Gambling Addiction: When Should You Ask for Help?


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Betting problems affect players from all walks of life. When gambling switches from being a form an amusing past-time and a safe diversion to an uncontrollable obsession, it leads to severe consequences. Whether you bet on slots, roulette, poker, scratch cards or sports at the online casino, the track or a land-based casino, you must play responsibly. If not, gambling can interfere with your work, damage your relationships and lead to financial devastation.

Is there a chance that you have a gambling problem? Does any of your friends or family have a betting problem? Should you seek professional help? Read on to answer all your questions.

Gambling Addiction

Slot MachineAlso referred to as gambling disorder, ludomania, pathological or compulsive gambling is an impulse-control condition. If you’re an obsessive bettor, you will be unable to control the urge to gamble. Not even when it has detrimental consequences for you and your loved ones. You’ll carry on betting whether you’re broke or flush, up or down, plus you’ll continue to gamble despite the consequences. Even when you know clearly that the odds are against you or you can’t afford to lose, you’ll find yourself playing on!

Problem Gambling

On the flip side, you could still be having a gaming disorder without being completely out of control. Ludomania is betting conduct that messes up your life. If you’re obsessed with a gamble, squandering more time and money on it, betting regardless of dangerous consequences in your life, or chasing losses, you have a gambling problem.

Gamble addiction or ludomania usually go together with other mood or behavior disorders. Most of the problem bettors go through stress, substance abuse issues, anxiety, depression, unmanaged ADHD, or bipolar disorder. You’ll have to address all these plus any other underlying causes to overcome all your gambling problems.

Even though at times it can feel like you can’t stop betting, there are very many things you can do to overpower the issue. Repair your finances and relationships, and eventually reclaim control of your life.

Myths and Facts about Gambling Addiction

Before going further, let’s separate myths from facts about gambling problems:

You have to gamble daily to be a problem gambler. A problem gambler can gamble repeatedly or once in a while. Gambling is only a difficulty if it causes problems.
Problem betting is not a difficulty if the gambler can afford it.  Excessive gambling can cause so many problems. Besides the issues above, like job loss, relationship, and mental health problems, problem betting can even lead to suicide.
Problem gambling is just a case of being irresponsible, weak-willed, or stupid. Ludomania affects people of all intelligence levels and backgrounds. Even the previously strong-willed and responsible people can develop a betting problem like anyone else.


Signs and Symptoms of Betting Addiction

Ludomania can, at times, also be referred to as a “concealed sickness.” This is because there are no apparent physical signs and symptoms, like in alcohol or drug addiction. What’s more, the problem gamblers will often minimize or deny the problem even to themselves. Nevertheless, you could be having difficulty if you:

  • Gamble even when you lack the funds

You may gamble till you’ve used your last dollar, then head to the money you aren’t supposed to use. This is money meant for your children’s needs, paying bills, or even credit cards. You may be pushed to sell, steal, or even start accumulating debt just for you to get the betting bankroll.

  • Have difficulty to control your betting

The moment you start betting, can you walk away? Are you constrained to gamble till you use your last dollar? Increasing your wagers to win already lost money back?

  • Feel the need to be private about your problem

You may perhaps place bets in private or lie about the way you gamble, thinking others will not understand or that you will soon shock them with a massive “jackpot” win.

  • Family and friends will be worried

Rejection keeps the difficulties going. If your family members and friends are concerned about you, ensure you listen to them attentively. Asking for help never implies you’re weak. Most of the elderly gamblers are never willing to reach out to their families if they have bet away their inheritance, but then again, it’s never too late to make changes for the better.

Self-help for Gambling Troubles

The most critical step towards dealing with any addiction is understanding that you have a problem. When you understand it, you can ask for help from authorities and minimize your gaming time with casinos which help bettors to limit their sessions. You can find the list of responsible platforms here –

It requires massive strength and courage to own up to this, most especially if you’ve lost lots of cash. Never give up, and never try to handle such a difficulty single-handedly. A lot of people have been in a similar situation, and they managed to end the habit and reconstruct their lives. Why not you or the people you love?

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor