08 Sep 7 SIGNS YOU KNOW YOU HAVE A GAMBLING PROBLEM
Compulsive gambling and gambling addiction are rare diseases in that you suffer no physical harm. Rather, the disease hits you somewhere else – your wallet. It cannot only ruin your life but also the lives of those around you, as you try to gamble away every last dollar you can get your hands on.
Luckily there are many professionals out there who are able to help. If you’re worried you or someone you may know may suffer from a gambling addiction, there are seven signs you should look out for:
When the person is confronted about their gambling habit do they try to play it off as not that bad? Do they swear up and down that they can quit anytime they want? If they get super defensive about their gambling habits, there may be a problem. If they resort to lying about it, then it’s definitely a problem.
If you have to resort to lying or keeping secrets about your gambling habit, then something is wrong. As obvious as it is to point out, gambling costs a lot of money and it’s not always easy to hide that. If a person goes to great lengths to cover up their spending habits (and losses) then professional help is probably needed.
3. Constant Talk About Gambling
One sure sign of any form of addiction is constant talk of it. A person who suffers from gambling addiction might perpetually talk about gambling in some shape or form. They might talk strategy or relive those big wins over and over again. They might initiate little bets with you at every opportunity or get too serious over these little bets. This is one of the easier signs to spot.
4. Spiraling Debt
The unfortunate truth of gambling is that the house is always favored to win. And if you have a problem with gambling, you’re going to be giving more and more of your money to the house. A sudden fall or a continued spiral into debt is a sure sign of gambling addiction.
5. Interference in Personal Life
An addiction officially becomes a problem when it starts interfering with your personal life. With gambling, it usually takes the form of borrowing money from places you shouldn’t, like from family members or from your children’s savings. When you can’t afford to feed your family because you blew your paycheck at the races, it’s a definite sign of a problem. Willingly letting your actions negatively affect your loved ones is shameful and there’s nothing wrong with seeking out help to stop it.
6. Bigger Bets
Gambling produces a high like any other addiction. And like alcohol, cocaine, or meth, gambling’s high can wear off, leaving the addicted to chase after bigger and bigger bets. If you’ve noticed your friend suddenly tossing around amounts that he can’t afford to toss around, your friend might have a problem. Sure the pay-offs are that much bigger when they do win, but at this point they’re throwing away their money and life.
7. Quitting and Relapsing
A clever person addicted to gambling will promise up and down to quit. But soon enough, you’ll notice a scratch off ticket in their pocket or they’re back at the felt tables. The cycle of quitting and relapsing is a sign of addiction and a sign that the person isn’t being honest with himself. They need help with their problems in order to officially quit for good since they can’t do it on their own.
And once again, the best thing you can do if you think someone you know may have a problem with gambling is to get them to seek professional help.