Gambling addiction is often referred to as a hidden addiction by many. The Royal College of Psychiatrists recognise it as an addiction that disrupts or damages personal, family or recreational pursuits.
These can include financial harms, family harms and health harms.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists have outlined the following examples:
Financial harms: overdue utility bills; borrowing from family friends and loan sharks; debts; pawning or selling possessions; eviction or repossession; defaults; committing illegal acts like fraud, theft, embezzlement to finance gambling; bankruptcy; etc...
Family harms: preoccupied with gambling so normal family life becomes difficult; increased arguments over money and debts; emotional and physical abuse, neglect and violence towards spouse/partner and/or children; relationship problems and separation/divorce.
Health harms: low self-esteem; stress-related disorders; anxious, worried or mood swings; poor sleep and appetite; substance misuse; depression, suicidal ideas and attempts; etc...
School/college/work harms: poor school, college or work performance; increased absenteeism; expulsion or dismissal.
Below are some facts relating to this.
Do I have an addiction?
There are tools designed to measure the severity of a gambling addiction. One of which is the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). You may have already completed this but for those of you who have not come across it you can attempt it below. It was designed by Ferris and Wynne in 2001.
It has nine components and each component is scored on a four-point scale. The options are never, sometimes, most of the time, almost always. Responses to each question below will gain the following scores.
Never - 0
Sometimes - 1
Most of the Time - 2
Almost Always - 3
When the scores are calculated a total score will range from 0 to 27.