What Are The Early Signs of A Gambling Addiction?

Gambling can be a harmless and fun activity for as long as it doesn't take a toll on your life. And while most people associate addiction with substance abuse, the truth is that compulsive gambling can be just as destructive. After all, gambling has a similar effect to drugs and alcohol on the brain. And because this activity is now easily accessible to everyone with a smartphone, the addiction can become extremely severe. In drastic situations, people risk everything, including their job, family, and lives.

For this reason, identifying the early signs of gambling addiction can be life saving. After all, the sooner you can take measures, the less challenging it will be for the affected person (and his/her family) to overcome the issue. If you need help identifying those symptoms, don't worry, you have landed in the right place! Here, you'll find everything you need to know about defining a gambling addiction. So, keep reading if you are interested in the topic.

What Are The Early Signs of A Gambling Addiction?

Compulsive gambling is more common than you think. Because its process stimulates the same brain's reward system that drugs and alcohol affect, there is a real possibility of addiction. And with addiction, people continue to fall down the rabbit hole by creating bigger and bigger debts and losses.

The early signs of an addiction include hiding the behavior and lying. It may come down to having to steal or committing fraud to keep financing playing. Here we will discuss a list of the symptoms you should keep an eye on if you suspect a friend or a family member is struggling with this issue. Remember that early identification can help solve the problem without too many complications.

Lying and Manipulating

One of the first signs of unhealthy behavior is lying about it. When a person needs to hide their behavior and create "stories" to cover their whereabouts or the activities they engage in, he/she is on the path to becoming an addict without knowing it. After all, if there weren't any issues, they wouldn't need to hide them. And that happens because when gambling becomes an addiction, the person struggling with it knows (even if only subconsciously) that it is affecting their loved ones. Because most people don't want that to happen, they will start lying about it. Of course, most people don't realize that doing so will only make things worse in the future.

Not Gambling Causes Irritability

Most of the time, addicted people will be irritable or restless when they don't get the hype they need from the activity they are addicted to. And this doesn't only apply to drugs. Gambling becomes a dangerous activity when the person uses it to "escape" daily problems and can't live without it to distract him or herself from their life. If a person is gambling in response to stressful situations, then it is definitely a warning sign.

Chasing Losses

Some people gamble for fun. And then they lose money. However, because they take it as a healthy activity, they accept their loss. On addict, on the other hand, will try to get his/her money back by gambling more and this behavior will only initiate a vicious circle that won't lead anywhere. Unfortunately, this is often a red flag that something needs to change.

The Game Becomes the Objective of the Day

Obsessing over a game and becoming so invested in it that other daily activities lose their importance is a sign of gambling addiction. Often that manifests itself through exaggerated reactions to what happens in the game. Another sign is the inability to pay attention to things outside that world. A loss of interest in other activities that used to bring joy or hobbies that were once important is a sign of gambling addiction.


Finally, an early sign of gambling addiction is the denial that there is anything wrong with the person's behavior. The addict will always think he/she can control his/her actions (even when they need to look for financing to support their activity). This will often lead to relationship and family problems that push the person to retreat even more into the addiction, which they will use as their escape.