teenage gambling addiction

Recognizing Teenage Gambling Addiction

February 15, 2018

Recognizing Teenage Gambling Addiction

Although gambling addiction might seem like only an adult’s problem, this assertion couldn’t be further from the truth. Teenagers can fall victim to compulsive gambling with less restriction than ever before, thanks to microtransactions in video games.

It’s common for parents to think of gaming-related addictions as unimportant, minor, or lesser than other, “big boy” addictions, ranging from hard drugs like heroin or cocaine, all the way down to traditional compulsory gambling problems that live in casinos.

Regardless of their manifestation, addictions can quite literally crumble families, friendships, and other relationships akin to the power of a wrecking ball.

Most addictions, including teenage gambling addiction, are difficult to detect. Only when addictions become full-blown do parents actually recognized them. Let’s delve into the main symptoms of compulsory gambling, both physical and mental, and knowing when to get help for your beloved teenager.

Teenage Gambling Addiction Statistics

Although the following statistics share several themes, it’s important to treat your child as an individual, rather than a gambler who’s statistically likely to improve when given the psychological world’s latest, most effective treatments. However, these statistics are truth-telling, and important for the parent of gambling-troubled teens to understand.

  • Individuals that have existing substance abuse disorders, particularly alcohol abuse disorders, are far more likely to develop compulsory gambling addictions.
  • Statistics have estimated that up to 750,000 people aged 14 to 21 in the United States of America have an addiction to gambling.
  • Older teenagers and college-aged students are significantly more likely to develop problems with gambling abuse when spending time in college-like settings, whether they actually attend college or not.
  • Of all populations around the world, an alarming 2.9 percent of all adults can be thought of as having a significantly detrimental compulsory gambling problem.
  • As over three-fourths of all problem gamblers have major depression, it’s important to treat the symptoms of both gambling and depression.

Although physical symptoms can result from teen gambling addiction, they rarely do. The overwhelming majority of symptoms resulting from compulsory gambling abuse are mental.

Mental Manifestations Of Gambling Addiction

There are several – more like several handfuls’ worth – mental problems associated with gambling addiction. Some of them are similar to other addictions or mental health issues, although a trained professional can diagnose them with remarkable accuracy.

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

People that have gambling issues, particularly teenagers and adolescents, typically suffer from ADD or ADHD. While many young people have trouble paying attention in school due to a lack of interest, it’s often a result of having addiction issues, including gambling and hard, illicit drugs.

Bipolar Disorder

While substance abuse issues sometimes cause mood issues like bipolar disorder, gambling is particularly prone to cause such problems in those who are compulsive gamblers. If your teenager is experiencing the symptoms of bipolar disorder, don’t ignore them – bipolar disorder is a serious issue and, when left untreated, can cause even worse mental health issues, not to mention problems getting along with you, their loving parent.

Physical Problems That Excessive Gambling Can Bring On

Stealing Money Or Valuables From You, Your Spouse, And Other Family Members

This is one of the most serious, yet most common, complications associated with problematic gambling habits. If casinos and bookies – both legal and illegal – didn’t have the odds stacked in their favor, they would perpetually lose money. As such, casinos likely wouldn’t exist!

Even skilled sports betters – a field of gambling that doesn’t rely on pure luck – end up losing money.

Your teenager would likely consider stealing your cash or personal belongings, regardless of their morals.

Feeling Like Gambling More Money Is Necessary For “The Thrill”

Even though gambling isn’t a substance like meth or cocaine, it still releases the same “feel-good” chemicals that drugs of abuse do. Just like drug abuse requires users to increase their doses in order to feel the same effects over time, the minds of teen gambling addicts coerce their conscious minds into consistently throwing more money down as time marches on.

If you’re able to detect that your teenager has a gambling problem, make sure to seek out treatment as soon as possible – they could quite literally make you lose everything just to gamble it away. Consider bringing reputable mental health services to your teenager with Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center.