If you or someone you know has a gambling addiction then you might have experienced some of the insane things that have occurred due to gambling. A compulsive gambler is not a bad person. But, he or she often chooses poor behavior when their gambling is out of control. So, what does out of control look like? It comes in many forms. It can vary from person to person.
One former patient would get angry at his wife for turning the furnace up a few degrees. In his mind, she was wasting money. All she had to do was throw on a sweater, right? Yet, at the same time he would gamble away thousands of dollars a month! He would often have “temper” tantrums over the smallest things. Although it seemed like he kept up with the bills he was draining their retirement account. His gambling was causing him to act very irrational.
Another addict would stoop as low as stealing money from her child’s piggy bank. There were also times when she would not put gas in the car to “save” money and then would walk to the store to buy scratch tickets. Things got so bad that she would gamble away the grocery money and ask friends if her daughter could eat a meal with them. It was not uncommon for her to ask this of her parents. Other addicts sell food stamps to get money, while others will shoplift or even take from the company that they work for. A recent article tells about how one employee scammed his customers out of money.
For some gamblers spending half their paycheck may be out of control for them. For others it might be winning $500 and then gambling away $400. Just having extreme emotions or not being fully present because of gambling, can be out of control. So, whatever the threshold is for you please realize that if you do not get help you might do things that you never thought in a million years you would do, all in the name of gambling!