How to Recognise You or Your Loved One Has a Problem
To understand whether you are a compulsive gambler or are on the road to becoming one, here are the 20 questions you should be asking yourself:
- Do you lose time from work or school due to gambling?
- Is gambling making your home life unhappy?
- Is gambling affecting your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
- Do you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Does gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing do you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
- Do you often gamble until your last pound has gone?
- Do you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
- Are you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
- Does gambling make you careless of the welfare of your family?
- Do you gamble longer than you had planned?
- Do you ever gamble to escape worry or trouble?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Does gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create an urge within you to gamble?
- Do you have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self-destruction as a result of your gambling?
- Is gambling making your home life unhappy?
Generally, if you have answered yes to around 7 or more of the questions then you may be a compulsive gambler and it is best to start seeking help before it goes any further.
Steps to Recovery
Once you have recognised yourself in those questions and understand that there is potentially a problem, you are then on the road to recovery. Here are some helpful tips to get you on that long but worthwhile road to recovery:
- Admit that you have a problem – the first step is admitting that you have a problem. You need to recognise that your gambling habit has become out of control and that you need to put work in to return to normality. You might experience emotional confusion and internal arguments at this point but you need to rally support at this point.
- Confide in someone you know and trust – find a friend or family member that you trust completely. This will be easier that going to a support group at first. You and the person you confide in will feel a sense of relief once the problem is admitted as this person close to you will probably realise that something isn’t right.
- Start attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings. These will help you mix with people in the same position as you. You can offer support to others and receive support in return
- Block your access to all gambling – not only the type of gambling to which you are addicted, but to all gambling, so one form doesn’t replace another. This, along with the help of your confidante will make sure you are more likely to stay away from websites and apps.
- Give up control of your money and finances – if you give someone else, that you trust completely, control of your money you will have the burden of your finances removed from your shoulders – even for a short while. During this time, should you need to, you can seek advice from debt management companies and will avoid the habit of loss chasing.
- Stay busy to keep your mind off it – you will still experience cravings to gamble so you need to keep busy to try and avoid those feelings. You need to distract yourself. The withdrawal stage can be very tough so you need all the support possible here.
- Look for others who have successfully stopped – after around 4 or so weeks free from gambling, you should start feeling better. Your finances may well be on the road to recovery also. However, don’t become complacent at this time and this it is under control. Find someone, possibly in your group meetings, who has successfully given up gambling and use them to support you in your journey.
If you have recognised the problem and are on the steps to recovery, then don’t forget that there is always help and support here at cghub.co.za. There is a lot of literature around for you to read to help you on your journey. Gambling can be fun and exciting, but it can also cause many problems if you don’t gamble wisely and sensibly. Remember, you always need to stay in control, never bet more than you can afford to lose and always have fun. As soon as this is no longer the case then you need to rethink your habits.