Gambling is a fun and addictive game.
You can view it as an activity that has a double-edged sword with the power to bring joy and cause pain.
Though there are thousands of people who enjoy it and still take it as a daily activity, some are not so lucky because of addiction.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from a gambling problem, the first step to solve it is to recognize and accept the situation, then look for ways to find appropriate help or intervention.
This article will explore different indicators that can be used to identify the presence of a gambling problem and why it is important to seek help immediately.
Changes in Behavior and Mood
As a bettor, if you notice a significant change in your mood or the way you behave then it can suggest that there is a need for you to seek help and support.
One aspect that can be noticed is when the individual is either neglecting their health, grooming or they’re looking all shabby and unkempt.
In fact there are situations where the person will be restless or very irritable or might be experiencing anxiety anytime they don’t gamble.
When you notice all these symptoms, it means there’s a shift in behavior and that can be an indication that the person is addicted and suffering from a gambling problem.
They tend to be secretive and overreact to situations that are not a big deal or get agitated and anxious whenever someone tries to come close to them.
In fact they tend to distance themselves and don’t want to communicate with people that care about them.
Once you able to identify these change in behavior, the best thing is to find a way to immediately mitigate it by seeking help or support for yourself or the individual.
Did you know that a research showed that at least 75% of problems most gamblers experience is related to debt because of their gambling activities?
And since gambling is addictive, it is not surprising that financial problem is usually one of the challenges faced by individuals having gambling issues.
These financial problems usually take a toll on their whole activities and might even affect those around them.
Because they’re constantly struggling with debts, you see them borrowing money, taking out loans or maxing out their credit cards because of bad gambling habits.
As a result of that, they might end up being trapped in a cycle of debt that is very difficult to escape from.
For gamblers that want to avoid being in this trap, the best option is to get a professional debt management service so they can get the best out of services like budgeting, debt repayment strategies, and long-term financial planning, which are very important for gaining control over their finances and will help them rebuild their lives and work towards a healthier future.
It’s not surprising that most gambling addicts neglect their responsibilities – either in their professional or personal lives.
Being addicted to gambling will it difficult for them to concentrate on their tasks, which will result in reduced productivity and performance.
This effect can lead to reprimands, warnings, or even job loss.
Aside from that, financial problems that are caused by excessive gambling will just create additional stress and pressure on the individual.
Apart from affecting the individual’s work life, they can also suffer from a strain in relationship with family and friends.
In fact, there is a common notion that gamblers tend to neglect their families and social responsibilities, which leads to resentment, mistrust and lost love among loved ones.
This is one of the common sign of gambling addiction, and it occurs when an individual tries to recover their previous losses by placing my bets.
This act is fueled by the belief that they might get lucky in the next bet and it’ll all be in their favor. But sadly, this single mindset has led so many bettors to ruin.
It is important that a bettor is strategic in placing bets, but when this is replaced by emotions, it’ll continue to lead to more losses, and then addiction.
The result of chasing losses is that it leaves the individual feeling depressed, hopeless, frustrated and anxious.
Preoccupation with Gambling
Gambling is a game that should be enjoyed, not turned into a full time job or an obsession.
However, some individuals have become so obsessed with the game that it consumes their thoughts and attention 24/7.
These are five common signs that indicates obsession with gambling:
- Always thinking about the next gambling opportunity even when engaged in an important activity with people
- Spending hours planning for the next gambling activity or researching strategies
- Being irritated or restless when not gambling
- Putting off personal responsibilities, friends, family, or work because of gambling
- Overspending or spending more than you can afford to lose despite knowing the negative consequences
Failed Attempts to Cut Back or Quit
If an individual acknowledges that they truly have a gambling problem but they are still unable to cut back or quit, then that is a clear indication of an addiction.
Some individuals struggle with gambling addiction that even when they promise themselves or their loved ones to stop it, they still find it difficult to follow through with their promises.
Making promises to stop gambling but being unable to follow through
Some gamblers that have been unable to fully commit themselves to recovering from a gambling problem even after promising to quit.
When faced with this situation, it a as sign of a gambling problem and you can follow this tip to change the mindset:
- Overconfidence: Even you have the power to achieve whatever you set your mind to, you must also seek professional help to avoid relapsing.
- Lack of coping skills: Since an individual is trying to abstain from gambling, they must equally fine healthier copying mechanism to relieve stress or negative emotions.
- Underlying issues: Problems like depression and anxiety are usually associated with mental health, they must be addressed if the individual really want to quit.
- Need for professional help: Never assume that you can do it yourself. This is something you love doing, therefore it won’t be easy to quit it. Get professional help and support group to gain guidance, accountability, and strategies to quit gambling.
Relapsing after periods of abstinence
This happens when individuals that struggle with a gambling problem promise to quit but are unable to keep to their word.
There’s always a tendency to relapse after a period of abstinence and this can be a frustrating setback which will lead to feelings of guilt and shame.
However, you should understand that it is a part of the recovery process and doesn’t mean you can’t regain yourself.
To reduce the risk of relapse, individuals can try out preventive measures like identifying triggers, developing coping mechanisms, and seeking support from support group.
The important thing about support groups is that the individuals will get to be in an environment filled with people that understand what they’re going through, learn from them and receive encouragement.
Feeling restless or irritable when attempting to quit
It is completely normal to feel restless or irritable when attempting to quit gambling because for someone who is addicted to it, and is trying to quit, they’ll feel anxious and on the edge – like they’re not at peace or can’t be able to relax.
Restlessness is an indication of intense cravings and the urges to gamble that occurs when an individual is trying to quit.
Impact on Relationships and Mental Health
A research shows that excessive gambling has a negative effect on relationships and mental health.
Some of these effects on relationships and mental health include:
- Strained relationships: Gambling problem can lead to conflict, mistrust, deception, breakdown and differences within personal relationship. There are times where the individual’s loved ones may experience betrayal, anger, and sadness, which can affect their bond.
- Financial stress: Excessive gambling leads to lose of control and even indiscipline. This can lead to arguments, resentment, and debt.
- Mental health problems: People who are addicted to gambling tend to have a mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and some even indulge in substance abuse.
- Support groups are one of the tools that help individuals battling a gambling problem with the right and safe environment where they can share their experiences and also learn from her other have gone through.
- If a gambling problem is not addressed, it can destroy or lead to a strain in relationships with others. In fact, it can also lead to conflict, absence of trust and financial ruins.
- You need to understand that gambling can harm your health, it can also increase anxiety and in some cases lead to depression, substance abuse or cause of a strain in relationship and even trigger some conditions that are did not exist before.
- The individual needs to do is recognize that they have a problem then look for ways to solve that it, because if this is not, it is going to impact the individual’s relationship and even their mental health
Putting It All Together
When you want to overcome a gambling problem, the first step is to identify the signs and come up with ways to prevent further damage.
You need to really want to overcome it, and that comes from being intentional about the recovery process.
Of course, it won’t be easy, but that doesn’t mean you cannot achieve your goal.
As you take on the journey, surround yourself with a support group, a therapist, family and friends, because they have a big role to place in your journey.