People must be made more aware of the harmful effects of gambling. Workshops and other events can be organized to inform people about it.
Find out preventive solutions
People must be made more aware of the harmful effects of gambling. Workshops and other events can be organized to inform people about it.
Reduce impact on mental health
Problem gambling affects the mental health. We should learn ways to reduce the negative impact on mental health.
Gambling addiction can happen to anyone.
It may start from a fun and harmless hobby until it turned into an unhealthy obsession. You should never dismiss any signs of gambling problems. Being addicted to gambling has its negative effect not just to you. It can put a strain on your relationships and social life and can jeopardize your work and your financial status.
Before it’s too late, it’s important that you acknowledge that you have a problem. Understanding gambling addiction is one step towards healing.
What are Problem Gambling and Gambling Addiction?
Also known as compulsive gambling, gambling disorder or pathological gambling, gambling addiction is a type of impulse-control disorder. Having this condition means having the difficulty in controlling your impulse to gamble. You will gamble regardless of your situation and consequences.
Problem gambling is a gambling behavior that disrupts your life. You have a problem gambling if you’re spending more time and money gambling without acknowledging the serious consequences it brings.
Other behavioral or mood disorders are often associated with a gambling problem or addiction. Many people suffering from gambling addiction are also experiencing other conditions like ADHD, substance abuse, depression, stress, bipolar disorder or anxiety.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Addiction?
Some people refer gambling addiction as a “hidden illness”. This is because unlike other types of addiction, there are no physical signs or symptoms of gambling addiction. Most of the people that are suffering from gambling addiction deny the said problem.
So how would you know if you’re gambling has already gotten out of hand?
Below are some of the telltale signs.
- Having trouble controlling gambling
Once you’ve sat on the table, do you have the capacity to walk away? Are you the type who won’t stop unless you’ve spent your last dollar? Are you consistently winning your lost money back by upping your bets?
- Being secretive about gambling
You may feel the need to lie or become secretive when it comes to your gambling. You may tell your wife that you’re going on a 2-days training required by your company but you’re going to the casino instead. You either feel that people won’t understand your gambling habits or would judge you so it’s better to lie or be secretive about it.
- Gamble even when you’ve already lost all of your money
People with gambling addiction feel the constant urge to gamble even when they don’t have money. You may gamble until you’ve lost your last dollar and then move on to the money you don’t have – credit cards, money allocated for bill payments. You would even sell your stuffs, borrow money or steal things. Having an addiction with gambling would not only empty your current finances but can also put you in too much debt.
- Your family and friends are worried about you
If your family and friends are concerned about your gambling, chances are there is indeed a problem. Though some would initially get angry and become defensive, it’s important to listen to what your loved ones are saying. After all, they only want what’s best for you.
- Psychological and Physical Symptoms
People with gambling addiction may also exhibit psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts and tendencies. These emotional symptoms can lead to sleep deprivation. It can cause weight gain or loss, pale skin, acne and dark circles.
How does a person’s brain get addicted to gambling? Click here to know more how gambling can be addicting.
How to Overcome Gambling Addiction?
Gambling addiction is not a simple matter that you can just shrug off and hope that it would go away on its own.
The first step towards healing and reconciliation is acknowledging that you have a problem. It’s time to stop being in denial and accept the truth. Acceptance is certainly not an easy thing to do, however with tremendous courage and strength you can get over this stage.
Gambling problems may have strained your relationship, job security and finances. It’s hard to pick up the pieces of what you have broken. Instead of lamenting your loss, look at the brighter side and believe that you can get over your addiction and fix what was broken.
Here are some of the self-help tips towards overcoming your gambling addiction.
- Resolve your underlying issues
Are you gambling whenever you feel bored, lonely or tired? Do you feel it’s your relief from stress and anxiety?
Though you may find temporary relief from these feelings when you gamble, know that gambling is not the solution to your problem. Acknowledge what you feel and find ways on how to resolve it. Examine why you’re lonely and do something that you love to lift up your mood. Resolve any issues or conflicts with your wife, boss, and co-workers.
Gambling will only add tremendous weight to your problems. Resolve your issues first-hand so that you won’t have the urge to gamble.
- Find a support network
You are not alone on this feat. You would be having a hard time getting over your addiction if you face it alone.
Reach out to your support group. Be it your partner, family, friends or some co-workers. Find some people who truly care for you and reach out to them. If you have a limited support group, you can make new friends. Try volunteering for a cause or joining a book club or sports team. Being surrounded by people who care for you will help you towards recovery.
- Join a peer support group
If there’s Alcoholics Anonymous, there’s also Gamblers Anonymous. Joining this type of support group will expose you to people who are going through the same phase. Hearing their stories will give you strength that addiction is real and can be overcome.
- Seek help for underlying mood disorders
Gambling problems and addiction can be triggered by stress, depression, anxiety or substance abuse. Seek professional help as it’s important that you address them.
Gambling is supposed to be a fun and safe activity. to learn how to be a responsible gambler.
While others go on vacation or have a shopping splurge whenever they’re stressed or bored, others turn to gambling.
Gambling is generally harmless. It’s a form of activity where you can have fun and forget your worries for a few hours. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Some have developed an addiction towards gambling, to the point that it jeopardizes their social and professional life and put a strain on their relationships.
They say prevention is always better than cure. Before you dig yourself into gambling addiction, it’s important that you know how to have full control of yourself. Being a responsible gambler is what you need to master.
Below are some tips on how to practice responsible gambling.
Set A Limit
Before sitting down on the casino table or logging on to online gambling site, you should set a limit on how much you are willing to lose. Gambling is a game of luck and if luck is not on your side, you would need to stick to your limit. When you’ve reached this point, stop the game and call it a day. Don’t even attempt to chase losses as you may end up in bigger loss by doing so.
A responsible gambler knows when to stop.
Know When to Stop Even if You’re On A Winning Streak
Winning the game is exhilarating. Nothing beats the feeling of a high pile of money or chips stacked on your table. While it’s tempting to continue playing when you’re winning, know when you will stop. Decide beforehand when you would go home.
The universe may be on your side now, but it can easily turn around. Before you know it, you’ve lost all your winnings and end up losing a huge amount of money. Winning can be addicting so have the discipline to stand up from the table and go home even you’re ahead.
Set a Time for How Long You Will Play
15% of Americans gamble at least once per week and approximately two to three percent meet the criteria for problem gambling. That’s around 6 million adults and about a half million teens. Not having full control on the time that you spent gambling is a dangerous road to head on.
Create the habit of self-control and full accountability. Set a time for how long you will play. Say, you’ve decided that you will play for 1 hour today. Make sure to stick to this limit, regardless if you’re winning or losing.
Take Regular Breaks
Remember that gambling is not a race to Mt. Everest. You don’t need to play as fast and as hard as you can. It’s something that should be taken slowly and enjoy pleasurably.
If you’re playing on a live casino, take a few breaks and get up from your chair. Mingle with other people and share other interests and hobbies. If you’re playing online, walk away from your computer from time to time. Do some stretching or take your dog to a walk. Taking regular breaks will help you realize that there’s more to life than your cards or chips.
Gambling Should Not Be An Emotional Outlet
Addiction, in whatever form, is developed because some people find short-term relief or gratification when they’re using the substance.
Remember that gambling will never be a solution to your problem. Don’t gamble just to run away from depression, loneliness, anger, exhaustion or fear. Acknowledge what you feel and resolve the underlying issues right away. Examine why you are angry, lonely or afraid and act on it.
Gambling is a fun activity where you can find short-lived amusement and excitement. It’s not a place of solace that you can run and hide whenever you have problems.
Find Other Form of Entertainment
It’s understandable why others turn to gambling for entertainment. The bright lights and loud noises are attracting, plus winning is jubilating. Whilst it’s okay to gamble for fun, you should not rely on gambling as your only form of entertainment.
Find other forms of entertainment aside from gambling. Take on a new hobby or read a good book. You can also go to the park and do nothing but people-watch. If you have vast selections of entertainment, the probability of gambling addiction is significantly lowered.
Keep a Gambling Diary
Remember when you were in middle school and had to keep a diary?
Having a diary is fun and therapeutic. If you want to avoid gambling addiction, why not start having your own gambling diary. Right down all details about your gambling – how often and long do you play, what are your feelings when you play, what triggered you to play, etc.
Keeping a gambling diary will make you become aware of your gambling pattern. With all the information that you’ve listed, you can examine when you feel the urge the most. You can use this information to correct your behavior or address your issues that trigger gambling.
Avoid High Risk Situations
Going to casino with all of your credit cards and huge amount of money is like walking in to the lion’s den.
Even when you have set a limit amount that you’re willing to lose, it’s easy to fall into the trap if you have extra cash conveniently tucked in your wallet. Leave your valuables at home and carry just the exact amount that you’ve set to lose. After all, you have no choice but to stand up and leave if you have nothing to pull out of your pocket.
Avoid Too Much Alcohol When Gambling
Alcohol has the capacity to cloud your brain and impact your behavior even to the best of us.
Though alcohol is inevitable in casinos, limit yourself to a bottle or two. Being drunk while playing casino is one of the biggest mistake that you can commit. Your better judgments will be impaired when you are drunk.
Though being a responsible gambler is not an easy task, it is not impossible. Learn more tips about responsible gambling here.
Most people gamble today for relaxing and spending some good time. There are others also who gamble to earn money. Gambling can become a serious addiction if it’s not controlled. Here are some reasons why people gamble.
Likes taking risk
Many people like the excitement of taking risks. Gambling is luck. If you cannot gamble; you may win or lose. The unpredictable nature of gambling makes it more enjoyable and fun. In gambling, you are playing with your real money and if you lose, you will lose your actual money and if you win, you will win real money too.
To escape from boredom
Gambling gives excitement. The feeling of risk-taking is just awesome and it makes your life exciting. So, people who are bored with their lives take up gambling. It is a way to escape from their boring and busy life.
Gambling is trendy and it gives a feeling of being a part of the glamour and glitter world. People see people of high society gambling in movies, and they think that it’s a thing of the riches. So, they feel great to be part of it.
When you go to a casino, you meet other people. The sense of belonging and making friends is also a reason for people to get into gambling. They like to socialize and get along with the other people.
Gambling is fun and a good time pass if you can control your behavior. Otherwise, it will ruin your life and that of your family members. So, you should practice responsible gambling all the time.
Gambling is supposed to be something people do in spare time and have fun. However, people get addicted to gambling and that creates a lot of problems.
They expect to win every time they play. So, whenever they lose, they spend more money expecting that they will win next time. This gets into addiction and people start borrowing from others till they are completely broke. Many people go into bankruptcy because of problem gambling.
There is no stopping
A problem gambler doesn’t know when to stop. If they lose, they spend more money and play more in order to win back the money they have lost. If they win, they think they will win more money the next time. So, there is no stopping.
They take gambling seriously
Problem gamblers play for getting money. They take gambling too seriously. They get emotionally disturbed when they cannot win matches. They break things at home, misbehave with other people at home and cannot perform well at work.
Gambling is mostly luck. No matter what strategy you apply, there is always a chance that you might lose. If you spin the wheel ten times and win five times, you might think that you have a greater chance of winning always and keep on spending more money. People forget about their home, children, and family when they get into gambling addiction. That’s why problem gambling has so much negative impact on a person’s life.
Gambling is undoubtedly fun. But you need to be aware of your actions. You can’t just pour in money and lose all the time. If you don’t gamble sensibly and don’t know your limit then you can become penniless overnight. Here are some tips for responsible gambling.
You must have the right attitude when you walk into a casino. You should set up your mind that you are playing for entertainment and not to earn money. You should know when to stop playing. It’s better than you plan how long you are going to play and then stop after the time is over no matter how much money you win or lose. You should have control of your attitude and timing.
Control your spending
You should limit how much you want to spend on gambling a day. You shouldn’t take any bank cards with you and you must leave extra cash at home so that you don’t get tempted to play more. If you run out of money, never borrow it from your friend or family. You should also know beforehand how much it will cost you to play for an hour so that you can take the right amount of money with you at the casino.
Understand the risks of problem gambling
You should be aware of the risks associated with problem gambling. You should know how it can affect your health and financial position. You should know about the ways to come out of problem gambling.
You shouldn’t gamble on a regular basis. You should find something else to do in your spare time. Even if you gamble, you should practice responsible gambling.