Nobody likes to think of themselves as addicts and bettors are no different in believing they are in control, even when they are not. Problem gambling or gambling addiction can occur quickly in some bettors and never at all in others. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Council_on_Problem_Gambling_(United_States)
When you feel you are out of control, losing money you cannot afford to lose or sneaking around to get your gambling in, its time to reach out anonymously for some help. It’s an uncontrollable urge to gamble even when you know you shouldn’t or you don’t have the money to lose.
In the United States, the oldest and best-known problem-gambling support group is the National Council on Problem Gambling. Founded in 1972, the group has a nation-wide network of counsellors and advisors to help. They also offer a gambling hotline, which you can call right now if you are reading this page because you feel like you have a problem. National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700).
What are the signs of Problem Gambling?
The Mayo Clinic listed the following symptoms and indicators.
- Being preoccupied with gambling, such as constantly planning how to get more gambling money
- Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill
- Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling, without success
- Feeling restless or irritable when you try to cut down on gambling
- Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression
- Trying to get back lost money by gambling more (chasing losses)
- Lying to family members or others to hide the extent of your gambling
- Jeopardizing or losing important relationships, a job, or school or work opportunities because of gambling
- Resorting to theft or fraud to get gambling money
- Asking others to bail you out of financial trouble because you gambled money away
What are the causes of gambling addiction?
Problem gambling is often a cross-addiction situation where bettors also experience substance abuse or mental health issues.
Substance Abuse – drug use or excessive alcohol use
Depression or anxiety – people with mental-health issues are more prone to addiction with gambling. It is often seen in people with ADHD or obsessive compulsive disorders.
Age – younger people are more prone to risky behavior, both in their lives and with their money
Men more than women – men are more prone to problem gambling
Influences – if you have a colleague or family members with the problem, your chances of developing it are increased
Personality traits – workaholics who look for a release (whether alcohol or gambling) are more susceptible, as are those who are uber-competitive or impulsive
What are the outcomes if left untreated?
Financial problems, debt or ruin
Wrecked relationships with spouses or family members
Employment performance problems or getting fired
Poor health and risk of suicidal thoughts
How can I prevent problem gambling?
If you are pre-disposed to addiction or have the aforementioned risk factors, its best to reach out and ask for coping strategies and help. Simple as that. Problem gambling doesn’t help anyone and nobody wants to see it.