In this article we go through the most common signs of a gambling problem, and what you can do to take action and find the good way.
Many nice things come with a risk for addiction. Wine, tobacco, food, shopping – the list goes on and on. Gambling is another such thing, and since the Internet itself has addictive powers, online gambling is a killer in this area.
You probably know if you have an addictive nature, if you tend to overdo things you like. If you eat more than you should, if you wake up after shopping sprees feeling sick with regrets, if wine bottles seem to come in ever smaller sizes, you probably need to pay attention.
When is your gambling a problem?
There are a number of behaviors that can reveal a gambling addiction. Read through the list and see how many of them that fits your description.
If you check several of these points, you may have a real problem. It’s best to be honest about this. At least to yourself.
Check how many of those behaviors you recognize in yourself. You:
- Spend more money on gambling than you had planned.
- Are easily annoyed if something disturbs you while gambling.
- Chase your losses, trying to win back money that you’ve lost.
- Loose your sense of time and stay in the game longer than planned.
- Don’t tell the truth to people that are close to you.
- Don't quit when you’re up, but continue gambling until the money is gone.
- Have a strong belief that you will make big wins.
- Think that you lose because you didn't play well enough.
- Spend more and more time gambling and thinking about gambling.
- Need to play higher to get the same excitement.
- Spend more on gambling than you let your friends know.
- Choose gaming before family, friends or work.
Denial is half the problem
Developing a gambling problem is no active choice. Addiction is sub-conscious; we cannot touch it directly using our will powers.Just wanting to gamble less probably won’t be enough.
Only if you admit that there’s a problem, you might find the resources to really deal with it. Try saying it out loud for yourself. “I have a gambling problem.” See how it makes you feel.
You’re not alone
There are people who understand where you’re at and who can actually help. Human psychology is what it is – we all work in pretty much the same ways.
For example, you’re a favorite to find a group of Gamblers Anonymous not far from the place you live. Pick up the phone and have a short chat. It could change your life.
Casinos and poker rooms on the internet often let you set spending limits for your gambling. You can tell the sites to block your user account to prevent you from falling for the temptation in a moment of weakness.
Below is a list of people who know what they’re talking about:
- National Council on Problem Gambling (Canada)
- UK GamCare
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Helping Hand/ IGC
Playing games is nice, but don’t play games with your wellbeing!