Concerned that you may have a gambling problem? You’re not alone. Many Americans struggle with a gambling addiction.
With that said, it can be hard to determine if you just like gambling a little too much or actually have a qualifiable problem.
Let’s look into the top red flags that indicate a potential addiction.
You Just Can’t Stop
This is one of the easiest ways to tell if you have a gambling problem. Compulsive gamblers struggle with both the money and time they spend on their habit.
You may bargain with themselves or others, make promises to quit or spend only certain amounts, but you often cannot keep these promises (even if you have great intentions).
The gambling often doesn’t feel like a choice anymore- instead, it feels like a nasty compulsion.
You’re Spending Too Much Money
Many gamblers enjoy gambling with a set-aside amount of “fun money.” When that money runs out, they finish betting. They don’t dip into money reserved for fundamentals like bills or car payments or mortgages.
If you have a gambling problem, you may be spending money you don’t have. You may be opening up credit cards, racking up secret debt, or borrowing from others.
You may be down to your very last penny, but still betting on more. That’s the definition of having a problem.
You’re Not Gambling for Fun
Many people enjoy a bit of gambling for recreational pleasure and entertainment. They spend a few dollars at a time, and then they move on.
However, if you’re struggling with a gambling addiction, your gambling extends far beyond mere entertainment.
It bleeds into an escape and avoidance mechanism. Whether you’re trying to heal your depression or soothe the wounds of your marriage, gambling isn’t the solution, and it will often make the problem that much worse.
That’s why most successful gambling treatment focuses on the emotional pain and feelings underlying the addiction.
You Recover Losses by Gambling More
Most people stop gambling after they lose a little bit of money because they don’t want to keep staying in the negatives.
A problematic gambler feels an intense urge to keep going. Betting is the solution to financial and emotional losses, and there may be a rush to keep going and end up on top.
You’re Sacrificing Other Things
Just like with any addiction, gambling can quickly become the top priority in your life (before you even realize it).
You may start lying about where you’ve been, avoiding friends or family, isolating, or giving up on certain hobbies or activities.
This is a sign of problematic behavior, and it can lead to work problems, relationship stressors, extreme financial distress, and mental health issues.
Final Thoughts on Your Gambling Problem
If you struggle with addiction, help and treatment is always available. You don’t have to live this way for another day!
Contact us today and let’s get you started on your new journey.