Gambling problems

Do You Or Someone You Know Have A Gambling Problem?

We all know that everything in moderation can be a fun and exciting thing, but when you or someone you know crosses the line between a little gambling for fun or entertainment to becoming an excessive or addicted habit that brings uncontrollable urges, then gambling may have turned into more of a problem then you think. When you knowingly keep playing looking for the next big win that will put you over the top or break even but you keep digging a bigger hole in your finances, you may be more addicted then you think.

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself if you think you may have a problem. These 20 questions were put out by the Gambler’s Anonymous Association:

  • Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
  • Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
  • Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
  • Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
  • Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
  • Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
  • Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  • Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
  • Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  • Did gambling affect your reputation?
  • Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  • Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
  • Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
  • After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
  • After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
  • Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  • Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
  • Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
  • Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
  • Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
  • (Most problematic or compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least 7 of these questions)

So if you have confirmed you may or absolutely have a gambling problem, here are some ways that will help yourself stay out of trouble:

  • Before playing, set strict limits on how much time and money you’re going to spend.
  • Only gamble with money you can afford to lose.
  • Remember, you’re buying fun, not investing your money.
  • Don’t spend more money on gambling with the hope to win back money that you have lost.
  • Don’t gamble in order to escape from stress or boredom.
  • Quit while you’re ahead.
  • Keep up other interests and hobbies – don’t let gambling take over your life.
  • Gambling in moderation is okay.
  • The key is… if you choose to gamble, gamble responsibly!
  • With any addiction, denial plays a bit part, so try and admit to yourself when in fact you know you have a problem with gambling.

If you have put yourself in a situation while gambling and have realized that gambling has become an addiction or a problem for you, have a talk with someone and let someone know and seek out professional help to get the problem under control. Here are some resources that provide help for problem gamblers among various countries:

Gamblers Anonymous: International home page.
National Council on Problem Gambling (USA): The national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families.
Gamblock: Software you can install on your computer to block access to gambling sites.
GamCare (UK): GamCare provides support, information and advice to anyone suffering through a gambling problem.
GambleAware (UK): Gamble Aware is managed by the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, an independent charity which funds treatment, research and education about responsible gambling.

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