Do I Have a Gambling Problem?
Take the test below. If you answer ‘Yes’ to seven of the questions, then you should seriously consider getting some help – either from us, or another agency.
- Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
- Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
- Did gambling affect your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
- Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
- Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
- Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
- Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
- Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
- Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
- Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
- Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
If you answer the above questions honestly, and find that seven or more generate a positive response, you should do a few things immediately.
A. Build a support network to get you through this.
You need to talk to someone you trust about this, and explain you have a problem. This is probably a family member or close friend. In the preparation to overcome your addiction, you will need support from people around you. Some people find it impossible to tell their spouse, because it may lead to marital conflict. If this is the case look for another supporter close to the family, in the knowledge that sooner or later you will have to share this with others in your family. In these early stages though, let’s stop the financial pain and just get the process started. If there is no one else, feel free to contact us at 604 484 0346. Don’t try to do this alone. Believe me, it’s bigger than you are.
B. Try to visualise how you would like the outcome to look.
You didn’t always gamble. Life before gambling was not so bad. What did you like most about it? How would your like you life to look, if you did not face the problem of gambling, or the associated worry and debt? Write down clearly the details you would like to see in your life. What matters most to you? Once you have this, share it with your supporter.
C. Next time you feel the need to gamble, phone or contact your supporter immediately.
Urges to gamble are as real as withdrawal symptoms from hard narcotics. Don’t expect to be able to fluff through this alone. You will need a process. Vancouver Hypnotherapy is one of a series of possible support systems you could put in place. You could also try Gamblers Anonymous, or finding another therapist or counselor.
D. Start managing the stresses in your life better.
I always recommend clients who have a behaviour linked to stress or anxiety, to read Dale Carnegie’s wonderful book, ‘Stop Worrying And Start Living’. In many instances better stress management plays a huge role in the elimination of an addiction. You should also ensure you are eating three meals a day, and get at least two sessions of exercise (even if it is just walking) in every week. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the importance of this.
E. Be honest. Start accounting the full cost of your gambling over the past month.
You need to understand what this has cost you. List the absolute cost over the last month. If it is more than you are earning, you will need to put in place an arrangement where your partner or supporter starts managing your finances.
By this stage you can start getting a realistic idea of the impact of gambling on your life. It is a complex and viscious addiction. We are able to help clients that are prepared to work on this issue, and have done many times in the past.