Gambling addiction can happen to anyone. And when it does, it can have a negative impact on your financial health, mental health and you social and family ties.
It is something that can plague any family with members who like to take it up in casinos on Friday nights or after work.
It may start of small as a form of entertainment, and that is OK! Gambling is legal in most countries, with registered casinos and online casinos, and is categorized as such, but sometimes, some individuals forget the gambling is indeed paid entertainment and that it should not be a means to make money primarily.
But it is this rush that people get when they gamble which leads them to become addicted, it is the money that comes at a prize as well.
Some people may do things like steal cash, just to have it in order to gamble. It really is something that should worry people.
But that being said, those who do gamble responsibly and understand that it is just paid entertainment have better chances of avoiding gambling addiction and its problems.
Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
When you start having the need to keep your gambling activities a secret, you may have already gotten yourself into the problem. This may be because you think that others might not understand. You may even try to downplay it for yourself, ensuring that it is no big deal. Next thing you know, you begin to chase those losses, you feel the need to gamble every scent of your cash and you have a harder time walking away from games that are not in your favour.
If you are now truly down on your luck with an empty wallet, you may start to gamble with money you do not even have. You start to use your kids college fund, or maybe dig into your savings or take out loans or borrow money from friends and family. If it is a really bad case, you may start even stealing cash to use it on gambling.
At this point, your friends and family begin to worry for you, as you insist that you got it under control and that everything is not fine, you are in denial. Or you may not want to speak to them because you are scared that they might be upset that you gambled their inheritance money or stole money from them secretly.
It is a hidden illness really, you may look fine and chipper on the outside, but deep down, a wave of these harmful desires are slowly affecting every aspect of your own life and the life of others.
If you feel like you have hit rock bottom, you may ask yourself. Is it too late to turn it all around? Am I truly done for? Will anyone bother to even help me?
One answer for all those questions. Yes.
It is never too late to seek help from your addiction. But the best way to combat such issues is prevention. As stated before, you should have the idea and thought that this is something you are here to have fun. You are not here to make money, like a job, this is entertainment and should be seen as such.
Some people go into casinos in hopes that they can win some money to maybe pay their debts, those people might not realise that they may be digging a deeper hole than the one they are already in.
So if you do feel like you have a problem and family members are reaching out, then listen to them! Don’t put yourself in denial, it will only make it worse. It is not weak for someone to seek help, no one should have that train of thought in the first place. Unfortunately for older gamblers, it may be more difficult with their mindsets, but they too should seek help nevertheless.
People tend to gamble when they feel bored, so perhaps seeking other ways to relieve your boredom may help. Play video games, watch a show, play sports, go for a walk! There are many ways besides gambling that will help with your boredom.
Surrounding yourself with a good support network also helps, do not hang out with friends who keep insisting you gamble, it will only make things worse with that kind of peer pressure. Find friends that understand that you have an issue, speak to someone you truly trust!
But if you are finding it difficult to find or establish such support network, then join support groups. Like alcoholic support groups, gambling addiction support groups can truly help.
Sometimes gambling addiction may arise from other mood disorders such as depression, stress, substance abuse and so on. So perhaps seeking help with those issues will benefit as well.