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Online Slots: A Hobby Or An Addiction?

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Online slots at St--------------ar Slots are a lot of fun and can be a wonderful hobby. However, what was once fun and something you did every now and then can easily become something else; it can easily become an addition if you’re not careful about how you go about things.

When you develop a gambling addiction you run the risk of not only ruining yourself financially, but of destroying you relationships, your career, and even your health. It’s important to know when your hobby becomes something else, and it’s crucial to understand what can be done about it if this does happen to you.

What makes a gambling addiction even harder to spot is that there tend to be no physical signs and symptoms that it is occurring. Unlike an addiction to alcohol or drugs which both leave a physical mark, the issues associated with a gambling addiction are much more psychological, and mental health problems are a lot harder to spot than anything obviously physically wrong or changed about someone.

However, there are other signs, and when these are discovered or you finally are able to admit them to yourself and friends and family who can help you, then your addiction can be brought under control. These signs includes:

  • Unaccounted for time

If you are hiding the fact that you are spending time playing online slots but when someone asks you where you’ve been you can’t account for your actions, you may have a problem – you’re so intent on keeping your gambling a secret that you lie even if you have no ‘backup story’ to give anyone.

  • Borrowing extra money

If you are having to borrow extra money, take out loans, apply for more credit cards, and so on in order to continue gambling, then this is an addiction, not a hobby.

  • Minimising the problem

Are you, or someone you know, not telling the whole truth when it comes to how much you are gambling? If you’re making your online slot playing seem to be less than it is and you’re consciously choosing to do this, then you are hiding the truth and this is likely to be because, deep down, you already know you have a problem.

  • Gambling in secret

When things get really bad and you’ve promised your friends and family that you’ve stopped (assuming they ever knew in the first place) but you keep gambling in secret then you clearly have an addiction that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

What Are The Risk Factors?

Some people are simply more at risk of developing an addiction than others, and these people are those who should take extra care if they want to start playing online slots – either that or they should stay away from these games entirely. Of course, they may not know that they have a particular issue with addiction, or that gambling might prove to be problematic. Read on to see if you or someone you know might fall into that category. Being armed with as much information as possible is always best.

  • Substance abuse

If the person who wants to play online slots already has an issue, or has had an issue, with any kind of addictive substance such as alcohol or drugs, then they may also develop a habit when it comes to gambling with online slots.

  • Depression

Depression can also be a trigger for a gambling addiction. When the sufferer is gambling, they will feel happier, forget about their troubles, if only for a short time. The problem is that this feeling of elation needs to continue, and a gambling addiction can soon follow.

  • Mental health conditions

There are many mental health conditions that make a gambling addiction more likely. These include anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, personality issues, and others.

  • Medication

Although very rare, some medications known as dopamine agonists which are used to treat restless leg syndrome and Parkinson’s can have the effect of giving the patient compulsive disorders which include obsessive behaviours.

  • Personality

For some, a gambling addiction might just start because of their personality type. They might be ambitious, competitive, easily bored, a workaholic, and so on.


How To Know You Have An Addiction

There are certain signs that, as well as the above signs that other people might notice, you may have spotted in your own behaviour. These include:

  • Tolerance

Over time, the rush you feel when gambling will become less and less. When it declines, you will ned to make larger and larger wagers in order to feel that addictive rush again.

  • Withdrawal

When you stop gambling or even when you try to reduce how much you gamble, you could experience withdrawal which will make you irritable and restless.

  • Loss of control

When you have a gambling addiction then even if you want to stop playing, you can’t – you are no longer in control of the ‘hobby’.

  • Escape

You use gambling as a means to escape your everyday life.

  • Chasing losses

Gambling more to win back money you shouldn’t have been gambling with in the first place is a terrible decision, but it’s one that addicted gamblers are likely to make even if their usual common sense would tell them it’s a bad idea.

  • Lying

If you’re lying about how much you gamble or how much you’re gambling with, why? A hobby isn’t something to lie about. An addiction often is.

  • Risk

If you’ve taken significant risks with your finances, your property, your belongings, your job, or even your relationships just to keep playing, you have a problem.


What Can Be Done?

If you think you have a gambling addiction then the first thing you should do is speak to an expert. This should start with your GP as they will be able to guide you to the next step, whether that’s therapy or counselling, or something else that they feel is appropriate.
You should also talk to friends and family. Although it might be embarrassing to do so, if they know then they can help you, and you can fix and broken relationships if possible along the way.