Gambling addiction is also known as compulsive gambling/gambling disorder which is a type of impulse-control disorder where you have little or no control over your urge to gamble. Furthermore, even when you are aware that your actions can significantly impair your social or occupation functions. You can also have a gambling problem without being totally out of control. Problem gambling is any gambling behavior that disrupts your life. If you’re preoccupied with gambling, spending more and more time and money on it, chasing losses, or gambling despite serious consequences in your life, you have a gambling problem.
A gambling addiction or problem is often associated with other behavior or mood disorders. Many problem gamblers also suffer with substance abuse issues, unmanaged ADHD, stress, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. To overcome your gambling problem, you’ll also need to address these and any other underlying causes as well.
How can you know you have a gambling problem?
- If you feel the need to be secretive about you’re gambling actions. You might gamble in secret or lie about how much you gamble, feeling others won’t understand or that you will surprise them with a big win.
- When you have trouble controlling your gambling. Once you start gambling, can you walk away? Or are you compelled to gamble until you’ve spent your last coin, upping your bets in a bid to win lost money back?
- Gambling even when you don’t have the money. You may gamble until you’ve spent your last coin, and then move on to money you don’t have, money to pay bills, credit cards, or things for your children.
- When you are compelled to borrow, sell, or even steal things for gambling money.
- When you are compelled to borrow, sell, or even steal things for money to gamble.
- When family and friends worried about your gambling habit.
Tips for overcoming gambling addiction
- Identify your self-sabotage triggers.
- Strengthen your support network.
- Join a peer support group.
- Seek help for underlying mood disorders.
By Bethwel Kiptum
Chiromo Hospital Group.