Gambling takes many different forms. Even bingo and the lottery can be termed as gambling. And although these two forms are not usually a problem, other forms of gambling can become very addictive. And once you become addicted to gambling, your entire life can be effected for a long time. In can put you deep in debt as well as affect your relationship with family and friends. Many times when someone gets addicted to gambling, it changes his entire ability to deal with all situations. The gambler can become irrational, argumentative and unreasonable. To relieve this situation, some sort of treatment is generally necessary. But before any of this can happen, the gambler must first acknowledge that there is a problem. Gamblers Anonymous has set down some guidelines to help identify someone with a gambling problem. Has your attendance at school or work suffered? If you are late or missing time at school or work, it could be an indication of a problem. Is your home life unhappy? If you gamble, is it effecting your life at home? Has your reputation changed? Constant gambling can affect the way people look at you and think of you. Winning or Losing - Do you feel guilty? No matter if you win or lose, you can feel guilty from gambling. Is gambling a source of necessary income? Do you gamble to pay off other bills? If so, it can lead to addiction. Is gambling monopolizing your personality? Are some of your good qualities like ambition and efficiency being affected because of your gambling? Do you have the desire to win back what you have lost? The feeling of getting back what you have lost can be a sign of gambling addiction. Does winning create greed? If you win, do you want to gamble again to make even more? Do you know when to stop? Do you keep gambling until you are totally out of money or do you set a limit. If you keep going, you could have a problem. Do you borrow from friends so that you can gamble? If you keep losing, do you borrow money from friends and family so that you can return to the table and gamble some more? Are you selling personal property to get gambling money? If you are selling items to finance your gambling, then chances are, you have a problem. Are you isolating your gambling money? If you hesitate or refuse to use your gambling money for anything but gambling, this could be a very bad sign. Is your family secondary to your gambling? If you are finding that both you and your family are becoming secondary thoughts to gambling, then you are probably too far involved in this practice. Do you play past the point where you planned on stopping? Having difficulty stopping at any given time is an indication of a problem. Do you use gambling as an escape? Is gambling your way of escaping from problems? If so, it may be time to stop. Have you considered criminal activity as a means of financing gambling? If you have, then gambling has become a problem. Are you having trouble sleeping? This can be caused by an increased level of gambling. Do outside influences force you to gamble? Things happening in your life can drive you to gamble in order to forget them. Do you celebrate events by gambling? Do you use gambling as a means of celebration? Have you thought of suicide due to your gambling? The contemplation of suicide is an indication of a serious problem. If you are a gambler with a problem, then you probably answered "yes" to seven of these points. Here are some suggestions to help you get out of that gambling rut. Only take a specified amount of money with you to gamble Leave credit cards and the atm card at home. Have a strict time limit to how long you will play Keep in mind that losing is more likely than winning Do not use any winnings to gamble even more. If you run out of money, go home - don't keep gambling. Take someone with you who will be a sort of designated driver to help you quit when you should.
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