Clinical Screening Tools and Quizzes to Answer the Question: "Do I have a Gambling Problem?"

May 1, 2023

Man in the middle of taking a Do I have a Gambling Problem Quiz

Stop Gambling Now. Use a problem gambling screening tool and take a short quiz to help answer the question: “Do I have a Gambling Problem?”

Gambling can be a popular form of entertainment and enjoyment for some. However when behaviors start to develop, making it hard for individuals to stop gambling, gambling can become problematic and turn into an addiction. Problem gambling can have severe consequences on a person's life, including financial difficulties, strained relationships, and mental health issues. For those currently struggling it can be hard to understand when to seek help. There are certain warning signs to look out for, strategies and options to potentially consider, and various iterations of what gambling actually is in the 21st century to understand.  If you find yourself asking “Do I have a Gambling Problem?” the below will be able to help as you quiz yourself on what’s next.

What is Gambling?

Gambling is defined as the act of betting or wagering something of value with the hope of winning something of greater value in return. This can include casino games, sports betting, lotteries, online gambling, and many other forms of wagering. While most people gamble for entertainment and enjoyment, it can quickly spiral out of control and lead to addiction for some.

Gambling has been a part of the United States since its early history and is deeply ingrained in American expansion since the migration from the East Coast to the West Coast during the late 1800s and early 1900s. However due to the violence that often occurred when settlers gambled as well as the corruption that arose from gambling establishments, many states started passing anti gambling legislation and banning gambling in the first half of the 20th century. Even Nevada (colloquially known as the center of American gambling) passed a law banning gambling in 1910. It was first recognized in 1980 as a psychiatric disorder by the medical profession of the US. Even today, it is still rarely diagnosed and treated compared to other comparable addiction disorders such as substance use disorder (SUD) or opioid use disorder (OUD).

Gambling has changed in the past decade with increasing legalization across the United States. Different types of gambling have their own levels of risk and reward, and even access across different states. Understanding these types can help you recognize potential problem gambling and make informed decisions.

  1. Casino Gambling: This includes slot machines, table games, and poker played in casinos.

  2. Sports Betting: This involves wagering on sports events, such as football or basketball games.

  3. Lottery and Scratch Cards: This involves buying tickets or scratch cards with the hopes of winning a prize.

  4. Online Gambling: This includes all forms of gambling conducted online, such as casino games and sports betting (also known as event wagering).

  5. Social Gambling: This involves playing games of chance with friends or family, such as poker or bingo.

Some Warning Signs of Gambling Addiction (What to Look for in an Individual)

There are many warning signs that may indicate an individual is struggling with gambling, and no two people are identical so they may manifest in different ways. Some common themes among behaviors can include:

  1. Obsession with gambling and wagering: A person may constantly think or talk about betting, even when they're not actively engaging in it.

  2. Chasing losses: A person may continue to gamble in the hopes of winning back money they have previously lost.

  3. Inability to stop: A person may try to quit gambling but find themselves ultimately unable to do so.

  4. Financial problems: A person may struggle to pay bills, have maxed out credit cards, or borrow money from others to finance their gambling habits.

  5. Neglecting responsibilities: A person may neglect their work, relationships, or other responsibilities to gamble.

  6. Lying or hiding gambling habits: A person may lie to others about their gambling habits or hide their behavior.

  7. Mood swings: A person may experience mood swings, such as feeling euphoric after a win or depressed after a loss.

Coping Strategies

If you or someone you know is exhibiting the above behaviors, there are several different strategies to try.

  1. Seeking Professional Help: This can include seeing a therapist or counselor who specializes in gambling addiction. Licensed clinicians can provide you with the tools and support needed to start a recovery journey.

  2. Joining Support Groups: Joining a support group can provide you with a sense of community and help you feel less alone. Learning from peer experience is also a powerful method of feeling supported while struggling with gambling.

  3. Self-Exclusion: Self-exclusion is a process where a person voluntarily bans themselves from gambling establishments or websites. 

Take a “Do I have a Gambling Problem Quiz?” and use clinical screening tools today

The first step in starting a journey of recovery is recognition. Understanding the root cause of potential behaviors then discovering what can ameliorate them is crucial. If you are unsure if you have a gambling problem, there are various different options available to take the initial step: the National Council on Problem Gambling as well as Birches Health both provide screening tools and quizzes based on the DSM-5 criteria for Problem Gambling to better answer the question “Do I have a Gambling Problem?” and get the help you need.

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