What is problem Gambling
Gambling opportunities are all around us. They’re in our casinos, grocery stores, gas stations, sports bars and churches, and they can even be found online. Gambling is a popular form of entertainment, and for many people, it is a spontaneous social activity. Though small amounts of money may be lost, for many people, gambling has few negative effects.
But for some people, gambling can have devastating consequences. For some, gambling can lead to financial problems, broken relationships, losses of property, careers and reputations, and much more.
Problem gambling happens throughout our communities. Some of us just don’t know it yet.
In the United States, approximately 2,000,000 adults (or 1% of all U.S. adults) are estimated to meet the diagnostic criteria for disordered gambling. Another 4,000,000 to 6,000,000 adults (2-3%) meet one or more diagnostic criteria and may be suffering the consequences of excessive gambling.
Warning Signs of Gambling Addiction
Gambling in and of itself is not necessarily problematic. Like alcohol consumption, gambling in moderation does not lead to addiction for most people. Gambling becomes problematic when it negatively impacts a person's life. Like most addictions, gambling addiction tends to thrive in secrecy. Loved ones of people experiencing gambling addiction might not be aware there is a problem until it has spiraled out of control.
Warning signs of gambling addiction include:
• An escalation in gambling in either risk or frequency.
• Gambling used as an escape from problems or distress.
• Feelings of elation immediately before, during, or after gambling.
• Lying about gambling activities.
• Trying to win back gambling losses through more gambling.
• Borrowing money or taking out high-risk loans.
• Ignoring family, work, and other responsibilities to gamble.
• Appearance of or increase in mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
• Increased alcohol or drug use.
• Restlessness when trying to refrain from gambling or between bouts of gambling
When Gambling Becomes a Problem
When gambling becomes a problem, it can feel very confusing. Many people who struggle with problem gambling may not realize they’re struggling by saying, “I don’t have a problem with gambling!” They may not realize that their financial problems, family problems, and health problems may be stemming from their gambling. Many people believe they need to dedicate just a little bit more time because that lucky hit is just around the corner and everything will be better. The question is: how much can you afford to lose?
“How much can you afford to lose?”
When we speak about what you can afford, we don’t just mean money. You may be losing things like a car, a home, or a job. You may be losing out on opportunities like grand family vacations, or smaller outings like Sunday brunches that you can no longer afford. We’re also speaking about the relationships you may be losing, such as friends, cousins, and even spouses.
If you’re feeling anxiety because of your gambling, you’re not alone. Many people go through bouts of feeling that success is sure to come that are followed by feelings of failure, loneliness, and despair. It is in these times of bad feelings that, hopefully, you have someone to call for help. Please don’t wait, Gambling addiction is a chronic and progressive disorder, the problems don’t get better, call now and get help.
Click the button below to contact me