There are many forms of problem gambling. If any kind of gambling is interfering with your life and relationships, chances are you or your loved one is a problem gambler. Treatment is free to both the gambler and family members.
A problem gambler might exhibit one or all of the following warning signs:
- Preoccupied with gambling and unable to stop
- Bragging about gambling, exaggerating wins and minimizing losses
- Restless and irritable when not gambling
- Gambling to "feel better"
- Borrowing money for gambling
- Lying to hide time spent gambling or unpaid debts
- Has frequent unexplained absences
- Chasing losses (gambling to win back losses)
- Losing work time because of gambling
- Doing something illegal to get money for gambling
- Jeopardizing a significant relationship or job by gambling
If your gambling is no longer an enjoyable activity, ask yourself: Why am I still playing? and contact us to get help for you and your family.
When Their Problem is Your Problem
If you are the spouse or family member of a problem gambler, it is important for you to:
- Take care of yourself
- Stay in touch with your feelings
- Realize that you are not responsible for the gambler's behavior
There are specific things you can do to help you bring up the subject when you want to talk to someone about their gambling problem. Call 889-9167 for the support and education you need. It's free.
Responsible Gambling Guidelines:
Has the game become more than just a game for you? If you're playing for more than fun, try using these guidelines to moderate your play.
- Think of the money you lose as the cost of your entertainment. Consider any money you win a bonus.
- Set a dollar limit and stick to it.
- Set a time limit and stick to it. Leave when you reach your limit, whether you're winning or losing.
- Understand that you'll probably lose, and accept the loss as part of the game.
- Don't borrow money to gamble.
- Don't let gambling interfere with or become a substitute for family, friends or work.
- Don't chase losses. Chances are you'll lose even more trying to recoup your losses.
- Don't use gambling as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain.
- Know the warning signs of problem gambling.