Gambling addiction the most serious risk you face as a gambler is cultivating a gambling problem or dependence. You would perhaps think that the possibility of losing a large sum of money while gambling is a greater concern, but here’s the deal:
If you establish a gambling problem, you will almost undoubtedly lose more money.
In fact, you’ll presumably lose more money than you think possible while gambling, and you’ll also probably have lost a bunch of other stuff in your life.
Here are some gambling habits to keep an eye out for. Not by chance, these are the diagnostic benchmark for gambling disorders. According to the American Psychiatric Association, you only had to exhibit five of these ten behaviors to be classified as a problem gambler.
1. Obsession With Gambling
What would it indicate to be gambling-obsessed?
Being preoccupied implies that you are so engrossed in something that you are neglecting other things that should be your priority. It also implies being overly concerned about something.
What are some of the behaviors associated with someone being obsessed with real cash betting?
Do you spend lots of time mentally or verbally reliving your gambling sessions?
Do you spend lots of time mentally planning your next gambling session?
Are you concerned about where you’ll get the resources to finance your for another gambling trip?
All of these are signs of gambling addiction.
2. Gambling Tolerance
Do you know anybody who can consume alcohol more alcohol than some others without becoming inebriated?
These individuals have quite a high tolerance for alcohol.
You could also develop a gambling tolerance. When particularly in comparison to a problem gambler, the average individual has a lower gulp limit.
What exactly is a gulp limit?
Several years ago, I read a poker book by John Vorhaus in which he explained on which limits you could perhaps play poker at in order to have fun. He explained that the game is worthless if you play for too little money. However, if you play for far too much money, you will not be able to play efficiently because you will be too afraid to lose.
He advises you to consider the amount of funds that would trigger you to gulp if you did lose it. That is the sum you should invest in.
You’re playing for far too much money if it causes a bigger reaction than a gulp.
However, when you hit the point where losing massive sums of money betting has no effect on you, you have developed a gambling tolerance.
You will lose money as a result of this and it could be the first sign of a problem.
3. Gambling Addiction Loss of Control
What does it mean to be out of control?
Loss of control in an alcoholic appears as drinking more than you intended. It also implies being unable to reduce or stop drinking.
This same inability to cut back or quit is an example of gambling control loss.
Also, if you go to the casino with the intention of losing or winning $100 and end up losing $500 before going home, you have lost control of your gambling.
4. Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of withdrawal are frequently physical when it comes to a chemical like alcohol. Flu-like symptoms, nausea, and headaches are possible. A hangover is a real example of withdrawal symptoms, even though most people do not believe it.
The more you drink and the longer you drink, the worse your hangovers will be. Withdrawal from alcohol can become debilitating and even life-threatening over time.
Withdrawal symptoms are more likely to be physiological in a much more process-oriented addictive behavior, such as gambling addiction. When giving it up a substance, these withdrawal symptoms are common, but they may be more noticeable in gamblers.
What are the signs of psychological withdrawal? RID is an acronym used by alcoholics to describe themselves.
If you are restless, irritable, and/or dissatisfied when you are not gambling, you may need to reduce your gambling or stop completely.
5. Get Away From Your Life
You’re doing it wrong if you use gambling to escape from your life and whatever problems you’re dealing with. Problems that people frequently try to avoid include feelings of anxiety, guilt, and/or depression.
This is a decision only you can make.
After all, many people use various forms of entertainment to distract themselves from their problems. Many people struggle with sitting with their emotions and accepting that they will not feel that way forever.
However, if you use gambling as an escape from your problems, you should carefully consider the other behaviors on this list.
6. Pursuing Losses or Winnings
One of the most common mistakes that gamblers make is chasing their losses. Chasing a win to make up for previous losses almost never works, and it’s almost always a sign of a problem.
What is an example of this mindset of chasing losses?
Assume you’re playing poker and you lose $500 almost immediately. In fact, that was the only money you brought. You may be chasing your losses if you rush to the ATM to withdraw another $500.
Chasing losses is frequently a sign of the gambler’s fallacy. The belief behind this fallacy is that if you’ve recently lost, the odds will surely be in your favor going forward. After all, it’s unlikely that you’ll go on such a long losing streak, isn’t it?
However, if you’ve studied probability at all, you’re probably aware that the majority of bets in gambling are on independent events. In a game of Texas Hold’em, the cards are shuffled after each hand, so the game has no memory of how your aces were cracked earlier tonight.
On the next hand, you’re just as likely to have your aces cracked again.
7. Making False Statements About Your Gambling
You’re doing something wrong if you lie about your gambling activities. You should be able to tell your wife where you were if you go to the casino.
And if she asks how much money you won or lost, you should be able to tell her the truth.
This holds true for everyone in your life. Unless you’re completely out of control and have a problem, you shouldn’t have to lie to anyone about your gambling.
Unfortunately, many gamblers do not simply lie about their gambling to their family members or therapists.
They also frequently deceive themselves.
I have a friend who has been playing the lottery for many years. He says he’s “breaking even,” and you can tell he believes it.
Another friend of mine is a telephone psychic. He claims to be a winning poker player due to his abilities, and he believes it.
I am a strong believer that able to win gamblers are realistic and tell the truth about their gambling to themselves and others.
8. Violation of the Law
If your gambling involves breaking any kind of law, it might be a problem. However, the gravity of the crime is also important. The main thing to be concerned about in this situation is financial crime, such as embezzlement or theft.
Gamblers who fund their gambling by stealing cash are unquestionably losers.
On the other side, I often used to play in some Dallas underground card rooms. That was a misdemeanor, and that could have consequently resulted in a fine and a blemish on my felony conviction.
I don’t believe I will ever have a gambling problem as a result of this, but I also never stole money to fund my gambling.
9. Endangering a Relationship Due to Your Gambling
You have a number of relationships. If any of those are jeopardized as a result of your gambling, you’re doing it wrong.
One instance is the hubby whose spouse has threatened to divorce him if he does not stop losing $1,000 per month on football betting.
People who gamble jeopardize their work opportunities or their position as students are less obvious examples.
Assume you stay awake so late playing blackjack that you neglect your college class at 8 a.m. That jeopardizes your relationship with your teacher and the school, particularly if you do it on a regular basis.
Your relationship opportunities must never be jeopardized as a result of your gambling.
10. Getting a Bailout
No, I’m not referring to being released on bail after the police seized the casino you established up in your home.
I’m referring to getting into such a financial bind as a result of your betting that you have to worry about paying your bills.
Looking at the side effects of a psychiatric disorder is as good a way as I can think of to make a list of what NOT to do when gambling. If you are only doing one or two of all the above activities, attempt to stop doing them.
If you are involved in much more activities than just that, it may be time to reconsider whether you should gamble at all. Here’s another article on how to gamble responsibly.