If You Are Gambling (Once in a While or Often) Read This

Gambling in these parts has become rather common; usually people are placing bets on soccer games. People also bet in casinos, online and at slot machine locations.

With gambling made available in various locations some people eventually find themselves bound by it.
Rich or poor, male or female; some people develop an addiction. If you are gambling or know someone who is-here are some signs of addiction to look out for (be it for yourself or a loved one)

1. Gambling always comes up in conversations

When you are sometimes thinking about gambling it does not mean that you have become an addict but if all your thoughts and conversations are about gambling or when you will gamble next; it is a problem. Basically you are obsessed and obsessions tend to be all consuming.

If gambling is your number one thought and the only thing you are truly interested in to the extent that you don’t care about anything else. Or everything else takes a back seat-be worried!

2. Money for other things goes to gambling

If money meant for other things like food, school fees, gas, salaries etc. is used to gamble you have a problem. Also if there is a tendency to filch money from other things that are needed so you can go out and place a bet; this should make you worry.

The amounts may be small or large depending on your financial circumstances but know this-one of the most prevalent signs of gambling addiction is spending money meant for something else on gambling. A large or small amount-the end result is the same-money is being taken that was meant for something else in order to gamble!

3. Borrowed money is used to gamble

Sometimes the amounts borrowed are small and usually from as many different people as possible. And while it may become annoying to the people borrowed from and they may begin to comment about it becoming a nuisance; the fact is that money is needed for gambling or to pay expenses after gambling losses.

Borrowing to gamble is a red light and a huge sign that should not be taken lightly even if or just because the amounts are small.

4. Mood changes

From one day to the next moods change- from being pleasant, happy, polite to rude, aggressive, sulking and withdrawn. This fluctuating behaviour can be confusing to everyone else especially when they do not know that gambling is a problem.

Even if people do know about the addiction and joke about it with comments like-so how much money did you lose this time around? Be aware that a loss or any other negative consequence is not a deterrent because the person with the addiction thinks that they need to gamble in order to be happy.

5. Sneaking and lying

As the urge to gamble and the frequency grows people will notice so the compulsion is to sneak off or lie and some people tend to think that as long as they are winning some of the time they do not need to talk about their obsession for gambling.

The moment you start to lie about where you are going, where the money is going or where it is coming from-it is a problem. And no amount of lying will change that you have a problem!

6. Denying that there is a problem

When you are unable to stop gambling when people point it out that it is a problem- you are in denial. Denial is a common sign of addiction when bound by gambling and to say that there is no problem when there really is happens to be common for every type of addict.

If you suspect that a loved one has a gambling problem and when confronted over and over and they just deny the problem, it could be time for an intervention.

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Kwachalelo, be successful, be well.

About Balekile Gausi

A prolific Zambian writer covering work, money and lifestyle that passed through university and came away with a very good grasp of public administration, finance management, money and banking and international relations. A civil servant that quickly opted for self-employment and training as a Journalist and Writer Balekile has been a freelance feature writer for several decades and has also published fiction in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine. Settled and living in Lusaka after many years of living in several cities in Africa and Europe; Balekile is also an avid bird watcher, is married with 3 adult children and has an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( the local delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list!)

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