Do I have a gambling problem?
You may have a problem if:
- You feel you need to be secretive about your gambling.
- You have trouble controlling your gambling. Once you start gambling, can you walk away? Or are you compelled to gamble until you’ve spent all of your money – even upping your bets in a bid to win lost money back?
- You gamble even when you don’t have the money, and you get more and more desperate to recoup your losses. Once you have spent the last of your money, you move onto the money you don’t have, which is needed for bills, credit cards and things for your family.
- You can feel pushed to borrow, sell or even steal things for gambling money. It’s a vicious circle – and you believe that gambling more money is the only way to win back lost money.
- Family and friends are worried about you, but denial means you keep gambling. (If friends and family are worried, listen to them carefully. Take a hard look at how gambling is affecting your life – and know that asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness.)
Do I need help?
The Gamblers Anonymous ‘20 Questions’ is a helpful tool for self-evaluation:
- Have you ever taken time off work due to gambling?
- Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
- Has gambling affected your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
- Have you ever gambled to pay debts or solve financial difficulties?
- Has gambling caused a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing, have you felt you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win, have you had a strong urge to return and win more?
- Have you often gambled until your last euro is gone?
- Have you ever borrowed to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
- Have you been reluctant to use ‘gambling money’ for normal expenditures?
- Has gambling made you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
- Have you ever gambled longer than you planned?
- Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Has gambling caused you to have difficulty sleeping?
- Have arguments, disappointments, or frustrations created an urge to gamble?
- Have you ever had an urge to celebrate any good fortune with a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self-destruction because of your gambling?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to 7 of these questions, or your answers concern you, please contact us in confidence at 065 684 0944 or by e-mail at email@example.com. We will guide and support you in making positive changes to your life. For further details visit www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie and www.al-anon-ireland.org