Warning Signs That Gambling May Be a Problem

Gambling is an activity whereby individuals stake something of value – usually money – on an uncertain event involving chance. Examples of this include betting on football teams to win matches or playing scratchcards; if your prediction of its outcome is correct, you could win money while otherwise, it can cost you. Gambling can be fun but before beginning gambling it is essential that all participants understand its risks before engaging.

Gambling offers more than just the thrill of winning big; it can also offer other benefits including socializing, being a form of entertainment and raising funds for charities. Some may find gambling relaxing; however, it should be remembered that it’s not suitable for everyone and should be avoided if suffering from mental health problems.

Gambling can take many forms; casino visits and slot machine playing are among the most prevalent examples; however, other methods include online gambling, sports betting, fantasy leagues and DIY investing. Although gambling can be fun and engaging pastime, its risks should always be managed so as not to lead to addiction.

Many consider gambling to be an act of sin, yet many individuals who gamble find enjoyment from the experience. Unfortunately, however, some gamblers develop unhealthy attachments to gambling that cause them to neglect other aspects of their life and neglect other obligations. It’s therefore essential that we become aware of warning signs indicating gambling may become an issue for either ourselves or someone close to us.

Some individuals are predisposed to gambling due to an underactive brain reward system or genetic propensities towards impulsivity; research demonstrates how such genetic factors impact how an individual processes rewards, controls impulses and assesses risk. Others may gamble as part of their culture which makes it hard to recognize when someone has an addiction problem with gambling.

The DSM-5, psychiatrists’ bible, lists 10 warning signs of gambling disorder; however, many people who are addicted may not exhibit any of them. Instead they remain unable to stop gambling despite it causing depression, debt, relationship difficulties and potential job loss; furthermore they may lie about it, conceal evidence and steal to fund their habit.

At Gamblers Anonymous we understand the risks associated with gambling are essential and are taking measures to keep gambling from harming us or those we love. A key strategy in doing this is controlling your own gambling behaviour or altogether if needed if a problem exists. If this proves challenging there are services such as treatment centers and peer support groups which offer assistance that may allow you to regain control of your life and regain your dignity; some organizations even provide support services for family members of problem gamblers.