When played responsibly, gambling can be an enjoyable source of entertainment for adults. However, it can lead to problems for individuals and families – as well as be highly addictive.
Problem gambling is defined as gambling to the extent that it causes any type of emotional, family, legal, financial, or other problems for the gambler or those closest to them.
There are many levels of problem gambling. In fact, you could be practicing risky behaviors without even realizing it.
Here are a few questions to consider.
- Are you preoccupied with gambling (e.g. preoccupied with reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping, or planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble)?
- Do you need to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement?
- Have you made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling?
- Are you restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling?
- Do you gamble as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, or depression?
- After losing money gambling, do you often return another day to get even?
- Do you lie to family members, therapist, or to others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling?
- Have you jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, a educational or career opportunity because of gambling?
- Do you rely on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling?
0 No problem gambling
1-2 Low-level problem gambling with few consequences.
3-7 Moderate-level of problem gambling, some negative consequences.
8-9 Severe-level of problem gambling with negative consequences and possible loss of control.