What is Problem Gambling?
There is a fine line between gambling occasionally and having it become a problem. People from all walks of life are affected by gambling disorder. Gambling stimulates the brain’s reward system like alcohol and other drugs, and can easily get out of control. With the internet, apps on smartphones and many local establishments have gaming devices, the ease of a quick thrill can be very alluring.
What are signs of someone with Problem Gambling?
1. Hiding the amount or frequency you are gambling from others. This jeopardizes relationships, employment and/or school.
2. Compulsive Gambling or chasing losses: Trying to get back the money that was lost.
3. Gambling even when you can’t afford it. Many stop paying household bills. They hope to be able to make up the loss and catch up on bills later.
4. People close to you are expressing concern or worry. When family and friends start to voice their concern it’s usually the biggest warning sign – they know you best.
Unlike casual gamblers who stop when they’ve lost or set a limit, people who compulsively gamble keep playing – a pattern that becomes increasingly destructive over time.
Where can people go for help?
Gambling is not easy to combat. Many problem gamblers also have substance abuse disorders and mental health conditions like ADHD, stress, depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. Everything needs to be addressed to begin the road to recovery. With the help of trained professionals and lifestyle changes, it is possible.
If you or someone you know has a problem gambling, contact the professional team at Lifeline Connections. You can visit Lifelineconnections.org, our Services & Locations information or call (360) 397-8246 for more information.
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