Gambling addiction is one of the most common and potentially life affecting examples of addiction on a global basis. Ever since the concept of gambling was introduced in the first place, a relatively large proportion of those taking part have found themselves unable to control their actions. Gambling is by its very nature exactly the type of activity that can prove to be massively addictive, even for those who believe they have extremely strong willpower.
These days however, there’s yet another danger for those prone to these kinds of addictions. Ever since the online gambling revolution began hitting its stride, it became possible for anyone with a smartphone to access limitless gambling opportunities on a 24/7 basis. And given the fact that largely every single man, woman and child across the board owns one or more connected devices, almost everyone has permanent access to gambling opportunities.
According to the country’s leading experts in addiction counselling in Harley Street London, online gambling in its own right should not be interpreted as a threat or a danger. But at the same time, it is something that absolutely must be approached with caution and common sense. Just as with any other kind of gambling, it is incredibly easy to cross the line into dangerous addiction and entirely lose control. The key question being – at what point does it become apparent that you may in fact have developed a gambling problem?
Here’s a quick rundown of just a few warning signs to watch out for:
1. Gambling with money you cannot afford to lose
First of all, one of the most characteristic signs of any kind of addiction is that of using money to fund it that you simply do not have. In this instance, it may be that in order to gamble online, you find yourself using money that was supposed to be used for something of greater importance. Utility bills, rent or mortgage payments, food bills, savings and so on. Gambling is supposed to be something that is taken part in only with disposable income that the player can afford to lose. Just as soon as this rule is broken, it suggests that control has been lost.
2. Gambling despite getting no joy or satisfaction from it
The whole point of gambling in all its forms is that it is supposed to be enjoyable and entertaining. However, there will always be those who find themselves compulsively gambling on a constant basis or for extended periods of time, despite the fact that they are angry, miserable or frustrated from start to finish. This immediately shows that all enjoyment has been taken out of the activity and you are now gambling for all the wrong reasons. If this is the case, it may be worth speaking to those who can advise you on cutting down or quitting entirely.
3. Letting other areas of your life suffer
Once again, the simple fact of the matter is that gambling should be approached only as a means of light entertainment and periodic enjoyment. Quite to the contrary, it should not become the single most important part of a person’s life, to such an extent that more important areas of their life suffer as a result. In the case of problematic gambling, it can often be that the individual in question is gambling habitually on a day-to-day basis, to such an extent that things like work, family, friends and so on all begin to take a back seat. When this happens, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you are really focusing on the most important things of life, perhaps going on to seek professional assistance if necessary.
4. Inability to cut down or quit
Last but not least, one of the most characteristic signs of any addiction across the board is that of having made at least one or perhaps more attempts to cut down, though have found yourself unable to do so. The simple fact of the matter is that whichever way you look at it, the inability to cut down or quit immediately confirms the fact that you have lost control over whatever it is you are doing. In this instance, it is the gambling itself that has taken control over you. In such instances, it is often the case that professional advice and assistance represent the only realistic option for those looking to make changes for the better. As such, it is always worth speaking to the professionals, even if simply for a few pointers in the right direction.