You may gamble frequently, but how do you know if you have an addiction? It seems like a simple question, but for many people, when urges to do an enjoyable activity have turned uncontrollable, accepting you may have a gambling problem can be difficult. It’s important to understand what gambling addiction is to help you determine if you should seek treatment. Saying “I have a gambling problem” is the first step toward beginning your recovery.
“Do I Have a Gambling Problem?” – The Signs of Gambling Disorders
Are you concerned about your gambling? For people with gambling disorders, the urge to gamble disrupts their daily lives significantly. If you have a gambling disorder, you’re more likely to prioritize gambling over other personal responsibilities and obligations. You’ll gamble despite needing to save money to pay bills. Thoughts of gambling may keep you awake at night, and you may have distanced yourself from family members and friends in order to continue gambling without them becoming aware of your actions.
Understanding the signs of problem gambling is important, whether you believe you have an addiction or not. You may be a social gambler without significant consequences yet, but knowing these warning signs will make you aware of problematic behavior sooner.
“I Have a Gambling Problem” – Acceptance and Next Steps
You may already be familiar with the first of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous:
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Just as people addicted to alcohol or drugs must accept their addiction in order to recover, so too do people addicted to gambling. Treatment is available to those willing to accept assistance in beginning their recovery.
“I have a gambling problem.” Start by recognizing your own addiction. Your acceptance is the most important, and from there, you can seek help and begin to discuss it with family members or friends.
Accepting that you may have an addiction is not easy, and you may be wondering what happens when you decide to seek recovery.
“Can I really stop gambling?”
“Can I repair relationships with my family and friends?”
“Will my gambling addiction affect the rest of my life?”
We encourage you to read the stories of real problem gamblers who sought help, have quit gambling and moved on with healthy, happy lives. They provide proof that there is hope, recovery is possible, and you are not alone in your desire for a gambling-free life.
Where to Learn More about Gambling Addiction
We understand that self-diagnosis can be scary and lead to very inaccurate conclusions. We strongly recommend that people with questions about gambling addiction and concerns about their own gambling or that of a family member or friend reach out to professionals trained in recognizing the signs and consequences gambling addiction. How do you find these professionals?
For gambling disorder support providers throughout New York State, visit KnowTheOdd’s Gambling Support Directory. There, you’ll find websites, addresses and contact information for support groups, counselors and organizations with resources devoted to helping people with gambling disorders.
As always, professionals are available to be reached through the NYS HOPEline every day, at all hours. Find help and counsel at 1-877-8-HOPENY. If you’re ready to say, “I have a gambling problem,” there are many people ready to help you start your recovery.