Introduction To Problem Gambling
Problem gambling also known as ludomania is the uncontrollable and persistent urge to consistently keep gambling even when an individual desires to stop.
Gambling is a harmless past time activity that becomes problematic when it begins harming a person life by plunging them into massive debts, straining their personal relationships and leading to loss of employment. Problem gambling also increases the chances of developing stress and depression.
Initially, gambling is harmless but becomes addictive when a person makes it a regular habit which takes control of his or her life. Most gamblers are attracted to the possibility of winning and sometimes this desire gets out of hand.
Examples of gambling games include online betting, racing, poker, lotto and instant scratchcards. A severe gambling problem can be diagnosed medically as clinical pathological gambling. While using bitcoin for gambling is extremely convenient, we do see a potential problem side of it, since anyone can use it to make deposits anonymously.
Gambling addicts lose all sense of control and can spend an obscene amount of money to support their destructive habit.
How To Determine If You Might Have a Problem?
Most problem gamblers have no idea they are addicted to gambling. Some are aware of the detrimental consequences that gambling has on their lives but are incapable of admitting they have a problem.
Outlined below are a few symptoms that indicate you have a gambling problem:
1. A desperate urge to gamble: a person with a gambling problem cannot control their desire to gamble and the idea of gambling causes an adrenaline rush that excites them.Such a person does not mind spending all their money and in extreme cases borrowing significant amounts of money to feed their gambling habit.
2. Unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling: an individual can be termed as a gambling addict if they have made many failed attempts to stop. This means that gambling has taken over their lives and they no longer have the ability to control the urge to gamble.
3. An abnormal preoccupation with gambling: a gambling addict is consumed with matters concerning gambling. Such a person spends a significant amount of their time thinking their next gambling venture, devising ways of raising money to gamble with and consistently relieving their gambling experiences. 4. Use gambling as a way to manage and relieve stress.
Problematic gamblers bet when overwhelmed with feelings such as anxiety, guilt and helplessness. Essentially the way an average person uses music or poetry to calm down is the same way an addicted gambler uses gambling.
5. Have an abnormal expectation that they will win next time when they lose. When a person is addicted to gambling, a loss does not deter them from continuing with their habit. Instead, a loss fuels a gamblers motivation and makes them invest more money into gambling believing that their luck will change and they will win.
6. Engage in deception to conceal their gambling activities; problematic gamblers are innately ashamed of their gambling escapades and will lie to hide their extent of involvement. This is because they want to keep their problem private. When a gambler begins hiding their gambling escapades from loved ones, it is a sigh that the gambling habit has taken control of their lives.
7. Loss of an important career opportunity, a job or significant personal relationships because of excessive gambling. When a person loses important aspects of their lives because of gambling, it is a sign that they have lost control.
Measures to prevent and control problem gambling There are a variety of possible measures that an individual can opt for to either prevent a gambling problem from worsening or regain control if they already have a serious gambling problem. These include.Talking to a trusted confidant about their gambling issues.
The confidant will not only give the addicted gambler advise but will also assist them in keeping their gambling habit in check by helping them engage in alternative past times that are more fulfilling and productive. Another effective way of dealing with gambling is seeking financial advice from professional financial advisers on how to effectively manage their finances.
Sound financial advise can help gambling addicts avoid getting into debt and in extreme cases prevent them from going bankrupt. Seeking help from a reliable source such as gamblersanonymous.org can help prevent problematic gambling and help gamblers control their harmful habit.
At gamblersanonymous.org, an individual is able to share their personal experiences with other gamblers who share their predicament. By sharing challenges and giving advice to each other on how to tame their gambling habit, gambling addicts are able to gradually stop gambling.
Another reliable source that can assist gambling addicts to begin the journey to recovery is game.org.uk for UK players. This site has three platforms through which a gambling addict can get help. These platforms are; calling via phone, a net-line and an online forum. By using this site, an individual is able to access viable advice on how to regain control and stop gambling.
Other viable treatment options for eliminating problem gambling include peer support and counselling from a professional who deals with addiction issues. Support from peers such as work colleagues, friends and family give a person the strength and resilience to overcome the compulsive urge to gamble.
Relation between problem gambling and alcoholism
Research unequivocally shows that problem gambling is related to other disorders caused by loss of impulse control such kleptomania. Most gambling addicts develop alcoholism and other substance abuse issues.
Other gambling addicts start abusing alcohol as a coping mechanism to handle the stress that comes with an uncontrollable gambling habit.
Relation between problem gambling and suicide
Most gamblers live a double life because they keep their gambling habits secret from their loved ones.
They, therefore, cannot allow anyone to know the true extent of damage that gambling has caused them and, as a result, have to maintain appearances. This may work for some time, but gradually their luck runs out, and they exhaust their monetary resource.
Additionally, they may end up losing significant personal relationships and this plunges them into stress or depression. If pathological gambling is left untreated, an individual can resort to suicide.