Gambling is one of those activities which is very easy to fall into but somewhat tough to quit, i.e. – it can be quite addictive. The truth is, many people aren’t often able to ascertain when (or if) they even have a gambling problem. This of course further compounds the issue because, as you well know, one has to admit that they have a problem before they can actually seek help for it. At any rate, here are some of the warning signs which tend to indicate that someone has a serious gambling addiction…
First off, you don’t have to be a daily or even regular gambler to officially “have a problem”. In fact, even those who might occasionally win big can still be struggling with severe gambling issues and not even consider it to be a real problem. In other words, just because you’re winning doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem. The truth is, it’s often a long winning streak that pulls a person deeper into gambling and subsequently sets them up for future mishaps, failures, broken relationships, lost jobs / wages, etc… For those who want to become professional gamblers, be forewarned that only a select few can actually make a stable, adequate living that way.
The biggest warning sign with regards to gambling addiction is an individual’s personal holdings. For instance, if you are constantly borrowing money from friends or family (or even worse, stealing) then you definitely have a problem and need to take action. It is this type of situation which then often leads gamblers to start to hide their activities, perhaps for fear of reprimand or the loss of someone else’s support. The bottom line here is that as soon as you feel the need to be secretive about your gambling, you’ve likely already lost control over yourself. At the same time, you’re much less likely to heed the advice of friends or family or even feel the need to be open and honest with them. Naturally, this often leads to even more erratic choices and even situations where you might find yourself taking the kind of chances that you normally wouldn’t.
Because casinos and most gambling establishments feature games and activities where the odds are not usually in your favor, it’s important for a person to remain well aware of things like statistics. Sure, you might have one really good day in the casino where you “clean out” the house, but if you keep on going back day after day and losing, well, you’ve just handed your winnings back to them on a silver platter. Once a person feels a compulsive need to keep on gambling it’s fairly safe to say that they’ve been bitten by the “addiction bug” and should do their best to put some distance between these kinds of activities and themselves.
If you want / need help, there are groups like Gambler’s Anonymous which will be able to get your life back on track. They use a step-based approach much like that of Alcoholics Anonymous to keep you grounded and moving forward in a positive direction and their program seems to work very well for those who have been through it.