Gambling addiction is a common problem that can happen to anyone, just like drug addiction or alcoholism. It can change from a fun experience to an obsession.
If you like to bet on sports or play in online casinos or even enjoy gathering friends around a poker table every now and then, you are susceptible to developing a gambling problem.
This type of addiction can significantly affect your personal relationships and your job and it could eventually lead to catastrophic financial problems.
However, developing a gambling addiction is avoidable and controllable. This is Why Arabic Roulette compiled some information regarding the causes of gambling addiction, the signs to look out for and of course some tips on how to overcome it and seek help.
Causes of Gambling Addiction
There is no direct reason for why people develop a gambling addiction, however there may be one or two factors that might help a player develop it:
- Hereditary Reasons: Gambling addiction might run in the family. Maybe your father was addicted to gambling or your Aunt or anyone.
- Age: It plays an important factor in Gambling addiction, the younger you are the more likely you are to make reckless decisions.
- Easy Access To Gambling Sites: Nowadays, it is very easy for anyone to access online betting sites whether from their laptops or mobile phones.
- Personal Traits: Addiction could be part of your character especially if you are very competitive or nervous or addictive by nature.
- Causes of Gambling Addiction
- Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
- How does the Doctor Diagnose a Gambling Addict?
- Stages of Gambling Addiction:
- Tips for Responsible Gambling
- Responsible Gambling Authorities: Where to get help?
Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
Here is a list of signs and symptoms that can give you a hint of whether or not you are developing a gambling addiction and to reverse its effects before it is too late.
- Ignoring other people’s problems whether they are close relatives or friends
- Hiding the fact that you are playing from your family and friends
- Thinking about earning money from gambling only and from no other way like a job or so.
- Borrowing Money from others to gamble thinking that you can cover your losses and pay them back
- Prioritizing gambling over anything else in life
- Thinking that you can quit whenever you want
- Trying to quit but finding yourself getting back to it every time
- Getting Irritated when you are not playing for a few hours
- Thinking about illegal ways to get money like Stealing.
How does the Doctor Diagnose a Gambling Addict?
The doctor will do the following procedures to identify whether a gambler has an addiction or not:
- Ask about his daily habits and the way he thinks about casino games or even ask his relatives or friends in case he does not provide a valid answer.
- Check the medicine the person is taking in case one of them has addictive side effects.
- Do a general physical examination to see if anything indicates an addiction.
- Do a psychological evaluation whereby the doctor asks the patient some behavioral questions.
Stages of Gambling Addiction:
- Winning: You played a couple of times and you got lucky and won some money so you start thinking that you are on a winning streak and that you are a lucky person so you get excited about it.
- Losing: This is where your luck runs out and you start losing money and borrowing money from others thinking that you can make up for all the losses and that your luck will change.
- Desperation: This is where you have completely lost control over your gambling addiction and start feeling ashamed and guilty after playing and try to resort to illegal means to fund your gambling.
Tips for Responsible Gambling
- Think of gambling as a way to have fun not as a way to make money.
- Specifying a time limit for gambling
- Setting a betting limit
- Being sober while gambling
- Abstain from gambling when you are angry or sad
- Integrate other hobbies in your life
- Think of your winnings from gambling as something to use for your next time playing rather than an income you earned.
- Never think about betting more to cover the losses you incurred.
Responsible Gambling Authorities: Where to get help?
There are many organizations that help addicts recover from their addiction and get their life back. Let’s mention a few:
- Youth Gambling Prevention: A website that helps spread gambling addiction awareness among the youth and advises how their parents should approach them.
- Prevention lane: Provides awareness campaigns to introduce the youth of the dangers associated with gambling addiction.
- GamCare: Provides support and a treatment plan for addicts in general and especially for gambling addicts. It is UK-based but it is world-famous and provides its services in many languages including Arabic.
- BeGambleAware: A website that helps gamblers gamble responsibly by providing full support.
- Gamblers Anonymous: A meeting group where a group of addicts meet and talk about their experience with gambling addiction.
- Gambling Therapy: An online website that provides free advice regarding gambling addiction based on proven techniques previously used on addicts before.