family life.

A more serious and obvious symptom is when the person begins to have financial difficulty due to gambling debts. If at anytime a person cannot afford to pay standard costs, such as rent, because they have lost that money gambling, and they say they will win the money back with more gambling, it may now be time to start waving the red flags. A golden rule is that the notion of earning back gambling debts with more gambling is the worst thing anyone can consider. Gambling is not a guaranteed source of income, and should always be treated that way, without question.

Getting Help

Being worried about a person who is pathological gambling is natural, but helping them is a difficult and delicate matter. Interventions, often seen in movies ad sitcoms, are a good idea, but need to be handled with care. Anyone being faced by a room of friends expressing their concern, can easily be overwhelmed, and their reaction negative. It is often a far better idea to talk to the person one on one, in private, without the pressure of a dozen faces. It is far more common that the person admit to the problem when not feeling attacked. Once the person admits the problem, the road to recovery is not so difficult as is often perceived. Gambling, thankfully, is not the horror show that heroine addiction can be, but is still a substantial hurdle.