Today, we will follow up with 3 more questions you can ask yourself when looking into whether or not your gambling might be a problem: 15. If you are a student, or taking classes, has your gambling casued you any problems in school, such as missed classes, days of school missed or a drop in your grades?
Addictions tend to be progressive, meaning that at the onset of addictive behavior, it has the appearance of being "manageable". Over time, however, the addictive behavior takes it's toll on a person, causing them to stop doing things they are responsible for, including school. This behavior lends itself to poor outcomes, such as a worsening of performance with grades. It may not start off that way, but if you notice over time that your school performance is suffering because of your gambling behaviors, then you might be facing an addiction.
16. Has your gambling ever caused you to lose a job, have trouble with your job, or miss out on an important job or career opportunity?
Again, as stated in #15, if the gambling behaviors are progressing and you find yourself choosing gambling over work responsibilities and your job is showing signs of this, you might be facing an addiction or on the slippery slope towards addictive behaviors.
17. Have you ever needed to ask family members or anyone else to loan you money or otherwise bail you out of a desperate money situation that was largely caused by your gambling?
This one can be tricky for some problem gamblers. Often times, those who gamble will make excuses around why they need money from others, minimizing the impact of their gambling behavior (e.g., "It was only $50/$100 I lost at the track/slots/roulette".) But when you step back and look at the TOTAL amount of money lost, it could be not just hundreds, but thousands of dollars, or money that needed to go towards bills and financial responsibilities. As the gambler borrows money from others, it only enables them to get further into debt, fueling the gambling addiction and causing potential resentment and problems in their relationships.
Did you recognize any of the problem areas surrounding gambling from this week's blog? If so, we encourage you to find a professional counselor or support group today!
Additional resources that might be of help to you:
Gamblers Anonymous: www.gamblersanonymous.org
Indiana Gambling hotline: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542
Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.