When some people think of gambling addiction, they have a picture in mind of someone who takes their paycheck and blows it on scratch offs or at the casino. Someone who is in jeopardy of being evicted from their home, can barely buy groceries, and has collection agencies calling. Although this is a picture of a gambling addict, there are other forms as well.
By now you know we are going over questions that can help you assess whether you or someone you care about could be struggling with a gambling addiction. Here are four more questions to ask: 11. Have you ever lied to family members, friends, or others about how much you gamble or how much money you lost on gambling? When someone with an addiction lies about how much they "use" or how much money they spend on their issue, this is usually a definite warning sign they are in trouble. It is very common for an addict to minimize in order to stay in denial about it being a problem.
12. Has this happened three or more times?
Three or more times shows a pattern. It's also most likely getting worse.
13. Have you ever written a bad check or taken something that did not belong to you from family members or anyone else in order to pay for your gambling?
This is a definite sign that someone is in trouble. As the addiction takes over the brain, the addict starts making poor decisions. They will steal from family members, friends, and even commit a felony in order to support their addiction.
14. Has your gambling ever caused serious or repeated problems in your relationship with any of your family members or friends?
When something is just a "hobby" it usually doesn't cause a lot of repeated problems with your family or friends. But when something becomes addictive it usually affects others in ways the addict doesn't even see. When gambling starts affecting them, we know it's become a problem.
If anyone you know or you are struggling, please don't go about this alone. We have many addiction counselors who can help you recover and get your life back. Tomorrow Joleen will also give some resources for help.
Thank you for reading and have a good week.
Source: NODS- DSM IV Gambling Screen
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville
Gambling addiction is a real struggle for many. Statistics tells us that 2-3% of the US population suffers from it. It is estimated that $5 BILLION is spent every year on gambling activities in the US alone.
This week we are presenting you with questions each day that will help you assess if gambling is an issue for you or a loved one. Answering yes to several of these questions should alert you to seek help for this impulse control disorder before it becomes any more destructive in your life.
1. Have there ever been periods lasting two weeks or longer when you spent a lot of time thinking about your gambling experiences or planning out future gambling ventures or bets?
2. Have there ever been periods lasting two weeks or longer when you spent a lot of time thinking about ways of getting money to gamble with?
3. Have there ever been periods when you needed to gamble with increasing amounts of money or with larger bets than before in order to get the same feeling of excitement?
Keep reading all week for more questions to assess gambling addiction. There is hope for a path to recovery... the first step is asking for help!
Source: NODS- DSM IV Gambling Screen
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.