Gambling is an exciting leisure activity that should primarily be played to have fun, enjoy the time and maybe also to relax and forget about the everyday stress. It is important to exercise responsible gambling practices which amongst others include using deposit limits, bet size limits and time limits.
Unfortunately, gambling can easily get serious and turn into a gambling addiction. We want people to gamble safely and responsible, staying as far away as possible from gambling addiction. But many people suffer from it. If you are one of them, there is no need to be ashamed. It is a disease, like alcoholism, which can affect everyone. Often gambling addicts use it as distraction from other problems like depressions or negative thoughts. Moreover, are they addicted to the thrill they get when gambling. If you are addicted to gambling or are showing any of those symptoms, you should seek professional help.
Possible Symptoms indicating gambling addiction
Gambling addiction influences pretty much all aspects of life, which is why its symptoms cover a wide range of areas, ranging from small psychological changes to committing illegal acts to get money to gamble.
The following symptoms can be indications of a gambling addiction (this is not a complete list):
- Urge to constantly raise the stake, to get satisfaction (enjoying the thrill)
- Urge to gamble
- Loose interest in other activities
- Spending more than planned/having at one’s disposal
- Loss of control: not being able to stop playing until the whole money is lost
- Playing longer and longer
- Neglect one’s family, job and duties
- Lying about gambling
- Self-destructive and suicidal thoughts
These are some of the symptoms that may indicate a gambling addiction. To be sure if you are affected, you should seek professional advice.
Help with gambling addiction
Once gambling develops into an addiction it may not be easy to overcome it. There are many methods that can help. Some gambling addicts manage to overcome their addiction on their own, through limiting their access to gambling, learning to cope with the urge to gamble and utilize self-help practices. If you feel like gambling habits have become an issue, we advise you to seek professional help.
The way to overcome a gambling addiction is usually to stop gambling. But that’s easier said than done. Gambling addiction should be taken seriously and therefore it’s often not the best idea to fight this battle alone.
There are many organizations providing help. Here are some examples: