People who gamble frequently have the attitude that money causes --and is also the solution to-- all their problems.
Gambling is considered pathological when the impulse to gamble compromises, disrupts or damages personal, family or work relations. The gambling behavior tends to increase during periods of stress. This sets a reinforcing cycle of gambling: life problems -- stress -- more gambling. Lying to obtain money and illegal activities to pay for extensive gambling debts may occur.
This disorder begins earlier in men (teens) and is more prevalent in men than women. This type of gambling affects two to three percent of the total adult population.
Some of the signs of pathological gambling are:
- Preoccupation with gambling and with obtaining money for the purpose of gambling
- A need to increase the amount of money and the frequency of betting to achieve the desired excitement
- Restlessness or irritability if unable to gamble
- Repeated efforts to reduce or stop gambling
If you or someone you know has problems related to gambling, call for help.