Do I have a gambling problem?
When does just having fun and trying out your luck turn into a gambling addiction? Unlike problem drinking or problem drug use, it is often difficult to determine if you, or someone you know, has a gambling problem, because the warning signs tend to be more hidden. Problem or compulsive gambling generally has a less physical expression than other addictions so it can be less noticeable and take longer to detect. Problem gambling is often referred to as the “hidden addiction” for this reason.
What are the warning signs of a possible gambling addiction?
1. You sometimes hide your gambling
Are you being evasive about where you’ve been or the long hours spent gambling online? Are you hiding your last visit to the casino, betting shops or gaming hall, along with your financial losses? You, or a loved one, might miss work or cancel social plans in order to find time to keep gambling whether online or at the casino. People with a gambling problem will usually try to hide it – from friends, loved ones or colleagues. If your attempts to hide your compulsive gambling and the consequences are becoming too hard to hide, it may well be time to seek gambling help.
2. You are spending more time gambling to reach the desired effect
Your gambling is no longer a hobby, but is becoming more of a necessity, a compulsion, and a problem. Perhaps you need to play more, play longer, or gamble more to get that same satisfaction or high you are seeking. You might be spending more and more time gambling, or planning your next gambling experience. Compulsive gambling can seriously affect your personal and professional life.
3. You gamble when you experience emotional distress
Did you have a bad day at work? Are you having problems at home? If you notice you want to gamble to forget whatever is troubling you, for example when you’re feeling emotionally distressed or stressed, then this is a sign that you could be developing a gambling problem. Compulsive gamblers may gamble not only to win, but also to feel better and escape from whatever is bothering them, even though continuing to gamble will most likely ultimately only exacerbate existing problems.
4. You continue to gamble, even after losing large amounts of money
Have you suffered a few big gambling losses? Perhaps you were able to cover the debt once, twice, or more. Perhaps you have not been able to and are heading deeper into debt. Compulsive gamblers will often try to borrow money from others to cover their gambling debts. If you are continuing to gamble despite having lost large amounts of money, and it is damaging or even threatening your financial wellbeing and future, you should certainly consider seeking gambling problem help.
5. You are unable to stop gambling
You may be well aware that you urgently need to stop gambling. However, despite your best efforts, you have been unable to. Many gamblers want to stop gambling and try repeatedly to do so, but need professional assistance to finally overcome their addiction.
6. You experience psychological discomfort when you try to reduce or stop gambling
A gambling addiction is a behavioural addiction. Just like substance addictions to alcohol or drugs, trying to stop gambling can lead to withdrawal symptoms. So, for example, someone with a gambling problem can also suffer from symptoms like cravings, irritability and restlessness. These will be more severe for people who gamble more heavily.
Need help to stop gambling? Triora can help
If the results of our gambling self-test were that you have a gambling disorder, please contact us as soon as possible to find out about Triora’s effective gambling addiction treatment. We can help you get back in control and regain a meaningful life. Most people with a gambling addiction need to seek professional gambling addiction treatment to stop gambling.