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Bright lights, elegant signage, the sound of playing cards, laughter, and rapturous exclamations set the evening's energetic soundtrack. Much less attractive, and often disguised, is the potential for significant economic loss and recovery from gambling addiction.

Gambling disorder is characterized by financial, psychological, employment, and relationship difficulties related to excessive wagering. [1]

In extreme cases, it can lead to legal problems as well. In a large meta-analysis of prevalence studies from around the world, between 0.2% and 2.1% of the population develops gambling disorder. An even larger proportion (0.5% to 4.0%) experiences some degree of difficulties with gambling, but not as severe as those classified by gambling disorder. [2]

Sometimes it can be difficult to evaluate your own behavior (or that of a loved one) and determine if you have a problem with gambling. The following list is not exhaustive but may serve as a useful partial reference for pursuing treatment for problem gambling at the top de-addiction centres in India.

1. Persistent thoughts about gambling

If you often think about your game, the last time you won the money back, or how you can earn extra money for your game, this could be a sign that something is wrong. It's one thing to think on the fly, and even if it starts to cloud your imagination and vision, taking up a lot of space in your mind and asking questions, you can become addicted to gambling.

2. The requirement of increasing amounts of money for the same thrill

What used to be $200 can now turn into $2,500, $4,000, or more, and regardless of your financial ability to fund this habit, you still do more gambling and increased risk to chase that huge amount.

3. Reducing, stopping, and curbing attempts at gambling have been unsuccessful

When playing, do you find that you can leave at any time, regardless of the outcome? No.

Have you spent too much time avoiding gambling only to find yourself overcoming your own obstacles and still betting your money? Yes.

If these are the answers applicable to you, then we are looking at a potential gambling addiction.

4. Restlessness and irritability on restricting gambling

For example, people with alcohol use disorder may feel uncomfortable and restless if they do not consume alcohol, similarly if your body and mind are hungry for the opportunity of great risk and reward in gambling, and if you do not end up playing then you feel restless and irritable.

5. Gambling is used as an avoidance activity to deal with negative emotions

In the same way that drug addicts use drugs for relief, it is unhealthy to use gambling as a means of dealing with emotions. Unlike yoga, meditation, or journaling which help us work through difficult emotions and situations, gambling does the opposite and can at most make you feel worse.

6. Hiding or lying about gambling to others

While it is normal to experiment with our hobbies and pastimes without telling the world about them, when you start lying to the people you love about how and where if you have spent your time and money, maybe it is time to rethink your behavior.

You go to extreme ends to either hide the money you have spent or to obtain more money to gamble.

You tell yourself it is fine because you can shift money around between various accounts or “borrow” from children, spouses, or parents. Maybe you have resorted to criminal activity because the pull of your gambling habit is too strong. Are you neglecting to pay your bills or maxing out your credit cards? These are all signs of compulsive and problematic gambling behavior.

You risk losing important relationships and other aspects of your life like your job, school, or possible career-advancing opportunities in order to gamble more.

Prioritizing gambling over all else is a sign that you might be experiencing an addiction. A fun, harmless activity should never jeopardize your relationships, your education, or your career.

You have had to ask friends or family to help you out of a tough financial situation that came as a result of gambling.

Asking for help is part of what makes us human, but if you have found yourself in a place where you are in over your head and require outside financial assistance, it’s a sign that your gambling might be out of control.

If after all this, you tell yourself that you are satisfied because you can move money between debts or “borrow” from your children, spouses, or parents – then, your addiction to gambling may have been so strong that you have turned it into a cheating hobby. Forgot to pay or use up your credit card limit? These are all symptoms and signs of obsessive and compulsive gambling.

You risk giving up important relationships and various lifestyle elements such as work, education, or possible career opportunities in order to play more. Preferring gambling to all else is a sign that you are suffering from an addiction. Fun and innocent hobbies should not jeopardize your relationships, education, or career. You should have asked a friend or relative for help to get you out of a difficult financial situation due to gambling and approached the best rehab centres in India.

Gambling disorder is a complex mental health problem caused by a wide spectrum of different biological, psychological, and social risk factors. Treatment options for gambling disorder need to be wide, flexible, accessible, and economically justified, providing early inclusion, retention, and sustainability of long-term effects of the treatment, that is, abstinence and higher quality of psychosocial functioning. [3]

Few people seek treatment for gambling. Of those with gambling disorder, less than 15% receive treatment [4] and almost none with less severe problems do. [5]

CBT and brief interventions remain well supported and appear to be similarly effective across varied patient groups. Cognitive-behavioral (CB) therapy integrates aspects of cognitive therapy along with behavioral interventions. Typically, it involves identifying external triggers for gambling, practicing alternative responses to cues or triggers, and promoting alternatives to gambling. [6]

A range of promising new and combination treatments have been developed that require further evaluation. Larger, more robust pragmatic trials are required with diverse populations. Increased attention needs to be given to mechanisms of change, therapy mediators, patient retention, comorbidities, long-term treatment outcome, and relapse prevention. [7]

Results from this review recommend a 6-8 session or chapter CB treatment, that integrates MI if the CB treatment is entirely self-directed, for individuals seeking gambling treatment. For persons with less severe gambling problems and perhaps even those with gambling problems but who are not desiring traditional in-person multi-session interventions, minimal interventions involving feedback related to one’s gambling may also suffice. Although more research must inform best practices and empirically validate existing or novel interventions for gambling, the studies from the past decades provide a guide for clinicians and a benchmark for expectations regarding outcomes. [8]

Where Can I Get Help?

It is important to remember that you are not alone and there are many resources available to help you such as the best rehabilitation centers in India. Depending on the degree of addiction, treatment may vary at the best rehabs in India. The most common approaches include therapy, medication, or self-help groups at the top 10 rehabilitation centres in India. If you or a loved one is showing signs of gambling addiction and are considering the best de-addiction centres in India as gambling addiction treatment options, you can find resources here at It is never too late to take the first step towards a new vibrant life by approaching the top rehabilitation centres in India for gambling de-addiction purposes.


  • 1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®) Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013.
  • 2. Stucki S, Rihs-Middel M. Prevalence of adult problem and pathological gambling between 2000 and 2005: An update. Journal of Gambling Studies. 2007;23(3):245–257. Accessed on 29/03/2023 from:
  • 3. Bodor, Davora,b; Ricijaš, Nevenc; Filipcic, Igora,b,d. Treatment of gambling disorder: a review of evidence-based aspects for best practice. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 34(5):p 508-513, September 2021. | DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000728. Accessed on 29/03/2023 from:
  • 4. Slutske WS. Natural recovery and treatment-seeking in pathological gambling: Results of two U.S. national surveys. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 2006;163(2):297–302. Accessed on 29/03/2023 from:
  • 5. Petry NM. Pathological gambling: Etiology, comorbidity, and treatment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; 2005. Accessed on 29/03/2023 from:
  • 6. Petry NM. Pathological gambling: Etiology, comorbidity, and treatment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; 2005. Accessed on 29/03/2023 from: file:///C:/Users/91730/Downloads/3786-4690-1-PB.pdf
  • 7. Abbott, Max W.. Professionally delivered interventions for gambling disorder. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 32(4):p 313-319, July 2019. | DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000516. Accessed on 29/03/2023 from:
  • 8. Petry NM, Ginley MK, Rash CJ. A systematic review of treatments for problem gambling. Psychol Addict Behav. 2017 Dec;31(8):951-961. doi: 10.1037/adb0000290. Epub 2017 Jun 22. PMID: 28639817; PMCID: PMC5714688. Accessed on 29/03/2023 from:

AUTHOR - Dr. Niharika Singh (MBBS, MD Psychiatry, MIPS)
Dr. Niharika Singh received her MBBS degree from Kurukshetra University, following which she went on to complete MD Psychiatry from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore. During her residency program, she pursued her thesis on psychosocial factors and personality profiles of early and late-onset Alcohol dependence syndrome. With a view to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the field of mental health, she then continued to train regularly with premier institutes such as Harvard Medical School - McLean Hospital (USA) in Mind-Body Medicine, Beck Institute (USA) in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, NIMHANS (Bangalore) in Addiction Psychiatry, Behaviour Medicine, Clinical Neurophysiology and Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation and has completed Fellowship in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation from Duke University (USA). After post-graduation, her goal has been to inform the public about addiction issues. Her mission is to help those in need of treatment find the best option for them. And with this being her consistent vision, she believes in de-stigmatizing the field of addiction psychiatry and rehabilitation center treatment in India and has been working at a licensed dual-diagnosis facility in New Delhi. Through her contributions to she aims at providing licensed, professional rehabilitative care choices to patients and their families.

REVIEWED BY - Sudipta Rath (M. Phil in Clinical Psychology)
Sudipta Rath has completed her MPhil in clinical psychology from Utkal University in Odisha (India) in 2020 and is currently practicing in New Delhi as a clinical psychologist at a dual diagnosis facility. She is a licensed RCI practitioner specializing in all forms of psychotherapy. Addiction and mental health are personal subjects for her, and her goal is that she can give a helping hand to those seeking healthy and lasting recovery.

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