Everyone who gambles, even from time to time, has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to know what gambling warning signs to look out for.
We’re going to take you through some of the most common gambling warning signs. Then it’s up to you to be honest and ask yourself if they apply to you. If they do, it’s time to stop and to get help.
Friction with loved ones
Gambling should never eek into other parts of your life. If you start to notice your gambling habits causing friction in your relationships with family, friends or romantic partners, this is a big problem gambling warning sign.
Problems at work and studies
Sometimes problem gamblers find it difficult to stop thinking about gambling when their minds should be elsewhere. Have you noticed that your work life is beginning to suffer? Has your career been affected by gambling? Perhaps you can no longer concentrate on studying?
Feelings of guilt
Does gambling ever make you feel guilty? Guilty about how much time or money you’re spending on your habit. This is an indication that you’re spending more time and money than you’re truly comfortable with.
Mental health issues
Any time you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety, you need to get professional help. But when those feelings are linked to gambling, this is a clear problem gambling warning sign. Reach out to your GP and to a gambling help organisation.
When you don’t gamble, do you feel restless? Like you won’t fully feel calm until you place a bet? This is not normal.
Wanting to spend more
Do you have an urge to keep spending more money gambling? Maybe you think you need to gamble more money in order to feel the same thrill you originally got from betting?
Spending more after a loss
Do you feel like you need to spend more money to make up for a loss? This is one of the worst things you can do in gambling and often leaves you in a worse place than when you started.
Are you losing control of your finances as a result of your gambling habit? This is one of the biggest gambling warning signs and is the hallmark of a real issue. Not only can it affect you, it can affect everyone you live with and anyone who relies on you.
Help for problem gambling
Recognise these gambling warning signs in yourself or a loved one? Then you need to stop gambling and get some help.
Remember, you’re not alone. There are organisations all over the world who are dedicated to helping people overcome problem gambling. In the United Kingdom, you can find a lot of resources on the Be Gamble Aware website. If calling is easier for you, their helpline is 0808 8020 133.
Outside the United Kingdom, there are also a lot of different places to get help. Take a look at this list of international gambling help organisations and get the assistance you need today.