Problem gambling or gambling addiction may not involve drugs, but it’s also as dangerous and destructive. Find out the signs that you or someone you know may be addicted to gambling.
For many people, gambling is a popular pastime and a way to socialize. This is especially true here in the Philippines, where different forms of gambling have been part of our culture. Lotto, scratch cards, tong-its, bingo, e-games, blackjack, racing, sabong, baccarat, poker, slot machines, and so many more–these are widespread and even acceptable. And why not–these gambling activities are harmless…until you can’t stop yourself. That’s where problem gambling and gambling addiction comes in.
What is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling (also called gambling disorder, gambling addiction, compulsive gambling or ludomania) is an impulse-control disorder. This means that if you’re a problem gambler, you can’t control your impulse to gamble despite the negative consequences that go with it.
The thing is, problem gambling isn’t just about losing large amounts of money. It’s how the activity affects every aspect of you life, including your health, career, and family life.
Problem gambling can develop without you realizing it, and it’s often due to a variety of reasons. There are those who continue to gamble despite huge losses because they try to win back their money. And so, they keep coming back, gambling away, thinking that it will all pay off soon–but it doesn’t. Not really. For problem gamblers, even if they win, they would keep coming back until they lose everything again.
Then, there are those who like the excitement, or find gambling as an escape from their problems. Sooner or later though, problem gambling can take its toll and create more problems than it can ever solve.
Here are the 10 Signs of Problem Gambling to help you identify if you or someone you know needs help.
10 Signs of Problem Gambling
- Lying to family, friends, spouses, colleagues or other people about their gambling activities, their losses, and the problems that accompany them.
- Chasing their losses, telling themselves that they’ll stop once they win, but they never do.
- Borrowing money until they’re in a financial hole.
- “Upping” their gambling dose by betting more and more to get the kind of rush they earlier had.
- Being preoccupied with thoughts about gambling when they’re not gambling.
- Trying to cut down or even completely quit gambling, but always ending up unsuccessful with their efforts.
- Being impatient, irritable, agitated, tense, or restless when not gambling. These are psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with this disorder.
- Gambling to deal with the challenges of life, as a way to escape, until gambling itself becomes the centerpiece of all their problems.
- Stealing, betraying or deceiving people, and doing other kinds of misdeeds and crimes to support their gambling.
- Gambling is all there is in their world. They will not stop gambling even when their lives crumble around them.
If people who care about you have expressed their own concerns about your gambling, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate yourself. You may seek help with us at Bridges of Hope: 09175098826.