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Recognizing a gambling disorder

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Playing the lottery, bingo, video lottery terminals and card games with friends are all forms of entertainment. However, these activities become an issue when they cause more problems than pleasure.

When gambling interferes with various aspects of a person’s life, it is likely that he or she has a trouble. Here are examples of behaviour that point to someone with a gambling disorder:

  • He or she constantly thinks about gambling
  • He or she has the need to gamble with increasingly larger sums of money to reach the desired state of excitement
  • Despite being willing and making efforts, he or she has difficulty stopping, reducing or setting limits when gambling
  • He or she is agitated or irritable when trying to gamble less or to stop
  • He or she gambles to escape difficulties or to relax when feeling bad or anxious
  • He or she continues to gamble in order to win back losses
  • He or she lies to family and friends in order to hide the extent to which gambling consumes his or her life
  • He or she does illegal things to finance his or her gambling habit
  • His or her studies, work or personal relationships are jeopardized due to gambling. He or she is liable to lose his or her job and meaningful relationships
  • He or she relies on others to get out of difficult financial situations caused by his or her gambling.

Help and resources

If you see yourself in these examples, or are worried about someone you know, you can get help and information by consulting the following resources:

Last update: May 13, 2016


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