Just some years ago, gambling is a word that we only heard of in the movies. Or read in books. It was thought of as a Western problem, and we wondered how one can throw away money and call it an addiction. Now, just a few short years later, the gambling craze is here with us. They call it ‘playing’. The adverts scream at us to ‘Play and win!’.
Going by the amount of money being sunk in this games and the desperation of those they live behind, this is far from playing. From sports betting to those who just try their luck randomly, gambling addiction is affecting more people that we want to admit.
You can argue that people just enjoy betting. That’s right; they all start there. At what point do we term it an addiction? This is when the gambling is compulsive and the victim cannot control the urge to bet. Here are signs to look out for:
- A preoccupation with gambling where you forgo other important activities and spend a lot of time gambling.
- You keep increasing the amount of money you spent on betting. The previous amounts no longer give you enough excitement, so you increase the amount and the frequency of betting as you progress.
- You have attempted to stop or at least reduce gambling in the past. You have even said so to your friends and family. However, you find yourself getting back to the same cycle.
- After losing money, you convince yourself that you can recover it only if you bet a few more times. So you jump right back, and woe unto you should you lose the money yet again.
- Stealing or diverting money from important activities in order to finance your gambling. Once you find that you can’t handle your responsibilities as you used to because of gambling, there’s a problem.
- Lying or hiding the extent of your gambling. If you’re doing nothing wrong, then you don’t have to lie or cover up your accounts with a myriad of passwords. The secrecy shows that you’re guilty.
- Giving up important relationships for the sake of gambling. You argue with your spouse, children, parent, friends or boss because of gambling yet you cannot stop. Your hope of winning some money has become stronger than your bond with loved ones.
Believe it or not, gambling addiction is termed as a mental disease. Most of us merely think of it as a bad habit. If you’re already exhibiting some of the signs mentioned above, it is time to tame yourself before gambling gets the better of you. If like most people you bet online, disconnect the service so that it’s no longer available within reach. Do not allow the ‘playing’ to harm your life, finances and relationships. Take control when you still can.