Do you have a gambling problem? This simple questionnaire can help you decide. We'll also advise you on steps to take if you do identify a gambling problem.
Let's face it, there are few activities quite as exciting as gambling. Having a wager on a football match supercharges the experience and the time can seemingly come to a standstill for a few seconds as the roulette ball bounces from red to black, to red, to black again.
Yet, this excitement can become an addiction. Just like any fun or exciting pastime, it can be all too easy to lose ourselves to gambling. This can have disastrous consequences for the important things in life - our families, our mental health, and our finances.
If you feel like you might have a gambling addiction, or that you might be dangerously close to developing one, help is available. However, as with all addictions, the first step to recovery is recognizing the problem.
The following questionnaire can help you figure out whether or not you really have a problem.
A problem gambling questionaire
As you answer these questions, take note of how many you answer in the affirmative.
- Has your gambling activity ever caused interpersonal problems such as arguments with your spouse, friends, or other family members?
- Have you ever felt stressed or anxious about your finances due to gambling? For example, have you missed or almost missed any financial obligations because of losses from gambling?
- Do you find yourself thinking about gambling a lot? For instance, does seeing a sporting event automatically cause you to wonder about the odds on this event or match?
- When you gamble, do you ever feel that wins are not enough and that you need to keep gambling to win more?
- When you gamble, do you ever chase losses? For example, do you deposit more than you intended in order to win back what you have lost so far?
- Have you ever sold anything of value in order to finance gambling?
- Do you ever gamble in order to forget your problems or alleviate negative emotions? For example, do you see gambling as a way out of debt or a job you dislike?
- Have you ever committed or considered committing a crime in order to finance gambling?
- Have you ever experienced negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, anger, fear, or sadness because of gambling?
- Have you ever experienced problems at work because of gambling?
- Do your friends or family members associate you with gambling? For example, if a stranger asked them to describe you, would they likely mention gambling?
- Do you have a separate budget for gambling outside of your daily expenses and household income? If so, is this is a significant portion of your income?
- Have you ever considered harming yourself or committing suicide because of gambling?
Assessing your results & next steps
How many questions did you answer yes to? Even if only one or two, you may have or be close to developing a gambling problem. It is best to take a break for a while and seek help before things get worse.
If you answered yes to three or more, it's likely that you have a gambling problem and you should seek to remedy this immediately.
Don't worry, because there is plenty of help available. The first step should be to contact your local Gamblers Anonymous group or another gambling support group in your area (useful info here). You are not alone, and there are many people who have faced this before you and who have successfully recovered.
You might also consider using some online resources such as GamStop (UK) to help you control your gambling activities. Alternatively, make use of free software which blocks gambling websites and ask someone else to control the password. Most legit gambling websites also operate self-exclusion programs which you should absolutely make use of.
The important thing is not to feel bad about your gambling problem as this could actually trigger the urge to gamble. If you have identified a problem, take positive steps by figuring out solutions rather than dwelling on it.
REMEMBER: When the Fun Stops, STOP!Last update: 30-09-2019