A gambling problem may become an addiction if it becomes severe, and this issue is considered an impulse control disorder by some and an addiction by others. If you exhibit 5 or more of the following symptoms then you have a gambling problem and need help:
1. A preoccupation with gambling. You think about gambling frequently and can not seem to get this subject out of your mind.
2. A tolerance is developed, similar to a tolerance for drugs or alcohol. You want to place increasing bet amounts so that you feel the rush.
3. You experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop gambling because you have an addiction or impulse control disorder.
4. Gambling provides an escape, and is used to help you feel better.
5. A gambling problem exists if you are trying to use what little money you have left in order to win back some of the losses that you had.
6. You find yourself lying, even to close family members and friends, about how much you gamble or how much you lose.
7. You should suspect a gambling problem if you try to stop or at least cut down on the activity and you find this is difficult or impossible.
8. You need to consider that you have impulse control issues if you commit an act that is illegal in order to gain money to gamble with, or to cover any losses you have at gambling.
9. You place an important relationship at risk because of gambling, or this addiction causes strife and arguments in the relationship.
10. You have to ask others for financial assistance because you have gambled your own money away.