Most people enjoy a casual game of poker every once in a while, and few experiences compare to the thrill of winning a decent amount of money gambling. However, there is a point where gambling may become an obsession.
I’ve personally seen people throw their entire lives away because of gambling. It starts slow. playing online poker or another game more and more until it becomes an addiction.
Gambling addiction is a serious problem, and if you or a loved one has a gambling problem, you should get help as soon as possible.
First step is to get conscious about the problem
There’s no definite line between people who just like gambling, and people who have a problem.
This makes it difficult to determine when there is actually a problem. If you suspect someone you know of having a gambling problem, try talking to them about it.
Don’t be offensive, and don’t come right out and say “I think you have a problem”.
Start up a friendly conversation, and slowly move on to the topic of gambling. If nothing else works, try laying some bait. Explain that someone in your past (doesn’t have to be true) had a serious gambling problem.
Hopefully whoever you’re talking to will take the hint, and initiate the conversation for now. If he/she refuses to see that there is a problem, it may be time to seek professional help.
Find some alternatives to gambling
When people get addicted to gambling, it’s usually just the feeling or “rush” that they get that is appealing to them.
If going cold turkey doesn’t work, try to find an activity that is exhilarating and doesn’t involve gambling. When someone has a problem, they not only need company, but they need to keep themselves busy.
A gambling addiction is just as serious than a drug or alcohol addiction, so don’t take it lightly.
If you yourself are the one who has a problem, talk to a close friend or family member about it. If you feel like that would be embarrassing, you could see a professional counselor about it.
Gambling addiction is extremely dangerous
To me, gambling becomes a problem when it seriously affects your finances. I’ve seen way too many people start gambling when they had pretty good lives.
They had a house, a nice car, and were able to pay the bills with some savings left over. A year or two later, they’re living in a small apartment, with a beat up old car and $0 in the bank.
Generally excessive gamblers end up stacking up a lot of debt as well, especially if they’re going through bookies and not legitimate casinos. The scary thing is that it could pretty much happen to anyone.
There’s just no stopping for some people when it comes to gambling: they’re constantly convinced that the next hand, roll, spin, or throw will make them rich. And guess what, more often than not, it lands them in debt and slowly eats away at their happiness.
If you think you have a gambling problem, you can find help online by visiting non profit organizations like the gamblers anonymous.