It’s a really sad reality that some people struggle with gambling. You might have got on fine with gambling in the past and then suddenly, it’s not doing you any good any more. Here are some gambling problem signs that you can look out for in yourself and others. And, of course, how to get help if you need it.
What are the most common gambling problem signs?
The truth is, if this is a question that’s been on your mind, there’s a chance you’re already at risk of developing a problem. Don’t ignore the niggling feeling in the back of your mind. That’s the most important guide you have.
Here are some more common gambling problem signs that you need to be aware of.
Do you ever feel guilty about the amount of time and money you spend gambling? This might be a sign that you’re losing control around your gambling and you need to find help to overcome this.
The urge to spend more
If you feel like you need to spend more money gambling to feel the same level of excitement you used to feel, this is not a good sign. It can lead you to spending more than you can afford and can escalate fast.
Throwing good money after bad
Chasing a loss is never a good idea. When you’ve had an unlucky streak, it’s important to be able to stop. If you feel like you need to keep gambling when you lose, you need to get help.
Some of the common gambling problem signs we’ve outlined already are to do with money. It’s scary when you lose control of your finances. This can be a very common feature of problem gambling.
If you, or your household, has experienced financial issues as a result of your gambling, something major needs to change.
Negative effects on your personal life and career
When gambling becomes all consuming, other parts of your life can suffer. Your relationships with family, friends and partners might be starting to deteriorate. Perhaps you’re not performing as well in your job or your studies.
Gambling should never negatively impact on other aspects of your life. And if it does, you should get help as soon as you can.
Stress and anxiety
Those with gambling problems often experience high levels of stress and anxiety, along with other health issues. Any time you notice a deterioration of your mental or physical health, you should get checked out. But if you’re gambling a lot too, make sure you tell that to your healthcare provider so they are fully informed on how they can help you.
Sometimes people who gamble a lot feel restless when they haven’t done it in a while. That can be different for everyone, whether it’s been hours, days or weeks since you’ve gambled. But whatever about the frequency, if you feel restless and you know the thing that will calm your mind is gambling, you know that it has too much of a hold on you.
I think I have signs of a gambling problem. How do I get help?
If any of this sounds familiar, then you need to stop gambling immediately and get some help. For those based in the USA, the National Council on Problem Gambling can help online or via phone at 1800 522 4700.
Meanwhile, if you’re in the United Kingdom you can visit Be Gamble Aware or call 0808 8020 133. There are lots of other problem gambling help organizations all over the world. Find the one closest to you and get the help you need.