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What is Problem Gambling?

Problem gambling, also know as gambling addiction or gambling disorder, occurs when a person is unable to resist impulses to gamble and continues to gamble despite harmful consequences. Gambling disorder is classified as an addiction and its essential features include loss of control over gambling, preoccupation with gambling, increasing need to bet more money and inability to stop. In severe cases, gambling disorder can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career or family, and even suicide.

Consequences of Gambling

Financial losses:

Debt can occur quickly and may feel impossible. One of the first steps in treatment is knowing how much money is owed, borrowed or spent. 


Loss of interest in regular life activities:

Do you know longer want to join in activities that were fun? Things like working out, going out with friends to dinner or reading can be given up so you can focus on gambling. 


Loss of time:

How much of your time has been focused on gambling? One of the areas that we can address is the lost of time due to gambling, getting to venues or planning to get money or future bets. 



Do you have cravings, are you restless or irritable when you try to stop gambling.  Just like with drug and alcohol withdrawal some pathological gamblers may have a variety of physical and mental symptoms.  In treatment, we can discuss the symptoms and how to deal with them. 



Has lying impacted your close relationships? Are you hiding the depth of your gambling or concealing how much time or money is being spent gambling?  A step in rebuilding your relationships is having the awareness of when you are not being truthful with yourself and those that are close to you. 


Criminal Behaviors:

The consequences of crime can have a devastating and long lasting effect.  Research has shown that 25% of pathological gamblers will commit some sort of illegal act to finance their gambling.  Most of these crimes are non-violent. 


Impact on Mental Health:

Pathological gambling can impact your overall sense of well-being .Gamblers can face depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Are you feeling overwhelmed by your debts or the need to hide your problems? Are you feeling isolated, helplessness and out of control? These symptoms typically resolve when the individual seeks treatment and stops gambling.


Effects on Physical Health:

Have you stop taking care of yourself? Have there been long periods of stress, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.  All of these can have a impact on your physical health and well being.

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