Problem Gambling? Know When to Fold ‘Em!
Risking something of value on an activity or event in which the outcome is uncertain, in hopes of winning something of material value.
Gambling is one of the most common forms of entertainment available today. And, while most people gamble responsibly, around 1% of the adult population develops a gambling problem. Further, research has shown that for every problem gambler, there are an estimated 8 – 10 ‘non-gamblers’ affected by problem gambling.
There has been great effort put forth to reduce the stigma around problem gambling and for those seeking help from this addiction. This, because people deserve the opportunity to improve their lives by receiving the proper help for their gambling problem.
Do I need help because of my gambling?
Recognizing the warning signs of problem gambling can help you identify whether there is a problem. Understanding these warning signs may reinforce your decision to seek assistance from a mental health professional.
Here are some questions that, if you answer yes to, may indicate problematic behavior:
- Have you felt restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling?
- Have you ever lied to conceal the extent of your involvement with gambling?
- Do you feel the need to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get a rush?
- Are you preoccupied with thoughts of gambling?
- Do you find yourself gambling when needing to escape worry, boredom or trouble?
- Have you had any self-destructive thoughts because of problems resulting from gambling?
Are you concerned about a loved one?
While you may not be the one gambling, you may observe changes in the personality and behavior of someone with a gambling problem. The problem gambler might be your child, significant other, or aging parent.
Here are some questions that may indicate problematic gambling behavior:
- Does your loved one ever gamble longer than planned?
- Do you hide the rent/mortgage or food money because your loved one gambles it away?
- Is your loved one borrowing or stealing from you or others?
- Are you worried about the emotional health and/or financial security of a loved one who is gambling?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions you, or your loved one, may have a problem with gambling and may wish to seek immediate help.
There is help for you, the problem gambler, and all those affected by problem gambling. Each day people who were haunted by their gambling are reaching out for the help they need to live happier, more fulfilling lives.
You are not alone. Have the conversation now!
Callie Weinberg counsels individuals and families, using a clinical approach that includes mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing.
As a certified Problem and Compulsive Gambling Counselor and Substance Abuse Professional, Callie has a passion for working with individuals and families impacted by addiction.
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