Gambling addiction, just like alcoholism and drug addiction can ruin lives and wreck reputations, and although it may be less physically destructive on the body, it can be hugely mentally destructive. Gambling addicts always need help, and its often p to them to acknowledge this and seek it.
Knowing the signs of gambling addiction are important for everyone, both for gamblers and their friends and family, and by understanding what to look for, you can ensure you and those around you are always playing responsibly.
Lying about Gambling
One of the biggest red flags that indicate a gambling addiction is when a player lies about how much time or money they are spending on gambling. Or, if they lie about anything to do with gambling, such as making excuses not to attend social function, or about how much they have lost. If gambling compulsively leads to lying in any way it is never a good thing, and if it leads to financial difficulties, this is even worse. If someone you know lies about their gambling habits, tell them you know they are lying and do not enable them to continue to hide the truth. At worst, you may lose a friend, but you may also find it will be the eye opener they need to seek help.
Anyone who struggles to focus and cant concentrate at work, or even at home because they are always thinking about gambling has a problem. No activity should be your sole focus or drive, and as gambling is meant to be recreational and fun, becoming obsessive or compulsive about it is unhealthy. If gambling affects focus, or interferes with your work, you need to step back and address the situation, as your job is your livelihood.
Excluding All Other Activities
If a player starts gambling compulsively, or forgoes all other activities in favour of gambling, there is a problem. Gambling addiction is exactly that, an addiction to gambling and a need to continue to chase wins and recoup losses. The belief that the next big win is always around the corner is a dangerous one, and one that many people with a gambling addiction may have. If you think you might have a gambling addiction, you can replace gambling with going to the movies. If you feel that you’d be ‘going to the movies’ a crazy number of times, or excluding all other invitations to go to the movies, you’ll suddenly see how much time gambling is taking out of your day.
The minute anyone starts borrowing money to play slots, table games or other wagering entertainment, there’s a problem. A clear sign of gambling addiction is blowing your budget and then borrowing money from other people, not necessarily to even pay your bills, but to try and win again. Often financial issues are what cause problem gamblers to acknowledge their addiction and seek help, as debts pile up and become unmanageable they realise that they are simply digging themselves deeper all the time.
These are a few of the more common signs of gambling addiction, but fortunately there is plenty of help available, from self exclusion limits that can be set at online casinos, no deposit casinos, to support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous, or even rehab treatment.