What is a gambling addiction?
Gambling addiction differs from gambling in the same way that controlled drinking differs from alcoholism. In gambling addiction, like any other addiction, gambling has reached a point where it is out of control, despite the damages being caused through compulsive gambling.
How do I know whether I have a gambling problem?
The first step to getting help for your gambling problem is determining whether you have a gambling problem. Below is the Gamblers Anonymous 20-question test to determine whether the signs/symptoms of addiction exist.
- Have you ever lost time from work or school due to gambling?
- Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
- Did gambling affect your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
- Have you ever gambled to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Has gambling caused a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing have you felt you had to return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win have you had a strong urge to return and win more?
- Have you often gambled until your last rand was gone?
- Have you ever borrowed to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
- Have you been reluctant to use ‘gambling money’ for normal expenditures?
- Has gambling made you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
- Have you ever gambled longer than you had planned?
- Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Has gambling caused you to have difficulty sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
- Have you ever had an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
As a general rule of thumb, if you answer 7 or more questions with a ‘yes’, you should seek assessment or treatment.