Many people around the world have gambling problems and, like alcoholics, many of them are actually addicted. The fact is, the average person can have a weekly card game with friends, play for a few hours at the slots or play some online poker while having a good time and enjoying themselves. But gambling addicts can’t.
If you are one of those people or think that you might be, there are a number of “telltale” signs that you might be addicted to gambling that are outlined for you below. If you see yourself in only one of them, chances are you don’t really have a problem.
But if all of them could describe the way you act when you’re gambling, you might want to seek out help. Here are some telltale to play notice to:
Sign #1: You simply can’t stop yourself
Simply put, people who gamble for fun limit themselves, limit their bets and know when to stop. Compulsive gamblers on the other hand often struggle with both the time they spend on gambling and also the money. In time betting, whether in a casino or online, takes over their life and when they try to quit they can’t.
Sign #2: You take money you can’t afford and gamble with it
Many people put aside “fun money” to gamble with either online or in casinos. Problem gamblers on the other hand use money that is needed for paying bills and buying food and even will sometimes bet money that they borrowed from friends and family.
Sign #3: Your betting is no longer entertainment or recreation
While recreational gamblers play for fun and spend only a few dollars, someone with a gambling problem will often gamble to either escape from their anxiety or other problems that they have.
Sign #4: in order to get back your gambling losses, you gamble more
If you lost money by gambling and then bet more in order to get it back, you probably have a gambling problem. This is what’s known as “throwing good money after bad” and problem gamblers do it all the time.
Sign #5: You find yourself using more and more money to gamble
Many addictions start small. Alcoholics don’t become alcoholics overnight and gamblers don’t become addicted to gambling overnight either. Problem gamblers do however have a problem playing for low stakes or staying within set limits. They need to feel the “rush” and, to get it, they keep betting more and more money.
Sign #6: In order to get more money to gamble, you do extreme things
Gambling addicts don’t stop gambling when their bank account is empty but instead do things like borrow money, steal money or resort to forgery in order to feed their habit.
Sign #7: Gambling becomes the most important thing in your life
If you’ve ever missed your child’s birthday party, called out sick to work or missed a family function in order to gamble, chances are you’ve got a problem. If you find that your relationships are deteriorating or your career is going down the drain, it’s time to get some help.
Sign #8: Your emotions become erratic
If you are becoming more frustrated and irritated about your gambling, if you’ve had feelings of remorse or seen your ambition slowly drop, you probably have a gambling addiction problem.
As mentioned above, if you see yourself in any more than one of these situations above, it might be time to surf to the Gamblers Anonymous website and take a test that they have there about compulsive gambling. If you fail, it might be time to get some help.