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Compulsive Gambling

Signs that it's taking over your life

(HealthDayNews) -- A few lucky wins at the casino can turn a casual gambler into a casino regular. But at what point does a love of gambling become a full-fledged addiction?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, people have a gambling disorder and should seek help if they experience five or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Preoccupation with gambling-related thoughts, plans or activities.
  2. The need to gamble with increasing sums of money to elicit the desired excitement.
  3. Restlessness or irritability when trying to cut down or stop gambling.
  4. Gambling to escape from problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, anxiety, guilt or depression.
  5. After losing money gambling, trying to win it back with more gambling.
  6. Lying to conceal gambling activities or their consequences.
  7. Committing illegal acts to finance gambling.
  8. Jeopardizing or losing a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of gambling.
  9. Relying on bailout money from others to fix a gambling debt.
  10. Having made repeated unsuccessful attempts to curb or stop gambling.
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