How To: Recognize the signs of compulsive gambling

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. Recognize the signs of compulsive gambling with this guide from Howcast.

You Will Need
* A willingness to evaluate yourself
* Honesty

Step 1: Recognize the number one red flag
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
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 hidden meanings
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.

Step 4: Assess your feelings
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: Face escalating behavior
Look back on your gambling history. Do you have to keep increasing the amounts you bet in order to achieve the same high?

Step 7: Gauge your optimism
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: Get help
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.

Step 6: Ask yourself
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.

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