How much is too much?
It can be hard to recognise when gambling is causing harm. You don't necessarily need to play regularly or a lot of money to be harmed by gambling. Gambling may not be fun anymore, yet you are still doing it.
“Sometimes he said he didn’t even know he was sitting there gambling.”
How aware are you of how gambling impacts on you and those around you?
Any of these signs can indicate harm from gambling:
- Chasing your losses
- A preoccupation with gambling
- Hiding your gambling
- Feeling guilt or remorse about gambling
- Losing track of time
- Reliving memories of gambling
- Taking time off work to gamble
- Gambling because stressed or lonely
- Feeling regret after gambling
- Borrowing money
- Losing interest in other things
- Spending less time with friends/family
- Being obsessed with betting or the odds more than watching an actual game
- Lying, being secretive or making excuses to gambling
- Other people being concerned about your gambling
“I suppose there is the pride thing, but it’s such a drastic thing, you think ‘that’s not me’... so it is also denial, I thought I could deal with things myself until it became an issue and then it was too late, it was breaking point.”
Are you being honest with yourself and those close to you?
If any of these signs are familiar to you, it might be time to look at your gambling. You can check your gambling here.
Some (false) beliefs that can occur in problem gambling are:
- If I continue gambling, I am bound to eventually win
- I can win back what I have lost
- Gambling can help me with my financial problems
- Gambling is the only way I can escape from stress
- The only way to stop the urge to gamble is to gamble
- Thinking of gambling as a way of making a living
“It became a big problem for me when I was 22 or so because I was earning more and had more expendable money, and then it was expended! I started recognising that it was a problem at 23, there was a ‘lag period’.”
Ever wondered how much you really spend on gambling?
Check with a gambling calculator here
“Gambling becomes a problem when you start spending more time away from general life activities, than not”