How to Recognize the Signs of Compulsive Gambling

How to Recognize the Signs of Compulsive Gambling Compulsive gambling is a recognized addiction, just like alcoholism or chemical dependency

Follow these steps to see if you might fit the profile You will need A willingness to evaluate yourself and honesty Step 1 Recognize the number one red flag, which is that you are taking valuable time away from your job and your family to gamble Step 2

Evaluate your financial situation Are you borrowing or even stealing money in order to gamble? Has your gambling resulted in bounced checks and credit card debt? Step 3 Uncover the hidden meanings of your actions If you’re secretive about your gambling or if you lie about it, you are tacitly acknowledging that you have a problem If you’ve tried to cut back or quit, you know that you do

If you have children, it’s doubly important to get help Research shows that 50 percent of the children of pathological gamblers eventually become compulsive gamblers themselves Step 4 Assess your feelings Do you feel guilty and remorseful after you gamble? Do you gamble to distract yourself from problems or to relieve anxiety – the way someone else might rely on drugs or alcohol? Step 5

Look back on your gambling history Do you have to keep increasing the amounts you bet in order to achieve the same high? Step 6 Ask yourself if you fit the profile casinos use to scope out problem gamblers: They play longer than three hours, are prone to outbursts, and make frequent trips to the ATM machine Step 7 Gauge your optimism

Considering the odds against you, are your expectations of winning unreasonably high? Irrational optimism is another sign of gambling addiction Step 8 If any of the preceding descriptions apply to you, get help for your addiction – before you lose your family, your friends, your job, your financial security, and maybe even your freedom Did you know Compulsive gambling rates double within 50 miles of a new casino, according to a federal study

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