Problem Gambling: Red Flags & When to Stop

Problem Gambling - Red Flags & When to Stop

As online casino games further popularised global casino gambling, it has also given rise to gambling-related problems to a whole new level. Today, gambling problems are identified as an emergent public health issue and they are closely tied to gambling addictions which negatively impact behavioural patterns and disruption to personal, family and vocational pursuits. If you’re a fan of online gambling in Malaysia, read on to find out about the potential red flags you need to take note of and what you can do if you detect a gambling problem. 

Signs of problem gambling 

Gambling problems are often the by-product of compulsive gambling disorder.  This is an uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on one’s life.  Much like how drugs and alcohol can lead to addictive behaviours, gambling too can put you at risk of shocking consequences that may ruin your life and the loved ones around you. If you catch yourself displaying some of the following signs, you may want to hold back from online gambling until you figure out if you’re under the influence of compulsive gambling disorder.

Behavioural and emotional signs

When gamblers start developing a compulsive gambling problem, they tend to have less interest in people and events in their surroundings.  They may even stop doing things that they once enjoyed and gradually skip meals, sleep and work just to chase after winnings or losses of their online gambling with casino games. Some may also have severe mood swings or withdraw from their family and friends completely. In more severe cases, those who depleted their bankroll may even feel the urge to cheat or steal money to continue their gambling habits. 

Financial signs

If you find yourself constantly logging into online gambling sites in Malaysia to satisfy your gambling urges despite making huge losses, it is a strong tell-tale sign that financial troubles will quickly follow.  Most gambling addicts have difficulty exercising self-control and this can lead to financial foes when they accumulate an insurmountable gambling debt. As a result, many of these gamblers will resort to borrowing money or asking for salary advances to make ends meet.

Health signs

At its worst, gambling compulsion can lead to mental health and stress-related health problems such as headaches, stomach problems, difficulty sleeping, overeating or loss of appetite. Studies have also found that those who have mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more prone to develop compulsive gambling problems than others without.

What to do if you think you have a gambling problem

If you notice you’re displaying some of the signs mentioned above, it may be time to seek help so that you’ll not develop further pathological gambling habits. While you may have started Malaysia online gambling as a form of stress reliever, perhaps the adrenaline rush has pushed you beyond mindful limits.  Eventually, such habits can negatively impact your physical and psychological health, and even destroy your family life and career when you least expect it.

The first step to put a stop to gambling compulsion is to recognise that you have a problem.  There is no shame in acknowledging it, in fact, your courage to reach out to friends and family for support could even bring you healthy solutions that were not obvious to you before.  Even if your loved ones may not solve all your debt issues overnight, you’ll feel emotionally supported to make wiser and more informed decisions going forward.

Alternatively, seek professional help from counselling and treatment services or check yourself into a rehabilitation centre for problem gamblers such as the Hope Rehab Centre in Johor Bahru. These professional services can provide effective counselling and financial advisory to tackle both your gambling and monetary problems. They’ll also recommend treatments and render social support so that you can embark on healthier group activities instead of revisiting gambling sites.

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