In case you suspect you might have a gambling problem, we advise you to read carefully the text below.
Gambling should be an enjoyable pastime for people worldwide. Some of them take it simply as a way to have some fun and entertain themselves, while others take it quite seriously. Considering the fact that there are professional players, who make a living out of gambling, it may become a ground for an addiction or losing control.
Causes of Problem Gambling
Problem gambling is an unstoppable desire to continuously gamble in spite of the awareness of negative consequences it might have. No matter that many people think of such problem as a concern of people with addictive personalities or poor self-control and will-power, the problem is more serious than you think.
Still, there is no unambiguous answer of the question what is the cause of problem gambling. It is considered to usually depend on the personal characteristics of the player and the circumstances related to them.
Some assume that compulsive gamblers’ one and only motive is money. However, this is not exactly true, because the problem for many compulsive gambler is not related to greed or desperation for money at all.
People who become compulsive gamblers could also be motivated by financial issues, too. It is not exactly an uncommon decision for people with financial worries to turn to gambling in an attempt to generate quick and large money gains. Unfortunately, such decisions often end up making things worse.
In addition, gambling is sometimes used by some people as a form of escape of reality. Such people use it as a some kind of defensive mechanism that is supposed to help them deal with other problems in their life, especially considering the fact that gambling is able to provide a huge emotional rush.
Signs of a Gambling Problem
No matter what has become the catalyst of developing a gambling problem, people with such issues often show certain signs. Here you can find a list of the most common ones you should look for in case you suspect that a family member, friend or a partner has a gambling problem.
- A lot of time spent on gambling
- Categorically refusing to stop gambling
- More and more arguments about money
- Lying when asked about the gambling activities
- Sudden financial issues such as new loans, new credit cards or a lot of unpaid bills that can’t be explained
- Being chased by debt collectors and seeming worried or put under a lot of stress
If these signs can be found in a family member of yours, a friend, a loved one or just in someone you know, you should do everything possible to try and get them immediately stop gambling. The most important thing you should start with but also one of the hardest ones is getting them to accept they have a problem. Once the problem is accepted, compulsive gamblers can be encouraged to look for some professional help.
If you suspect that you may have a gambling problem, check out the following list and look for the sings in yourself:
- Feel an urge to gamble all the time and thinking about gambling frequently
- Being stressed, frustrated, or angry when unable to gamble
- Realizing that you gamble in order to forget about your problems or put them away for some time
- Putting away more money for gambling, including money you can’t really afford to lose
- Lying about financial issues or gambling activities
- Borrowing money to gamble with
Problem Gambling Help
There are several places where you can find some professional help for your gambling problems. Still, the most important thing is to realize that you have a problem and things have gotten out of control.
Once you realize that, you will be able to regain the control over your life and deal with gambling problems.
Here you can find some help in case you need a consultation or an advice:
Gamblers Anonymous – www.gamblersanonymous.org
The organization has members from all over the world and helps people with compulsive gambling behaviour to share their experience.
National Council of Problem Gambling – www.ncpgambling.org
The organization is based in the U.S. and is engaged into making more people realize the seriousness of gambling addiction and help compulsive gamblers.
Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
This organization is based in the U.K. and offers counselling and support for current and ex problem gamblers and their families.