While playing the lottery may be a fun source of entertainment, it is essential to stay alert and identify signs of lottery addiction to get help in time.
It may be that you are suspicious that someone else may be suffering from that problem, or you only want to be cautious in case you start to develop the symptoms. Either way, this guide will assist you in finding the signs of lottery addiction and getting help.
What Is Lottery Addiction?
Lottery addiction is officially considered to be a psychiatric disorder, just like any other form of gambling addiction. By definition, it becomes an addiction when it is no longer a healthy activity and starts to impact the life of the player or anyone else around that person.
Comparable to other addictions that are considered to be more severe, including alcohol and other drugs, the lottery addiction can be fought and eliminated from someone’s life with the correct help. That can be achieved when the early signs of lottery addiction appear before real damages to the relationships, quality of life, or financial situation.
How Does Lottery Addiction Start?
Lottery addiction does not begin because of the offer of cheap lotteries or because they are more accessible these days. There must be a lack of impulse control for it to install in someone’s mind, and that is usually the result of a preexisting disorder or due to what the person is living.
As an example, a person who has been suffering from stress or on an emotional rollercoaster is prone to becoming addicted to the lottery.
Learn to Identify Signs of Lottery Addiction
Either to help yourself out of that situation or to assist someone that is starting to develop symptoms of lottery addiction, it is crucial to learn to identify its signs. The sooner the problem is identified and treated, the better the chances to leave it behind. While it is not exactly simple to diagnose, any effort toward that direction counts.
The Four Phases of Lottery Addiction
There are four phases in the process of becoming addicted to the lottery. They are not necessarily what every addict will get through, but they form a logical order that will most often occur. Knowing them is important to identify when someone is living one of those phases, which can help identify the signs of lottery addiction:
- Euphory: This phase occurs with a lottery win, and people who are psychologically healthy will simply enjoy it and return to their normal lives. It is possible for someone to develop a lottery addiction without winning it, so this phase is not necessarily essential to the experience.
- Negation: With losses, which are part of playing the lottery for the vast majority of people, the player starts to go after those losses and try to recover the money through lottery prizes at all costs. It is possible that they start to sell things or borrow money to play.
- Desperation: This dangerous phase is when signs are more clearly noticeable. Some people will experience rage outbursts, find no motivation to do anything that is not related to playing the lottery, and even commit crimes like robbery to sustain the addiction..
- Depression: This phase may be a combination of the last two, but the risks to the life of the lottery addict become clearer. The person tends to isolate themselves from others, and there is a risk of developing depression and thoughts of suicide.
Even though the lottery addiction phases are not a clear path for the development of that psychiatric disorder, knowing them may help notice when someone is in need of help.
Warning Signs of Lottery Addiction
By living or knowing someone that is possibly developing lottery addiction, identifying the signs as soon as possible can help them get out of it. Therefore, the first step towards treating and curing lottery addiction is to identify the symptoms and signs that they usually experience:
- Showing an inability to avoid playing the lottery and doing everything possible to purchase tickets for the next drawing.
- Borrowing money to play the lottery or not telling what it is for.
- Obsessively talking about the lottery, drawing results, prizes, and theories on strategies.
- Getting unsatisfied with the results from the drawings.
- Using lottery gambling as a way to escape from stress and real-life problems.
- Feeling restless when unable to purchase lottery tickets.
- Lying about the purchase of tickets.
- Showing signs of feeling guilty without changing the behavior.
- Trying to make up for losses, spending more money.
- Putting job, marriage, friendship, or any other important aspect of life at risk because of the lottery.
Do you know someone who is showing at least one of the signs above or suspect that you might be developing lottery addiction yourself? Continue to read to find the help and support channels.
Signs of Lottery Addiction Among Teens
While the signs of lottery addiction described above apply to players of all ages, extra attention should be paid to teenagers. At that stage of life, the risk of developing an addiction is higher because the brain is still not totally formed and easily adapted, even to dangerous behaviors such as addictions
First of all, teenagers should not be playing the lottery. Still, it is important to verify signs of lottery addiction among teens with the following signs:
- Talking about lottery results and prizes, even not being of the legal age to play it.
- Experiencing changes in mood with the drawing results.
- Trying to formulate theories and lottery strategies.
- Failing to explain where the money goes to or where the money came from.
- Lying about having played the lottery.
- Having lottery tickets hidden somewhere.
In the presence of the signs listed above, do not hesitate to seek help and talk with that teenager. Stopping the development of that addiction can make a difference in their lives.
How to Get Help for Lottery Addiction?
The exact place where you will get help depends on where you live. Not all countries have a proper scheme to treat lottery addiction in all its phases with due attention. If your local does not have a specific place for forms of gambling addiction, there is still professional help that can be sought.
Being a psychiatric disorder, it makes sense to find a trustworthy psychiatrist, preferably someone who has experience treating lottery or gambling addiction. More importantly, talk and explain everything to the person that needs the treatment because they need to want to go through it for it to work.
It is important to have a safe support group to help that person get through that difficult time. Friends and family are as important as a medical help.
Websites to Get Help for Lottery Addiction
If you also want to try and contact organizations focused on helping gambling addiction in general, these websites may be of help. Even if they provide services in another country, you will find no trouble getting hints and information from them:
- ADT Healthcare
- Be Gamble Aware
- Canadian Centre for Addictions (Canada)
- Castle Craig Rehab (UK)
- Gamblers Anonymous
- International Center for Responsible Gambling
- National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)
Real Cases of Lottery Addiction
In order to illustrate how severe lottery addiction may be, I have assembled two cases that impersonate that psychiatric disorder.
Adam Osmond is not a regular case of lottery addiction. He was the owner of a convenience store where he printed tickets for other people. For six years, he kept his habit of playing the lottery, but the estimates were far beyond what healthy gambling would be: he estimated a loss that was close to 1 million dollars.
That is already a decent prize to be won, but he spent that on tickets. In fact, he even printed over 50,000 tickets in a single draw, which made him lose his wife and kids. He did not manage to recover them, but he overcame his addiction.
Viktor Gjonaj played in the Michigan Lottery, purchasing tickets worth up to $1 million in tickets for the lotteries Daily 3 and Daily 4 based on his own lottery strategy. We know that no Pick 3 strategy or Pick 4 formula can guarantee winnings.
As a result, he did not manage to win. What is even worse is that he managed to trick investors and lost over $19 million of their money.
Can Lottery Addiction Be Cured?
Yes, lottery addiction may be cured with due treatment and help from people who truly care about the person suffering from that disorder. However, the predisposition will remain. While playing the lottery can be a fun source of entertainment, there is a small group of people who, at the risk of developing addiction, should prefer not to play it.