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Gambling Harm: When is it Time to Call it Quits and Seek Help?

Contrary to popular belief, a successful gambling session is not one where you’ve won, it’s one where you knew when to stop. If you gamble enough, you’ll know that this activities comes with its ups and downs. You cannot always win and you won’t always lose, either, and you’ll almost certainly face both situations. Many players simply don’t know when to stop and they keep riding this up and down wave which slowly but surely keep spiraling downwards.

We all know how gambling addiction can be insidious and creep up on you before you even know it. Additionally, we all know it’s important to gamble responsibly and stop when it gets too much. However, when exactly should one stop and what are the telltale signs to look out for? Let’s explore this subject.

When you Should Stop: Lookout for These Symptoms 

As with every other problem, particularly addictive behavior, there are certain significant signs one should be aware of. While a person might not be in the right mind to be judicious of their actions while directly experiencing the problem, it’s always useful to understand potential problematic behavior to prevent it from happening. This will allow you to be more mindful in your habits and avoid it getting out of hand.

People close to you think you gamble too much

A gambling issue typically takes friends and family some time to recognize; by the time they do, the harm has already been inflicted. An addict frequently finds it difficult to accept what they’re hearing, even when it’s coming from their closest friends and family members, since they have been lying to themselves for such a long time. If your loved one’s express worry about your acts or mannerisms, it’s important to pay close attention to what they have to say. If your spouse, for example, is complaining about how much you gamble, it’s time to stop and seriously reconsider the track you’re on. 

 You start lying about how much you gamble 

One of the first symptoms of any addiction, including gambling, is lying to mask your behavior. Even though you know what you’re doing isn’t right, the compulsions are so powerful that you’re prepared to lie to loved ones about your gambling. Problematic gamblers can even deceive themselves, which is a concern. The psychological term for people who engage in behaviors that are inconsistent with their principles is referred to as cognitive dissonance. Although this should theoretically prevent individuals from gambling, addictions defy rationality. Problem gamblers are great at convincing themselves that it’s all okay.

You are always preoccupied with gambling 

All compulsive gamblers lack the ability to regulate their impulses, which leads to an obsession with both the act of gambling and the prospect of success. In other words, you think about gambling even if you’re not actually doing it. You’re contemplating previous wagers, whether you lost or won, and what you’d like to do with your winnings. However, even if you do win, the money is used to continue gambling. if you catch yourself repeatedly thinking about gambling even when you’re not doing it, that’s another telling sign that you need to get help. 

You are gambling more than you can actually afford 

The majority of casual social gamblers set limitations on the amount of time and money they may spend gaming. A gambler has lost the ability to regulate their gambling when they start to wager more than they can bear to lose. A problem gambler is not only prepared to lose money, but also value the next play over their professional and familial relationships. 

 How to Gamble in a Responsible Manner 101 

Equipping yourself with enough knowledge of potential gambling harm is crucial. And this should be done before engaging in an activity which should only be practiced for its entertainment factor first and foremost. It doesn’t matter if you’re a regular gambler who likes to benefit from excellent offers such as $1,000 No Deposit Bonuses and free spins, or a player who occasionally plays at the odd online casino. There are certain recommended preventative measures. Below we briefly go into two such measures, so you can guarantee that your gambling practices are responsible.

 Setting limits 

Whether it is limiting how long you gamble for, how much you gamble, or how much you will allow yourself to lose, setting limits before you start your gambling session can be effective. However, if you just make a mental note, you might violate your limits without even thinking twice. Online casinos will allow you to set limits before you start and won’t let you go past them even if you want to. Use these features to get a grip on your gambling. In Finland, Veikkaus, Finland’s state-owned betting company, has already taken the initiative and made it mandatory for shops with slot machines to limit playing hours.

Self-exclusion 

There are going to be moments when you hit a low and promise yourself, you’re done with gambling. Take advantage of your fleeting conviction at this time and use the self- exclusion feature. By doing so, even if you want to log back into your online casino account or visit a land-based casino, you cannot do so since you’ve voluntarily blacklisted yourself. This gives you time to think straight and cool off as well. Most online casinos and land-based casinos will share such lists with other such establishments so you cannot simply gamble at another casino either.

Other common signs that you have a gambling problem 

Apart from the above-mentioned signs, there are other indicators it’s time to call it quits when gambling at an online casino.

  • Chasing losses – this refers to the practice of trying to recover lost funds by engaging in more gaming.
  • Requesting help from others to get out of financial problems after losing money gambling.
  • Experiencing agitation or restlessness when you try to limit your gambling.
  • Gambling as a way to avoid issues or deal with powerlessness, shame, worry, or despair.
  • Needing to gamble higher amounts in order to experience the same excitement as before.
  • Attempts to limit, curtail, or stop gambling have been ineffective.

No doubt, the pastime of online gambling is a fun and entertaining one. But it’s considered as such when practiced in moderation and with mindfulness. Once these lines have been crossed, the player may quite possibly be going down a slippery slope that may very well impact their wellbeing. In an ideal scenario, a player is in full control of their actions and is able to prevent an outcome where professional help and advice is not only needed, but necessary.

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