What is Gambling Addiction?

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Gambling Problems
The vast majority of people gamble from time to time, and for most it’s just entertainment. But some people are unable to gamble just for fun. Gripped by an uncontrollable urge to gamble, they progress from occasional to frequent gamblers, and eventually become problem or pathological gamblers.

Problem Gambling
Gambling becomes a problem when a person continues to play even after experiencing adverse consequences as a result of their gambling. As they become more preoccupied with gambling, they progressively lose control over their actions and are unable to set or maintain time or money limits.  Problem Gamblers often neglect responsibilities (such as work or school) and/or lose money needed to pay for important things (bills, etc.).

Impact of Problem Gambling on Personal Functioning
Gambling problems can affect all elements of a person’s life: social, academic, professional (work), and personal. It can result in changes to their mood, personality and can harm interpersonal relationships. The amount each of these is impacted varies from person to person, and is often devastating.

Personal Health Problems
Problem and pathological gambling can result in health problems, both physical (pain, sleeping disorders or affected eating habits) and mental (anxiety, stress, depression, mood swings, or unexplained anger).1

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