Gambling Addiction 3

Today we continue to discuss gambling addiction and what it may look like.  We will continue to offer you some questions to ask yourself to determine if you may be struggling with an addiction.  Here are some more questions to ponder: 7. This is a continuation from Question 6: Have you ever tried BUT NOT SUCCEEDED in stopping, cutting down, or controlling your gambling?  If your answer is “Yes”, has this happened 3 or more times?

You may be wondering why the frequency is important.  Oftentimes, in order to determine if there is an addiction present, it is important to establish if there is a pattern in your behaviors.  If you have tried to stop or cut back on your gambling, but not succeeded, there is definitely a concern that it is an addiction.

8. Have you ever gambled to escape from personal problems?

Oftentimes addictions are an unhealthy way to cope with stress.  It’s not unusual to see someone who has financial problems gambling, despite the fact that they lost their job and are getting ready to lose their house.  Gambling often allows you to “escape” from your problems, even if only temporarily.

9. Have you ever gambled to relieve uncomfortable feelings, such as guilt, anxiety, helplessness, or depression?

If you battle any kind of mental illness, you may be more susceptible to becoming an addict.  Gambling allows you to gain a temporary “high”, just like drugs, alcohol, and sex do.  It is easy to become addicted to the feeling, especially if you typically struggle daily with depression/anxiety/insecurity.

10. Has there ever been a period where you have lost money gambling one day, and returned the next to “get even”?

This is a huge red flag.  If you feel the need to get even after losing a lot of money, you have probably disconnected a little from the reality of the situation.  This need to get even comes from the need to feel like you have some control over the situation.  In all actuality, you have very little control.

Come back tomorrow as we continue to offer you questions to self-assess if you have a gambling addiction.  If you have read the questions today, and have answered yes to a few, you may need to talk to someone.  Please get help!

*Source: NODS- DSM IV Gambling Screen

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.