Psychologists have always drawn comparisons between alcohol and gambling addictions. When a person drinks alcohol, he may not necessarily be an alcoholic. In the same way, not all gamblers are gambling addicts. Gambling addiction has been known to progress in three main stages.
The winning stage is when the person has just stumbled upon it. The person is excited, he might be winning a few times, and he has finally found an escape from stress or family. It is pure bliss. Next comes the losing stage where the losses now become the trend. The gamblers start placing huge bets. Chasing losses become the norm. Finally, the gambler is at the desperate stage where hopelessness and bankruptcy are the order of the day. How do you then differentiate between a normal gambler and a gambling addict? The following are key characteristics of a gambling addict.
Obsession with Gambling
A gambling addict will always think about the last bet they placed. They seriously analyze in the mind where they missed the mark. Somewhere they convince themselves that the next bet will forever change their fortunes. They normally change their strategy to see if things will be different. The urge to continue gambling is too strong to be wished away.
Always in Denial
An addict will never admit that he has a problem. Close family members might not notice it until it reaches a stage where it cannot be hidden anymore. The gambling addict will consistently lie about the lack of money. May they used part of the house budget to gamble and lost. When asked, they always spin lies about how the money disappeared. This should be a red flag.
They Borrow or Steal to Gamble
Gambling addicts will start losing bets in the second stage of the gambling cycle. The only way to continue funding their addiction is by borrowing money from family members and friends. At this point, they have exhausted their credit limits, and they have defaulted on loan repayments. In worse cases, they steal.
They Continue Chasing Losses
In the mind of a gambling addict, there would come a time when they will be able to recover all the losses they have made. The more they lose, the more they increase the bet. They are at a point where they have paddled their canoes into deep waters with no ocean line in sight and the clouds gathering for a heavy storm. Unfortunately, this only end with the gamblers choking in debts with nothing to fall back on.
Increase the Adrenaline
The gambling addicts will start putting amounts amount of money on bets with big odds. Rather than place 40 dollars on a bet, they place 150 dollars. The 150 dollars will probably be placed on bets with odds ranging from 11.5 to anything 100. Those low but sure bets are completely ignored. What they do not realize is that if they were placed the low amount of money on bets with low odds, they are likely to win a lot in the long run.