Pathological gambling is a condition that can become problematic if not addressed and it refers to players who are unable to resist the urge to gamble. Being unable to resist the urge to gamble can have serious consequences on a player’s social and family life, their financial situation and even their state of mind, and pathological gambling is considered to be a serious addiction.
Pathological gambling is most common in men between the ages of 18 and 30 and in women between 20 and 40 years old. Many men start gambling before their female counterparts, pushing the average age of compulsive gambler down somewhat when compared to woman. The inability to resist the urge to gamble is often compared to those who have obsessive compulsive behaviour and stressful situations can exacerbate the issue dramatically.
Symptoms of Pathological Gambling
Many players with a pathological gambling problem are embarrassed about it, and try and hide it. If you think you know someone who has a problem or if you feel you may be veering towards an addiction, these are the recognisable symptoms that are associated with pathological gambling:
- Feeling irritable or restless when you cannot gamble
- Trying to win back vast sums of money by playing more
- Borrowing money to be able to gamble
- Trying to stop gambling and not succeeding
- Having yourself banned from an online casino and simply finding a new place to play
- Obsessively thinking about gambling, when next you can play and past gaming sessions
- Needing to pay high roller games on an increasingly regular basis in an effort to enjoy the rush
- Lying about money or time spent gambling
- Committing fraud or crimes to obtain gambling funds
- Gambling to escape feeling sad or as a buffer to stop feeling emotional
- Passing up a job or relationship opportunity so that you can gamble
If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms and are finding it difficult to stop playing online casino games, you may have a problem that needs to be addressed quickly.
Treatment for Pathological Gambling
Treatment for any addiction always begins with the person with the problem admitting they have one. Only then can a treatment program be decided on and the gambler must accept that they need help and want to change. Treatment options range from cognitive behavioural therapy which helps break the cycle of addiction, self-help or support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous, counselling or even anti-depressants. There are many facets to pathological gambling and players may need to address each factor individually in order to remain on the right path on an ongoing basis.
Keeping on Track
Pathological gambling is an addiction like drugs or alcoholism, it’s not something that goes away once you’ve stopped and it can crop up if not properly controlled. Many pathological gamblers relapse and end up back in the problematic pattern, and need renewed enthusiasts and encouragement to give up their gaming for good.
With the right treatment and the right mind-set it is possible to successful beat a gambling addiction and with most respected online casinos encouraging responsible gaming, help is always at hand should you feel your activities are getting out of control.