Gambling addiction, also known as ludomania, is the urge to gamble or a desire not to stop gambling despite of the impending negative consequences, such as loss of money. Ludomania can be characterized as clinical pathological gambling that is an impulse control disorder related to both family and social costs and which is similar to substance addiction but not considered by the American Psychiatric Addiction as such. A person suffering from pathological gambling usually cannot resist his or her urge to gamble, leading to severe social and personal consequences.
Gambling addiction can not only bring harm to the gambler but to his or her family as well. To satisfy his or her gambling addiction, the person resorts to drastic actions such as borrowing money or selling assets such as jewelries, land titles just to obtain enough budget to recover his previous losses due to persistent gambling. Another gambling loss would be devastating and would lead to non-fulfillment of promises to pay debts or non-recovery of assets that were pawned. These serious financial losses would definitely affect his family and his status in life since it can lead to bankruptcy.
Symptoms of gambling addiction
One symptom of a person suffering from gambling addiction is preoccupation where the person is always thinking of gambling experiences either past or future, or is always fantasizing about gambling. Other symptoms of gambling addiction is lying, loss of control, committing illegal acts, chasing, risking significant relationship and bailout. A gambler usually tries to hide his addiction to gambling by lying to family, friends and even therapists. A person who is unsuccessful in reducing gambling habits is losing control of himself or herself. He also does not care if his loved ones turn away from him or he loses his job since all that matters for this person is to continue gambling whatsoever. A consistently gambling person always seeks bailout or asks for financial assistance to family, friends and a third party.
Gambling addiction and suicide risk
Gambling addiction may also lead to commiting suicide especially as a desperate move if the gambler does not subject himself to pathological gambling treatment. However, gambling suicides are common to older people than to young persons but are recorded to be higher than other addiction disorders. Abnormally high suicide levels have been recorded in Atlantic city which is known to be the second largest gaming market.