Problem gambling can creep up on a person. And it’s of the utmost importance that you can recognize gambling warning signs in yourself.
You can see issues bubbling up internally and also spilling out to affect your external persona. We’re going to examine all of the most common gambling warning signs.
Internal gambling warning signs
Gambling can affect you on a deeply personal level, in lots of different ways. Here are some of the most common problem gambling warning signs you might notice in yourself, even if no one else can see it.
1. Financial struggles
You should never, ever gamble more than you can afford. Never put it on a credit card. Never borrow money to spend on gambling. If you find yourself doing any of these things, or struggling to pay for your rent, groceries, bills, it’s time to stop gambling.
When you start or finish a gambling session, do you have niggling feelings of guilt? Perhaps there’s a part of you that thinks you are spending too much time and money gambling. Listen to that voice. It’s a good sign you need help.
3. Urge to keep spending
Do you feel like you need to keep spending more in order to get the same level of excitement you used to feel from gambling?
4. Chasing a loss
Believing that if you only spend more, you can make up for your losses, is a dangerous way to think.
Do you ever feel restless or uneasy if you haven’t placed a bet in a while? This is a clear sign that gambling is affecting you mentally in a harmful way.
6. Stress and anxiety
Are you increasingly stressed and/or anxious? When stress and anxiety start to creep into your life, it can damage many different aspects of your physical and emotional wellbeing. And if you suspect it’s linked to problem gambling, it could be a red flag for addiction. Contact your healthcare provider, as well as a gambling help organization for help to deal with this.
External gambling warning signs
Is gambling starting to have a negative affect on your relationship with the outside world? Here’s what you might’ve noticed…
7. Relationship issues
Does it feel like you’re fighting with your partner, friends or family more and more? Are these fights often about your gambling?
8. Problems at work
When you’re at work, do you find it hard to concentrate on the task at hand? Do you instead find yourself thinking about gambling. Perhaps your career is also starting to suffer… You’ve been passed over for that promotion or your performance is deteriorating?
9. Lack of focus studying
If you’re in university or taking a course, it deserves your full attention. But when gambling problems start to rear their ugly heads, it can be difficult to focus on your education. This could affect your overall grades and could have long-term implications.
Get the help you need
If you see this red flags in yourself or a loved one, then you need to get expert help. There are organizations all around the world that work tirelessly to help you stop gambling and deal with your problem head on.
In the United States, you can contact the National Council on Problem Gambling via their website or phone line (1800 522 4700). If you’re in the United Kingdom, Be Gamble Aware is available for online or on the phone (0808 8020 133).
For those based outside both the USA and the UK, there are lots of international gambling help organizations. So you can find the one in your district and start getting help as soon as possible.