Recognising you have a gambling problem

21 Nov 2013       By

Gambling is something we all like to do every once in a while. The thrill of winning a bet is a fantastic feeling and with financial gain mixed with the excitement of winning, betting can become really addictive.

The trouble with gambling is that the thrill doesn’t last long - you can’t win forever. In fact the odds are always stacked against you in the gambling world. Once your occasional betting hobby turns into a habit, that’s when the trouble begins.

How do you know when your gambling is becoming a problem?

Questions to ask yourself

There are a few things you need to ask yourself in order to determine whether or not you have a problem.

The first is do you tend to skip work, school or other commitments because of a gambling? Perhaps you spot a last minute race that has unbelievable odds you just can’t miss? Once you start avoiding other commitments to make a bet, that’s when you know it’s becoming a problem. It should never get in the way of your life and responsibilities.

Another question to ask yourself is how you feel after you’ve lost. It’s understandable you’d feel disappointed, angry and even a little stressed; especially if you lost quite a lot of money.
However, what you need to watch out for is the feeling that you need to gamble again straight away to get the money back.

If you automatically place another bet in the hope of winning back what you just lost, that’s a sign you have a problem. It’s this type of betting that often leads to serious financial problems. You start to bet irrationally and that increases the chances that you’ll lose even more money.

Do you still have other interests? Gambling can be a fun hobby if you only do it occasionally. However, it should never be your only hobby. Have you lost interest in other things, including friends and family?

What makes you gamble? Do you feel you need to gamble after an argument or when you become frustrated? When you make a bet feeling this way, you usually tend to take more risks and make higher wagers. If you’re using gambling as a release it’s definitely unhealthy.

These are just some of the signs you may have a problem, but the good news is that there’s plenty of help available these days. If you feel you have, or you’re starting to get a gambling problem then there are many places you can turn to.

Getting the right help

There are numerous organisations throughout the UK that can help - GamCare is just one of them. It offers free advice and counselling and 24 hour support. They don’t judge and they’re always there if you need them.

You could also attend one of the many Gamblers Anonymous groups set up around the country. You’ll meet other people in the same position as you - this support can prove to be second to none. Look online to find your local gamblers anonymous group today.