Do you play games, or do the games play you? Read about problem gambling and what you can do if your gaming becomes a problem. Gambling can be a lot of fun, but only as long as you control it. When gambling controls you, you need to take affirmative action.
Online gambling is doubly addictive
Online gambling is even more addictive than ordinary live gambling, since internet in itself has an addictive effect on many of us.
How do you know that you have a problem?
When you play games, you should be on the watch out for certain signs. Each one of them could indicate that gambling is becoming a problem for you.
If you recognize several of them in your own behavior, you really need to think over your situation.
- You spend more money on gambling than you had planned.
- You loose your sense of time and stay in the game longer than planned.
- You don't quit when you're up, but continue gambling until the money is gone.
- You're easily annoyed if something disturbs you while gambling.
- You chase your losses, trying to win back money that you've lost.
- You spend more and more time gambling and thinking about gambling.
- You need to play higher to get the same excitement.
- You have a strong belief that you will make big wins.
- You think that you lose because you didn't play well enough.
- You spend more on gambling than you let your friends know.
- You don't tell the truth to people that are close to you.
- You choose gaming before family, friends or work.
Step 1: Admit the problem
If you deny a problem, it stays with you.
Addiction isn't something we choose. Therefore it's also not something we can stop by will. If we could shake it off, it wouldn't be a problem to begin with.
Only if you admit the problem can you deal with it.
Step 2: Get help
You're not alone. And you're not as unique as you think. Gambling problems are as old as gambling, and we're speaking ancient China. Use the power of other people's experience.
Chances are good that you can find a group of Gamblers Anonymous not far from the place you live. Check the phone book and strike up a non-committing discussion that could improve your life.
Many online casinos allow you to define limits for how much you're allowed to spend. You can always ban yourself from the casino for a shorter or longer period of time.
Making the poison hard to get helps you abstain.
Links and phone numbers
Below is a list of people who know what they're talking about:
- National Council on Problem Gambling (Canada)
- UK GamCare
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Responsible Gambling Council
Playing games is a great pastime, but when the game plays you, you need to protect yourself.