Problem gambling is a chronic and progressive illness. People with this condition can’t control their impulse to gamble and have a need for the gambling “high”. The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that 10 million Americans have significant gambling problems with 3 million meeting the diagnostic criteria for compulsive or pathological gambling disorder. Men and women of any age can be compulsive or pathological gamblers. Youth are particularly vulnerable.
Do I have a Gambling problem
Gambling is very serious. Just as serious as any other addiction. It can cause a family break up, loss of job, home, car, and lead to thoughts of suicide or even death.
You may have a gambling problem if you:
- Feel the need to be secretive about your gambling. You might gamble in secret or lie about how much you gamble, feeling others won’t understand or that you will surprise them with a big win.
- Have trouble controlling your gambling. Once you start gambling, can you walk away? Or are you compelled to gamble until you’ve spent your last dollar, upping your bets in a bid to win lost money back?
- Gamble even when you don’t have the money. A red flag is when you are getting more and more desperate to recoup your losses. You may gamble until you’ve spent your last dollar, and then move on to money you don’t have- money to pay bills, credit cards, or things for your children. You may feel pushed to borrow, sell, or even steal things for gambling money. It’s a vicious cycle. You may sincerely believe that gambling more money is the only way to win lost money back. But it only puts you further and further in the hole.
- Family and friends are worried about you. Denial keeps problem gambling going. If friends and family are worried, listen to them carefully. Take a hard look at how gambling is affecting your life. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Many older gamblers are reluctant to reach out to their adult children if they’ve gambled away their inheritance. But it’s never too late to make changes for the better. For more information go to: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/gambling_addiction.php
A Family Destroyed
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Days before he killed his family and then himself, a Michigan man endured heavy gambling losses at a Vegas casino, despite already being in severe financial straits, a Michigan police chief said. Two days after the Nov. 19 losses, J. H. Moukalled returned from Las Vegas to his Farmington Hills, Michigan, home, where he suffocated his three children, shot his wife and took his own life.
An Ohio Daughter’s Pain
Parents spend years nurturing and caring for their children. Many parents go the extra mile to ensure their children have all the opportunities to “make it” in life. What would cause a parent who had gone that extra mile to then steal from his own daughter?
This Ohio man worked for the same company for 39 years and had no prior legal trouble. Then he got hooked on gambling. He gambled away over $25,000 of other people’s money by obtaining their credit cards and bank account information through online sales of books and pet supplies. When authorities caught up with him, his losses were over $100,000. Included in his losses was the money he stole from his own daughter. Today, this man’s daughter speaks out and shares her family’s story so that others do not have to live the same nightmare her family did. Source:http://www.aproundtable.org/gamblingsruinedlives/daughter.html
There are many, many stories just like these two. Don’t let this happen to you. Make the call, and get help.
Where to get help: