Many people use gambling to forget their problems and reduce their stress. The game is just a type of entertainment for them. It is something they do to feel better and escape from whatever is bothering them. And it’s OK if they can afford it and do it responsibly. But gambling can cause problems. The reasons for the gambling problem are complex. However, there is a hypothesis that the gambler uses the thrill to satisfy an inner wistfulness to prove their worthlessness.
Who is Predisposed to Gambling Addiction?
Gambling is like drinking alcohol. Many people can go to the pub, only have one or two drinks, and then go home. This is because they are responsible, know their limits, and stay within them. But some people lack that self-control. Some cannot stop at one or two drinks. Once they start, they keep drinking until they pass out.
Gambling is similar. Many people can go to the casino to risk one hundred dollars; when they are ahead, or that is gone, they stop and go home. But some people will start with the same sense. However, some people cannot control themselves. Regardless of whether they initially win, they keep playing until they lose all of their money, pull out their credit cards, and the next thing they know, the initial hundred dollars have become thousands. This puts them in a dangerous spiral because now they have to have that money back.
So they spend more money thinking that if they only play long enough, they might get back the money they’ve already lost. Sometimes this works (remember, people do win in casinos), but if it does, they switch to thinking, “Well, I got my money back. Winning more would be even better”, and the process starts again. In short, they are getting trapped in a vicious cycle.
The Signs of Having a Gambling Problem
Here are a few warning signs to watch out for:
Not Having Fun Anymore Playing
If you gamble, and you aren’t having fun and find yourself spending more money or time than you wanted to at the casino, You continue to play long after you have stopped enjoying it.
Chasing Your Losses
According to some gamblers, they are only attempting to recover their lost funds, insisting that they will cease once they hit a major win or blaming their losses on strategy changes or bad luck. However, their continued pursuit of recovering their losses frequently results in further losses and often leads to accruing debts.
Like someone with drug or alcohol problems, problem gamblers must take up their dose of an adrenaline rush from gambling to enjoy themselves. In other words, they have to bet more and more money to get the kind of rush they want. But, unfortunately, the more they bet, the more they can lose.
Being Preoccupied with Gambling
People who are preoccupied with gambling constantly think about the last play at the casino or bet and the next time they will. They use any excuse to justify betting again, and they will try any strategy to get the money they need.
Unable to Stop Gambling
Many gamblers know they should not spend so much on gambling and want to quit. So they try again and again but cannot fight the urge to play the lottery, slots, casino games, or bet on sports.
Having Withdrawal Symptoms
When trying to cut down on their gambling or stop altogether, some gamblers experience withdrawal symptoms, like someone with a drug or alcohol problem. They become irritable, impatient, agitated, or tense if they do not get their adrenalin rush from gambling.
Borrowing Money to Cover the Costs of the Gambling Problem
Pathological gamblers first borrow from their family, friends, coworkers, or even strangers, lying about the real reason they need the money. They may also have other people pay their gambling debts. Then, finally, they may max out their credit cards or take out a second mortgage.
People with gambling problems try to hide it from the people around them. So they start lying to their spouses, families, friends, bosses, and coworkers.
Committing Crimes to Gamble
Despite their losses, problem gamblers continue playing, and their financial situation worsens. Borrowing money from family, friends, and coworkers is no longer enough. Instead, they turn to misdeeds and crime to fund their habit.
Gambling Became More Important than Family and Work
You start missing work or sidestepping your family to find more time to gamble. Punters are so addicted to the game and the hope to win that they fall into ever-deeper financial, social, and professional trouble. Everything about their lives revolves around and is affected by gambling—gamblers risk their families, friendships, jobs, and future.
What Help Can I Get for My Gambling Problem?
If you read something in this article that applies to you, you should seriously consider whether or not you have a problem when you see that you are gambling more and more and your betting gets higher and higher. That’s all you think about day and night. You are in big trouble. Please, seek help. Support and treatment are available.
If you feel gambling causes you or your family problems, please visit NHS Help for Problem Gambling page. You can take an assessment to determine if you have a gambling problem.
Gambling addiction can be successfully treated in the same way as other addictions.
GamCare offers free information, support, and counseling for problem gamblers in the UK, and Gamblers Anonymous can do the same in the US.
On the other hand, if you are a responsible player who plays for entertainment and can afford to play without causing problems for yourself or your family, check out the links below.