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Gambling Addiction: Symptoms and How to Treat

Gambling Addiction: Symptoms and How to Treat


Like other types of addiction, gambling addiction is a reality when the constant practice of gambling leads to harmful consequences in a person’s life. As there are several types of game addiction, these are cases of behavioral addiction; since there are no substances involved, it is stil serious and a matter of concern.

As a disease that can lead to the suffering of the person and those around him, due to the social and psychological consequences, in this article we will try to demystify what it is, how it is detected and how it can be approached from a therapeutic point of view.

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1. How do you get addicted to gambling?

Not being a substance-related disorder, gambling addiction is much more related to mental factors. Thus, it must be taken into account that for this type of disorder there may be some individual driving factors, but also structural ones. We proceed to explain the difference between the two.


Individual Factors – this group involves all the characteristics of the person and the environment in which he lives. Some researchers refer to a genetic predisposition towards gambling addiction, but factors such as age, gender and personality traits also play a role in this field. These, combined with environmental factors such as dysfunctional families, socioeconomic status and social context, could easily be the driving forces behind gambling addiction.

Structural Factors – are all the factors inherent to the functioning of the game that give space to the creation of routines that lead to the addition. If the game in question is accessible, the very diversity of the type of games and the ease with which the player can make payments are decisive factors in creating a habit that can evolve into addiction.

Gambling Addiction

In this case, we can say that gambling addiction does not come from a single issue, and is therefore subject to a combination of several factors that may vary from person to person.

2. What are the symptoms of gambling addiction?

Although it does not involve any substance harmful to the body, gambling addiction can be just as serious compared to other mental disorders. With a relative predisposition to be invisible to many, gambling addiction has been amplified by the possibility of now being online.

So, here at VillaRamadas we want to help you, first of all, to understand which signs to keep an eye on in order to understand if you (or a family member/friend) really have an addition to the game.


There are several behaviors that are indicators that an addition to gambling might be real.

  • Loss of control in behavior towards the game
    • Most of the time playing
    • Always thinking about when the next game is
    • Justify the game as a way to recover what was lost before
  • Failure to fulfill social responsibilities (family and professional) to the detriment of playing time
  • Constantly hiding the activity from others
  • Giving up hobbies gradually
  • Social isolation
  • Mood swings, namely irritability and restlessness from not playing

If you believe you have an addiction to the game, or if you have a family member/friend who needs help, contact a professional at Clínica VillaRamadas so that an in-depth and exhaustive diagnosis suitable for your problem can be made.

3. Problems with gambling can lead to other addictions?

Addiction to the game, whether online or offline, is not indicative of new direct dependencies. Not being a risk factor that determines the appearance of other addictions, it can, however, be a precursor to other risk behaviors.


According to the symptoms of addiction mentioned above, gambling addiction can create other situations of a more psychological and social nature, which can also be the subject of concern and further treatment.

With an increased risk of isolation and loss of values ​​in terms of priorities in life, addiction to gambling leads to situations of anxiety, eventual crises of depression, crises of stress and psychological and human interaction issues. In some cases, it can lead to addictions to substances such as alcohol.

4. Can pathological gambling be treated?

Yes. An addiction is a chronic illness and so it can (and should) be treated. There is no cure, but we know that proper treatment allows the addict to recover healthy and balanced habits in the various psychological and social aspects.

Support Group

In order for the treatment to be effective, motivation is needed, which, combined with a multidisciplinary team, will open doors for recovery and a gradual decrease in the feeling of addiction. Whenever necessary, and possible, it appeals to the family and the closest circle to be part of the process and help create new routines.

At Clínica VillaRamadas we have specialized professionals in the treatment of gambling addiction. Consult us for more information about our treatments and types of therapy applied.

5. How do you get rid of gambling addiction?

Above all, motivation. Without motivation, the treatment of gambling addiction does not prove to be effective, which is why it is a work that begins within each addict. Subsequently, the support of a multidisciplinary team and trustworthy support group will allow a recovery to take place.

Through medical and psychological support, part of the success for the treatment of gambling addiction also involves new occupational activities. Showing that the game is not the priority, and that new activities can occupy the mind is one of the best ways to overcome this type of addition.


6. How to detect relapse symptoms

As a chronic disease, gambling addiction is only treatable, not curable. Therefore, it is important that even after a successful recovery in the first phase, there is another control over daily actions and any signs that reality may change.

Thus, in the case of a whole process, we can say that the relapse process is not a single event but a series of events that lead to a behavioral change. In most cases, it is the mental and psychological factors that potentiate the change in behavior.

When faced with poor sleep, stress or anxiety crises, the addict finds himself in a situation of changing habits that can lead to new situations of isolation and change of priorities. It is therefore imperative to maintain a certain control over the emotional state of those recovering so that there is no return to active addiction. And don’t forget that returning to the same routines and companions in recovery is to be avoided, as it can also be a relapse potentiator.

Count on us, because we have the certainty and experience in how to help you or your loved one.


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