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The signs and symptoms of gambling withdrawal

Those suffering from gambling addiction can go through an adverse withdrawal. Knowing the signs and symptoms of gambling withdrawal will help you manage them properly. Studies carried out on behavior-based habits suggests that there are different withdrawal symptoms.

They are carefully grouped in two different places – the emotional symptoms or the physical symptoms. You might experience some of these physical signs, which is why you need to read this piece thoroughly. When you start to notice signs of desperation and a constant thirst for that which is capable of causing bodily or psychological harm, then it’s time to withdraw from gambling completely.

What should I expect during gambling withdrawal?

Quitting an addiction is hard; it takes discipline to go through. You have to prepare yourself for the symptoms that will ensue from the decision. The physical and emotional change will be clear from the start because, at this point, you are trying to deprogram your brain and teach it ‘new tricks.’ When you suffer from drug abuse or something similar to that, your body will start to crave for that substance to perform optimally; then, your brain is trained to rely on it heavily.

Physical Symptoms of Gambling withdrawal

The first category we will be delving into is the physical symptoms. Interestingly, emotional withdrawal symptoms can also present themselves as physical symptoms. Depression or anxiety can cause you to have insomnia. Sleep deprivation is responsible for many physical conditions like weight gain/loss, pale skin, dark circles, and acne. Physical gambling withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Palpitations.
  • Sweating.
  • Nausea.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Tremors.
  • Muscle tension and soreness.
  • Feeling tightness in the chest. 

Fortunately, you will neither experience all of these symptoms, nor will you experience them simultaneously. If you’ve tried quitting gambling on your own and it feels hard, then you have withdrawal symptoms.

Emotional Gambling Withdrawal Symptoms

To understand gambling withdrawal, there is a need to know the role of the human brain, its chemistry, and what role dopamine plays in gambling addiction. The withdrawal period often results in a rush of different symptoms that can lead to an extreme emotional loss. Some of the symptoms of emotional gambling withdrawal include but aren’t limited to the following.

Depression is a common symptom of gambling withdrawal – it is common amongst those who have a mental illness. They negatively affect how we feel, the thoughts that run through her minds, and how we act.

Depression is powerful, and it can lead to various emotional problems. It can also lower a person’s ability to function at an optimal level while at work or home. These are signs of depression:

  • When you feel hopeless and helpless, paradoxically, some people gamble to gain temporal control of their lives.
  • Losing interest in one’s daily activities.
  • Change in sleep patterns. Sleep is essential for mental well-being. When sleep is disrupted can be signs of other problems.

Pathological gambling – The cravings

Cravings do occur due to the brain’s awareness of how easy and quick it is to get the thrill your body is yearning for – one that can only be temporarily quenched by gambling frequently. When you crave for addictive behavior, the feeling is way more intense than something like your regular food cravings. You develop a powerful memory linked to gambling, which makes it more appealing. Desire is a temporal feeling, and at times it gets extremely powerful or weak. The intensity and types differ from one person to another. it usually involves a trigger that causes obsessive thinking.


Insomnia makes it difficult for one to fall and stay asleep. It causes depression, decreased concentration, poor health, and reduces one’s zeal to do anything.


Anxiety is an emotional condition that is characterized by feelings of tension, having worried thoughts, and some other physical changes like unstable blood pressure. This condition can prevent you from properly confront issues. It disrupts your perception and paints a distorted picture of situations. It is a typical experience but becomes a disorder when it becomes extreme, difficult to control, and long-lasting.

Finding a healthy replacement

The real reason for these symptoms is because you find it hard to ger a healthy replacement. Gambling withdrawal is similar to drug withdrawal. Drugs stimulate specific chemical processes in the brain, such as the release of endorphins and dopamine. The compulsive behavior was doing the same thing a drug would do to your mind. However, there is hope for everyone battling compulsive gambling; healthy activities can activate these chemicals without exhausting our finances or living double lives.

Some of the popular substitutes for compulsive gambling include swimming, running, hiking, mountain climbing, and other types of physical exercise. These activities also trigger a high but healthy emotions.


Will I experience physical symptoms during withdrawal?

Yes, you will. Withdrawal symptoms can be associated with drug addiction and all other forms of substance abuse. During gambling withdrawal, the symptoms you notice are caused by changes in your brain activity. Also, your body physically craves for the substances and events that it has gotten used to. Replacing such activities and withdrawing from those substances will cause your brain to want for it actively.


Compulsive gambling is a recognized condition and can be treated by medical professionals. The treatment options available to pathological gamblers are broad. It is safe to say gambling addiction is treatable, and you don’t have to live your life thinking there is no hope for you.

Share your experience with us, and we’ll be glad to offer our help professionally. Let’s help you get back your life and put your relationship with family and friends back on track. Take the first step today, and the rest will follow. Or leave a comment in the comment section below.

Remember, this is not aimed at painting gambling companies bad. Its just to remind you that whatever you do, you need to take responsibility for your actions and stop when the habit becomes unhealthy.