A gambling problem usually occurs when a person over indulges in gambling, ending up being indebted and having dysfunctional relationships with loved ones.
First of all, Gambling is addictive. The risk and the winning can have a psychological effect on a person, making him unreasonable and irrational.
The first step to solving a gambling problem is acknowledging it. Gamblers Anonymous have the following set of questions to test if you indeed have gambling problems.
- Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
- Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
- Did gambling affect your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
- Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
- Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
- Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
- Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
- Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
- Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
- Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
- Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
A problem Gambler would answer Yes to at least seven of these questions.
If you are indeed a problem gambler, the following tips should help you out of your gambling ditch:
- Never take credit cards or an ATM card with you when you gamble, just take the amount that you intend to spend that day.
- Limit the time you gamble.
- Remember, there are more chances of you losing than winning.
- When you win, keep the money and have an agreement with yourself not to use it.
- When you run out of money, give up, never borrow cash for gambling.
- Never hesitate to ask help from a buddy. Bring a gambling buddy who’s not addicted and ask him to keep you in check.