In this article we will share three tests you can do to see if you have problems with your gambling habits.
We’ll jump right in!
What is a Problem Gambler?
Among those who engage in games of chance and gambling, some people develop a pathology. Gambling becomes an illness or an addiction resulting in an uncontrollable impulse to bet money. Addiction is characterised by a state of a compelling need to do an activity or to consume a substance, and by the need to increase the frequency or dose in order to maintain the effect and avoid lack (discomfort, anxiety).
In 1980, the American psychiatric association recognised pathological gambling as an impulse control disorder. In order to self check and avoid falling into addiction, you can take tests to see if you’re a problem gambler.
Types of Problem Gamblers
Several factors can cause gambling addiction. According to certain specialists, there are three profiles of pathological players: recreational, problematic and excessive.
For some, this entertainment is used as a source of excitement, often in order to forget about a discomfort like depression, hyperactivity, or an existing addiction. For others, getting into the game excessively allows them to indicate to those around them that they are unwell or to express their anger.
In some cases, it is above all the gain that motivates the excesses, the money being interpreted as proof of success. Take a test in order to know if you should be worried or not about your gambling. It’s also smart to use tools like Gamban, Betblocker or Gamstop when playing casino online*.
* Note that there are casinos not covered by Gamstop.
Some symptoms start to appear with gambling addiction, even to those around the player. One of the first symptoms is that they tend to hide it from their loved ones, and therefore start lying. The problem gambler often increases his bet to increase his feeling of excitement and well-being. Even when they lose, they are always convinced that the tide will turn. They also persuade themselves that money is not lost irretrievably. Borrowing from their entourage, therefore, becomes something normal. When they can no longer borrow it from their loved ones, they often have no other choice than to obtain it otherwise, sometimes pushing them to act illegally.
When we play games of chance and money, it is essentially to win. The problem is, we obviously have no control over the resulting gains and losses. However, even if we are rational, emotions still take over. We tend to remember more the money won compared to what we’ve lost…The famous “beginner’s luck” gives us a feeling of euphoria which pushes us to play more, since we see ourselves as lucky and skilful. Unfortunately, the phases of loss quickly and inevitably take over. Convinced that they can “come back” and that the tide will eventually turn, this is how the players develop an addiction to gambling.
Gambling can have dramatic consequences for the player and those around him. Half of the pathological players experience depression and anxiety, and even develop mood disorders. Problem gamblers suffer, in a large proportion, from other addictive problems. More than 60% are addicted to tobacco and almost 50% are addicted to alcohol. Regarding illicit drug use, it most often precedes the start of pathological gambling. They also encounter several financial problems such as debt, loss of income, loss of a job. Moreover, pathological gamblers often become distant with family and friends, diving alone in this vicious circle. Soon enough, lying, theft, deception and even crimes will start to appear.
Very often, awareness comes too late, when the players have hit rock bottom, and they have already lost everything. They rarely ask for help because they really want it, but rather because they have run out of resources and are in distress. In fact, one in five pathological gamblers has already attempted suicide, while only 2% of problem gamblers would ask for help. This is why it would be crucial for you to undertake the tests to see if you’re a problem gambler. The earlier you know you are prone to develop a gambling addiction, the earlier your life can be saved.