Characteristics of pathological gambling

Gambling has many features in common with other addictive disorders such as alcoholism. In contrast to this, there are usually no visible (physical) changes that point to a problematic gambling behaviour or a development of it. Problematic gambling behaviour manifests in slow changes, experience of feelings and the financial situation of concerned persons.

The most important references for a problematic gambling behaviour are shown below.

The affected person ...

  • stops doing other activities except gambling, which have been fun in the past
  • neglects personal, professional and family obligations
  • little social contacts outside of the game
  • changes sleep, eating or sexual habits
  • neglects hygienic appearance more than before
  • is self-absorbed, absent
  • seems depressed, worried, or anxious
  • is less willing to use money for things besides gambling
  • Is longer not at home or reachable
  • retires from family and friends
  • has mood changes or sudden anger outbursts
  • often borrows money from friends or dependents
  • voids insurances, contracts ect. to get cash
  • often changes between "bust" and "liquid"
  • steals money or valuables from relatives
  • trivializes the own gambling behaviour