Compulsive gambling addiction is a strong irresistable urge to gamble. The compulsiveness leads to severe personal and social consequences. Financial ruin, divorce, job loss and who knows what else it could lead to. Perhaps criminal activity like embezzlement, fraud or burglary to mention a few. The desire to gamble becomes so difficult to control; stress can only be relieved by gambling more, otherwise panic attacks can occur.
Consumed by Gambling.
Someone with compulsive gambling addictions is completely preoccupied with gambling, their strategies and the next great high. They fabricate blown up stories of previous experiences and many other areas of their lives. The compulsive gambler often discusses with anyone willing to listen to their new schemes of winning big. The compulsive gambler bets more often with increasingly greater amounts of money. In most cases they gamble for the increased thrill and adrenaline rush. The time spent gambling grows longer each time, much more longer than planned. So other areas of responsibility suffer, greatly.
Someone with compulsive gambling addictions. has repeatedly been unable to curb their gambling. They become irritable, restless and anxiety-ridden when attempting to cut back or stop altogether. Most assuredly, gambling is a way of escaping or relieving the majority of problems.
Lies and deceit
The compulsive gambler starts lying to family and friends in order to hide the uncontrolled habit. Someone with compulsive gambling addictions have obvious problems when confronted; they blow things out of proportion, lying blatantly to make it go away. They become uncharacteristically angry if the issue is pursued. The lies start to become a way of life for the compulsive gambler. They become more isolated from their past support systems.
Those with compulsive gambling addictions, coerce others to help in dire financial situations. They create imaginative stories that seem believable, so family and friends will support the increasing money and need-a-fix problem. Mortgages and loans are refinanced. Life insurance is cashed in, as well as any stock investments and even retirement finds; without ever a hint of consideration of the consequences. The gambler may then start committing fraud and theft to finance gambling.
A shift in personality often happens to one with compulsive gambling addictions. Outwardly manipulative, irritable, argumentative, critical, and controlling. The compulsive gambler starts losing interest with ordinary activities, hobbies and family events. They make poor excuses, becoming more and more transparent to others during their unhinging. A decisive withdrawal from love ones, friends and co-workers is evident. They are aware of the deep dark tunnel looming before them but are still unexplicably drawn towards it.
No Sense of time
Even after vowing to completely quit any form of betting, the compulsive gambler begins gambling to celebrate small accomplishments in life. At the other end of the spectrum, a crisis, the passing of a neighbor's cat. Any excuse sends them rambling on to that place of false security.
Compulsive gambling reality and consequences
I saw, first hand, while living in Colorado in the 1990's. Charming, financially broke little towns like Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City transformed into big time gambling places; daily buses from Denver, Colorado Springs and Wyoming, a huge change that was unwelcome by many. Lots of ruined, innocent lives because of the compulsive gambling addictions that caught up with many before they had any clue as to what was stolen from their former way of life and future dreams.
Prevention can be difficult when you are faced with the opportunities and temptations. Counseling may help people who are willing to change, yet more susceptible to compulsive gambling addictions. Many people who know of relatives or friends that are habitual gamblers and have not sought treatment should be on guard, for they may be compelled to do anything for the fix, the money high.