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The main purpose of gambling is to be a form of entertainment. Insofar as this category goes, gambling is ranked alongside popular leisurely activities such as cinemas, video games, board games, and many other forms of entertainment out there. However, certain individuals – identified with a compulsive need to continue playing – are more prone to developing bad habits that over time, begin to impede with their day-to-day life. Since some of the games offer an opportunity to win more based on skill, certain individuals develop “an addiction.”
To be able to help an addict, we need to ask ourselves at what point a simple hobby becomes an obsession. And while popular belief says that problem gambling happens to everyone but you, if you are engaging with any form of entertainment, you are likely to develop a sort of mild or severe addiction for it. Therefore, knowing what the giveaway signs become important.
How to Spot the Addiction
Just like any other form of illness, gambling addiction has its telltale signs that can be spotted easily and therefore address on time. Here is a quick list of the signs to be wary of.
- You are overspending and cannot afford your hobby
- You are borrowing money from friends, family or elsewhere to keep playing
- You gamble because you have a compulsive need to place a wager
- You are lying or stealing in order to continue gambling
- You become defensive when confronted about your gambling
- You keep playing no matter how big the win or the loss
- You are also gambling as an attempt to forget your problems
If the majority of these signs applies to you, you may be the victim of gambling addiction. Thankfully, there are steps that can be taken to help you cope with this.
What Causes Compulsive Gambling
While many people think that they are immune to becoming addicted to a gambling product, the realities are much different. Most people who get into gambling don’t even entertain the idea of turning their hobby into a way of earning a living. With this in mind, the most common causes of compulsive gambling are:
- Genetic predisposition to addictive behaviour
- Anxiety disorder
- Personality disorder
While many people can be qualified as addicts and we see them all around us – such as people who spend too much time at work, on their hobby, or playing a video game – hardly any other form of addiction takes the same toll on people as does gambling addiction. Therefore understanding and addressing the problem is important.
Exercise Control over Your Gambling Addiction
The first thing that you need to do is to acknowledge the problem. If you are driven towards more reckless gaming behaviour, this can largely be attributed to a fester addiction that is ongoing. With this in mind, you will want to make sure that you are at least aware of the signs.
Furthermore, most families and friends of people who experience a form of addiction aren’t aware of the problem until it becomes too obvious and therefore, can be of little help in the initial stages. Yet, by simply reaching out and involving relatives and close friends, you can get help on time.
One of the most serious downsides of gambling addiction is not merely the financial ruin, but often the fact that it makes people more likely to entertain the idea of taking their own idea. The good news is that with the help of NGOs and hotlines, suicide is often prevented because the majority of people having such thoughts do not want to take their own life and momentary support would dissuade them from that.
Yet, control is important, but even more important is raising awareness about gambling depression plain and simple. Once you know what the downsides of gambling addiction are, and more importantly – how the disease manifests itself, you will be well-equipped to soldier through the first, impulsive manifestations and get the help you need to get better.
Often there is a stigma attached to admitting that you suffer from gambling addiction. Yet, this problem can be overcome by turning to the appropriate hotlines that offer help to gambling addicts. There are both regional, national and international organizations, such as responsiblegambling.org, gamtalk.org, and gamblersanonymous.