The Hidden Addiction that Will Crush Americans

With a $90 billion market worldwide, it may be too late

E.M. DuBois

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Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

I am an addict.

My addiction is invisible.

To those on the outside, I am a great guy living a great life, if they only knew.

I have spent over $165,000 to fuel my addiction, all hidden from my wife and family. I have taken out personal loans with high interest to fund this.

“Hello, my name is Ed, and I am a compulsive gambler.”

Around 8 months ago I won $100,000 playing fantasy football on Draftkings. Here is the story behind that. Any sane person would have counted their blessings and cashed out.

But I am not sane.

I took this as a sign that I needed to put all of that money towards creating financial freedom and a work-free existence.

So I lost all of that money, and to cover my tracks and try to chase the losses I took out loans, oh, and maxed out my credit card, another 20k.

If I had known that gambling addiction was real I may have recognized these choices as signs of an addiction. But I didn’t figure it out until I hit the bottom and joined my local Gambler’s Anonymous (GA) meeting.

In my first meeting is was stark to see the divide among attendees in terms of age. We had a few old-timers, who haven’t gambled in 30 years and a lot of young guns like me, still working through the addiction.

This is when it hit me, this addiction is going to become a huge problem in the next 5 years.

Is Gambling Addiction a Thing?

Yes. It is recognized by the APA as an impulse control disorder that has both physical and mental symptoms including:

  • depression
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • intestinal issues
  • anxiety

Compulsive gamblers, like myself, get a buzz or a high just by putting some money into action. The problem is that, unlike non-compulsive gamblers, I have to keep upping the stakes, I am never happy with my last win.

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E.M. DuBois

E.M. is a teacher, freelance writer, husband, and father who loves writing creative non-fiction.