Are You a Problem Gambler?

Is gambling a problem for you?

Signs & Symptoms Associated with Compulsive Gambling (gambling disorder) include the following as listed by Mayo Clinic:

  1. Being preoccupied with gambling, such as constantly planning how to get more gambling money
  2. Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill
  3. Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling, without success
  4. Feeling restless or irritable when you try to cut down on gambling
  5. Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression
  6. Trying to get back lost money by gambling more (chasing losses)
  7. Lying to family members or others to hide the extent of your gambling
  8. Jeopardizing or losing important relationships, a job, or school or work opportunities because of gambling
  9. Resorting to theft or fraud to get gambling money
  10. Asking others to bail you out of financial trouble because you gambled money away

Unlike most casual gamblers who stop when losing or set a loss limit, people with a compulsive gambling problem are compelled to keep playing to recover their money — a pattern that becomes increasingly destructive over time.

Some people with a compulsive gambling problem may have remission where they gamble less or not at all for a period of time. However, without treatment, the remission usually isn't permanent.

Self-Questionnaire: 20 Questions for Compulsive Gambling

Excerpt from Gambler's Anonymous Combo Book, pg 16-17

  1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
  6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
  7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
  8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
  9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
  10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  12. Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
  13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
  14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
  15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
  16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
  18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
  19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
  20. Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.