Problem Gambling

While it could be fun when you win, gambling responsibly is essential to keep you from mismanaging your money, hurting your self, and loving ones emotionally and financially.

According to statistics, 7. 3% of 18-24-year-olds in Australia have a gambling problem, and approximately 6% of the total populace of gamblers in Australia are gambling addicts.

For whatever reason, players still treat problem gambling with levity. You might want to ask: what is this gambling addiction?

Well, It's a predicament when a person keeps gambling on impulse even though the habit disrupts several facets of the person’s life. A person with a gambling problem will stake their hard-earned time and money on a bet, even though the consequences of losing could be catastrophic.

Problem Gambling Statistics

According to research, 2% of the total citizenry of Australian gamblers have admitted having a gambling problem. The same study shows that 15% of the gamblers didn’t feel they have.

Whether they admit it or not, gambling addiction signs are quite clear, and many people are victims.

These signs include:

  • Choosing to gamble over other enjoyable activities
  • Missing or being late to appointments due to gambling
  • Unpaid bills because money for payment was spent on gambling
  • Lack of socializing with friends due to gambling
  • Mood swings
  • Bored when doing things other than gambling

According to the Gambling Institute of Ontario, reliance on gambling is common amongst 3. 2% of Australians.

Problem Gambling Severity Index

The situation Gambling Severity Index is a nine-item standard that's commonly used in weighing the extent of a gambling problem in the entire citizenry.

There are four main types of gamblers. But problem gamblers will be the only group of gamblers who passed through a validity check if the standard was created.

That is quite questionable because 95% of Australian gamblers participate in at least one of many other three gamblers’ categories.

Causes

Ideally, people gamble for just one primary reason, to win more than they wagered. However , there are many other sub-reasons for why people gamble.

It is essential to point out that there is no specific reason people gamble or become addicted to it, as reasons vary by individual.

Research has shown that a good number of men and women who are taking medication for Parkinson’s disease tended to develop impulse-control disorders such as for instance impulse-buying, sexual behaviours, not to mention, compulsive gambling.

The idea regarding the link between your medication for Parkinson’s and the above-listed behaviours involves the heightened dopamine activity in the mind.

Bipolar disorder could be another reason for compulsive gambling. Extravagant spending is typical among gamblers, prompting them to gamble with extortionate levels of money.

Biological vulnerabilities and a person’s thought process also can cause gambling addiction. Health conditions like schizophrenia and antisocial personality disorder may also play a role in it. Cocaine and alcohol dependency also can trigger the urge to gamble compulsively.

Some research shows that people who have low serotonin levels in the mind are far more vulnerable to develop pathological gambling habits than individuals with high serotonin levels.

Signs and Symptoms of a Gambling Problem

There are many signs with which you can tell someone has a gambling problem. Here are the significant signs of a gambling problem.

Emotional Signs

People who have gambling problems don’t have a tendency to handle their emotions very well. In times where losses pile up, they become overly aggressive and upset, even at things that don’t of necessity warrant such emotional display.

Behavioural Signs

A pathological gambler may exhibit specific attitudinal patterns that weren’t always their normal behaviour.

For instance, a gambling addict may become unusually tensed or nervous while waiting for the end result of a bet. They could also start spending more hours alone, probably using their phones, because they await their bets’ results.

Financial Signs

A person hooked on gambling will struggle financially. This is because they stake money meant for something else on a bet. If indeed they lose the bet, they will be prompted to risk higher amounts in a bid to regain the cash lost from the previous bets.

If they keep losing, then the cycle will continue.

Pathological gambling can also cause a person to begin borrowing or stealing money.

Health Signs

A gambling addiction can lead to a lack of sleep, panic, nervousness, and anxiety.

Sometimes gambling addicts pay little awareness of their appetites, ergo eat much less than required or eat unhealthy food altogether.

Given that you understand the signs of problem gambling, the next matter would be the symptoms exhibited by addicted gamblers.

The symptoms of a gambling problem may include one or more of the following:

  • Showing interest in several gambling platforms
  • Gambling just to feel good
  • Gambling when you don’t have a current need for money
  • Skipping work, events, or family visits for the sake of gambling
  • Stealing money from loved ones to gamble
  • They sell personal items to gamble.
  • Wagering high sums of money
  • Using money meant for other commitments to gamble.

Diagnosis

To precisely diagnose a gambling disorder, four of the following behaviours should be evident in a person for at least a year:

  • The urge to stake higher sums of money
  • Restlessness when trying to stop gambling
  • Several failed attempts to stop gambling
  • Continuous thoughts or discussions about gambling experiences from the past (most likely winnings)
  • Gambling each time the person is distressed
  • Repeated gambling after a loss to win back the money
  • Lying to loved ones to hide gambling habits
  • Having one’s work or personal relationship negatively affected because of gambling
  • Dependency on others for money due to gambling

A person with a gambling disorder can have periods whereby some symptoms will subside. In those times, gambling may well not look like a problem anymore, but currently, stronger symptoms could be inside their developmental stages.

Addiction Development

Gambling addiction is not developed over night. It requires time to develop, most likely between someone to 3 years.

There are also four (4) stages of addiction development. We discover them below.

1. Winning Phase

This is the phase if the gambler enjoys some winnings and begins to see gambling as a profitable venture.

In this phase, anyone would become more confident and optimistic, which would prompt him or her to wager larger levels of money.

2. Losing Phase

This is the phase where the gambler begins to incur losses on bets.

During this stage, they start lying to hide their habits and borrow money from friends or family to carry on gambling, with hopes of winning big and trying to repay.

3. Desperation Phase

That is if the gambler remains on a losing streak and cannot pay off the amount of money borrowed. At this time, they start to find several ways from the situation they've found themselves in.

If things do not go as planned, they may begin to face depression and develop suicidal thoughts.

4. Hopeless Phase

Here is the most dangerous phase for an addicted gambler. Here, the consequences of their gambling problems start to pan out. Emotional breakdown, substance abuse, alcohol dependency, as well as divorce can all occur because of this.

Statistics demonstrate that about 20% of gambling addicts in this phase once tried to kill themselves.

Triggers

As hard as it might be to think, many individuals who become gambling addicts are usually responsible members of society, from talented young folks to trained professionals. No one is overlooked.

Situations that could cause a person to develop a gambling addiction include the following:

  • Stress from work
  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive use of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Loneliness
  • Peer pressure or influence

According to studies, an individual who is dependent on a very important factor is very more likely to grab another addiction.

What this means is people reliant on illicit drugs or alcohol (and there are numerous of them) also often produce a gambling addiction.

Research indicates that using certain prescription medications can also increase the person’s chances of becoming a compulsive gambler.

Nevertheless, not every one who gambles is dependent on other substances. You may still find healthy, addiction-free gamblers.

Below are some of the most common compulsive gambling triggers.

  • Personality disorders, including anxiety and depression
  • Addiction to alcohol
  • Addiction to illicit drugs
  • Use of clinical antipsychotic drugs

How to Stay Safe?

Gambling only becomes a problem whenever a person helps it be one. Thankfully, you can take steps to make certain you don’t fall into the trap of pathological gambling.



Follow these tips to gamble more responsibly:

  • Look at gambling as fun, not as a means of earning money. In the event that you occasionally gamble in the interests of the thrill, then you’d be better off than the usual individual that earnestly risks because he/she sees it as a way to generate income.
  • Only wager an amount you can afford to lose. Do not place bets with sums of money you can't afford to reduce, primarily if the funds in question were meant for something more substantial.
  • Do not chase losses. Chasing losses can prompt a gambler to wager higher amounts to regain money. In the event that you lose a bet, it would be best to just forget about it and decide to try your luck several other day.
  • Don’t gamble when your emotions are running high or are intoxicated.

Only gamble if you have a clear head. If you bet when you’re drunk or upset, you will make poor decisions and might stake more than you can afford to reduce.

Australia’s First National Lower Risk Gambling Guidelines

This proposes an argument for low-risk gambling guidelines by the Australian Center On Substance Use And Addiction and the methods that will be used to develop them.

The principles are required to be beneficial, not merely to gamblers, but regulators, policymakers, and operators. These were affected in 2020 and therefore are likely to help curb gambling addiction in Australia. Even though this could mean operators in the market might earn less, it would also imply that there would have been a significant decrease in the number of gambling addicts in the united states.

Treatment

Early treatment is vital to protect a person showing gambling addiction symptoms from becoming more indulged in the habit over time.

There's absolutely no special treatment for gambling addiction. Treatment depends on the individual’s unique situation and how deep he/she has fully gone in to gambling. Gambling addiction can be treated by learning the value of money and what this means.

If an addicted gambler is convinced that the amount of money used for gambling would fare better if it were saved or invested, they might start to see the uses of money differently.

Following this realization, the next step should be to stop gambling completely. Keeping away from gambler friends may also help.

The addicted gambler should stop watching sports games that may prompt them to place bets.

Last but most certainly not least, signing up for a recovery program also can help a gambling addict develop resistance to impulse gambling.

Self Help Tools

There are self-help tools you can employ to curb gambling addiction.

  • Monitor Your Gambling Urges. You can monitor your gambling urges by continually reminding yourself of the setbacks gambling addiction has caused you before.

There are also web tools you can use to keep track of how often you gamble.

  • Mobile App. There are several mobile apps on Android and iOS that can be used to limit your gambling interest.

These apps were developed by world-class psychologists and psychiatrists and are built to block access to all gambling sites on your own phone.

  • Discussion board. Being part of a discussion board, you are able to communicate with others who are battling gambling problems and people trying to help them.

In the forum, members can discuss their progress and encourage one another to quit.

  • Self Help for Those Who Gamble. If you’re a problem gambler, you will find interactive tools you could use to lessen your gambling frequency or drop the habit entirely.
  • Self Help for Family & Friends. If you have a family member totally hooked on gambling, there are interactive mobile tools you need to use to figure out why they gamble and learn guidelines that can be used to curb the habit.

Problem Gambling Helplines

There are several gambling helplines in Australia you can call if you or a loved one is suffering from a severe gambling problem.

These helplines cater to many regions. Have a look at the dining table below to see which caters best to your area.

Province Problem Gambling Phone Helpline
Alberta 1-866-461-1259
British Columbia 1-888-795-6111
Quebec 1-800-461-0140
Manitoba 1-800-463-1554
Newfoundland 1-888-899-4357
New Brunswick 1-800-461-1234
Northwest Territories 1-800-661-0844
Yukon 1-866-456-3838
Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut 1-800-265-3333
Nova Scotia 1-888-347-8888
Ontario ConnexOntario 1-866-531-2600
Prince Edward Island 1-855-255-4255
Saskatchewan 1-800-306-6789

Residential Treatment

When it seems your entire efforts at helping a loved one over come their gambling problem are fruitless, the next most suitable choice is always to check him or her into a rehabilitation center.

People prefer rehab centers for many reasons. These include:

  • They are confident in the abilities of rehab professionals.
  • The pros concentrate on monitoring their patients’ progress, unlike a busy member of the family who might not have enough time as a result of work and other engagements.
  • In a rehab center, the patient will have no access to gambling platforms.
  • Progress and changes in behaviour are recorded in residential treatment.

The total amount of time it would simply take for residential treatment to work varies by individuals. It is because all levels of addiction are not the same.

Generally, those seeking gambling addiction treatment can enroll in a 30-day program, 60-day program, or a 90-day program.

Tips for Family Members

Family members can help their loved ones overcome their gambling issues by following the tips below.

  • Talking to Them. Having a heartfelt conversation with your loved one about his or her gambling habits will help them have a re-think.

Inform them that their gambling addiction is causing so much crisis at home, both emotionally and financially.

  • Indulge Them in Something Else. After talking to them about the cons of excessive gambling, you are able to look for yet another healthier pass-time to indulge them in. It may be learning a brand new skill such as for instance sewing or graphic design.

If they manage to pick an interest, they may begin to withdraw from gambling.

  • Taking Them to Rehab. If you don’t understand how to help someone with a gambling problem, taking them to a rehabilitation center could be the only option you have.

First, you must understand why rehab is right for them, and they must express an authentic desire to avoid gambling. If not, they will return to the habit when the rehabilitation term has elapsed.

Myths and Facts About Gambling Problems

There are several myths surrounding gambling; however, not all of them are facts.

Myth 1: A problem gambler plays every day.

Fact 1: They may gamble two to three days in weekly if not less. But why is their gambling problem is the negative consequences their gambling has inside their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Myth 2: Problem gamblers bet on any platform and at any opportunity.

Fact 2: Certainly not. Some problem gamblers are particular about the kind of platform or sport they bet on.

Myth 3: If the gambler can afford it, then it isn’t a problem gambling

Fact 3: While losing profits is among the most critical downsides to gambling, it isn’t alone. If gambling hurts the relationship you have together with your nearest and dearest, then it is a problem gambling. Whether you are able to afford the losses or not.

Conclusion

Statistics have shown that about 6% of the gambling population in Australia are problem gamblers.

A problem gambler is one that keeps gambling even when the act disrupts several important facets of their lives. These generally include work, family, finances, and social relationships.

Apparent symptoms of problematic gambling include stealing money, missing work, or other engagements, selling belongings, lying, anxiety, and increased stress levels.

Reasons people grab the habit include peer influence, alcohol use, illicit substances, and even varying mental conditions.

There are self-help techniques you can employ to treat gambling problems. These generally include using mobile monitoring apps and joining forums and communities.

Certain fables make an effort to soften the facts about problematic gambling. Nevertheless the fact remains that provided that a person’s gambling habits have adverse effects on the person’s life, it really is inappropriate. So when it is problematic, it must be checked too.

FAQ

Is Problem Gambling a Mental Illness?

No, it is not. However, it can be developed as a result of a mental illness.

Is Problem Gambling Hereditary?

No, it is not. Habits are not genetically transferred.

What Is Problem Gambling Definition?

Problem gambling is thought as a condition in which a person’s gambling habits negatively affect a number of regions of a person’s life. These areas could be work, family, finances, and health, and relationships.

What is Self Exclusion?

It is a policy aimed at curbing the issue of problem gambling.

Individuals trying to break the habit can ask a casino or a betting platform to add their names to a self-exclusion list.

How to Stop a Gambling Problem?

You are able to ask that your name be added to a self-exclusion list, use self-help tools, call a gambling addiction helpline, or check yourself into a rehab center.

It must first start with a personal decision to quit gambling.

How to Know If You Have a Gambling Problem?

You can tell you have a gambling problem if you begin doing one or more of the following:

  • Stealing money and other valuables to gamble
  • Selling your belongings to gamble.
  • Spending too much time gambling
  • Missing work or other activities because you’re gambling
  • Wagering an excessive amount of funds you can’t afford to lose.

We trust the information provided here has been helpful. Good riddance to problem gambling!