Problem gambling, or gambling addiction, is a serious condition that sometimes goes unrecognized and undiagnosed. When gambling gets out of hand, it has the power to destroy interpersonal relationships, marriages, families, careers, and even self-esteem. Perhaps the most worrying aspect of problem gambling, is that sufferers often won’t recognize the issues until gambling has already caused damage somewhere in their lives. Whether you suspect a problem with gambling in your own life, or if you want to help someone else who you suspect is developing an unhealthy gambling habit, it’s important that you know the right questions to ask, which can indicate whether further investigation and treatment is needed. For this, the lie/bet questionnaire is the most effective method.
Lie / Bet Questioning for Gamblers
The two questions are relatively simple, but it is essential that they are answered with absolute honesty.
- Question 1: Have you developed a habit of, or do you feel the need to increase your bets, each time that you gamble. (Sometimes characterized by irrational bets that are intended to make up for significant financial losses).
- Question 2: Have you ever been dishonest about how often you gamble, or how much money you’ve spent while gambling. i.e. lying to someone you care about, when questioned about your gambling.
If the answer to both of these questions is no, then it is not likely tht pathological gambling has yet become an issue. However, if the answer to either question is yes, then there may be a problem that needs to be addressed.
A gambling problem is usually complex, and will often be accompanied by other destructive or antisocial behaviors. Gambling can lead to financial difficulties, which can in turn cause increasing debt, crimes to support a gambling addiction, mental health problems like depression, or even alcohol and substance abuse.
Getting the Right Treatment
When either question is answered with a yes, it’s important that immediate treatment is sought. Counselling, intervention, or treatment at a gambling center are all options for those affected by gambling addiction.
Gambling in itself is not a problematic behavior, but it can lead to destructive situations, and without addressing problem gambling in individuals, the damage can be deep and difficult to reverse. If you or someone you know has developed a bad gambling habit, acceptance will be the first step on the road to recovery.