The vast majority of gamblers know that this is a form of entertainment that needs to be done in proportion in terms of time and money spent on it. A tiny minority, however, will not realize that they are spending too much gambling and will not even realize they have a problem. This is what defines a problem gambler. Within this definition, however, you may find that problem gamblers are willing to admit that they have a problem, but simply cannot stop due to the addictive elements of gambling.
Psychologists generally advise that if players know that they have an addictive personality (whether to alcohol, other substances, etc.), they should not gamble at all. Gamblers are also advised that they should contact a mental health practitioner if they are in any doubt about their ability to handle gambling, whether online or offline.
So what should potential problem gamblers look out for when trying to figure out if they can handle gambling entertainment without turning it into an addiction?
The first is to determine their personality trait and to find out if they have a pattern of addictive behavior. This could be anything from eating to smoking, or compulsive behavior such as ‘addiction’ to cleanliness or personal hygiene at levels that are not considered normal behavior.
Gambling is a great form of entertainment and the vast majority of players look at this pastime as they do any other, with the money they spend at this pastime viewed in the same light as money spent on the movies or a good meal. However, for that tiny minority where gambling becomes an addiction, there is no fun in the pastime – only obsession.
So how should one go about limiting gambling if there are signs of addictive behavior? Players could start out by making very strict personal rules about how long they spend on at the casino and how much money they can afford to spend. Taking personal responsibility for creating a strict gambling regime may curb any addictive personality traits.
Other tips involve taking regular breaks during gambling sessions and not sitting for hours on end in front of the computer. Head clearing, doing something else or simply turning off the computer can do wonders for any mindset – addictive personality or not! Finally, there are many outreach programs that are willing to assist players who feel that they have developed a gambling problem. Most reputable online casino sites will carry information about these groups and the vast majority of them are just a mouse click away. Groups include the National Council of Problem Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous and more.
There is no shame in admitting that you have a problem, and players are urged to turn to professionals for assistance if they feel even the slightest need. Gambling should be a fun form of entertainment. The minute that you aren’t enjoying it, should be the first sign that something is wrong.