Is It a Gambling Problem?

Aug 11, 2012 by

The feeling of desperation was overwhelming when I first answered these Gambler’s Anonymous questions. I can remember my discouragement as I read them and answered yes to most.

Uh oh. Maybe I do have a gambling problem.

I sure didn’t want to admit that my gambling could be an issue, but I was opening myself up to the possibility. My “life” was consumed by gambling and it wasn’t fun anymore.

This was one of the starting points for my online research into finding help.

I encourage you to challenge yourself and answer these questions openly and honestly.

Gambler’s Anonymous (GA) Twenty Questions:

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 lost 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 and your family?
14. Did you ever gamble longer than you 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, disappointment 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.

At the height of my addiction I answered yes to all twenty. I would like to share my answers with you so that you can get a sense of what it looks like from another person. I will be sharing Then and Now. The series will be under Twenty Questions.

Feel free to look around the blog, leave a comment or email me if you have any thoughts or concerns. Remember, we are in this together!

Take care.

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  1. Sure, everyone loves to gamble . . . if they win. But, the person sitting next to you in church, the man in line at the grocery store, or one of your co-workers; any one of these could be involved with a gambling problem. Imagine your grandmother committing a crime to support her gambling addiction. I am a recovering alcoholic, gambler, and have recovered from other addictive behaviors. I published a book, Gripped by Gambling, where the readers can follow the destructive path of the compulsive gambler, a prison sentence, and then on to the recovery road.

    I recently published a second book, Switching Addictions, describing additional issues that confront the recovering addict. If a person who has an addictive personality, doesn’t admit to at least two addictions, he’s not being honest. Until the underlying issues have been resolved, the person will continue to switch addictions. These are two books you might consider adding to your library. I also publish a free online newsletter, Women Helping Women, which has been on-line for more than twelve years and is read by hundreds of women (and men) from around the world. ( I have been interviewed many times, and appeared on the 60 Minutes show in January 2011, which was moderated by Leslie Stahl.


    Marilyn Lancelot

    • Marilyn,

      I am honored that you found my blog. This particular title must have ranked well in search terms! Yay! Since you are a legend in the field of gambling addiction recovery I am choosing to approve your comment with your book and newsletter information as an additional resource. I am confident that my readers can benefit from the stories you share.

      I haven’t read Switching Addictions yet, but I know that Gripped by Gambling is a fascinating read about your experiences. I believe that our books compliment each other well. Numb No More is a continuation of the journey in gambling addiction. While I didn’t find my personal salvation through Gambler’s Anonymous, I provide helpful tips along with my story. Take what you need and leave the rest, right?

      Your book was one of the first books I read when I was searching for help. Now that I have written mine, I am proud to say that together we are changing lives. Thank you for your part in changing mine!

      Take care,


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