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How to Spot the Signs of Gambling Addiction in Millennials

How to Spot the Signs of Gambling Addiction in Millennials

When millennials think of gaming, gambling isn’t what comes to mind. Millennials are the first generation raised on video games, making their ideas of gaming as entertainment different than the generations before. However, that doesn’t mean that gambling addictions can’t grab hold of the youngest potential gamblers available; it just means that it is different.

Since millennials associated gaming with skills, they might not be attracted to some of the traditional games of chance, like slot machines or bingo. Instead, millennials may favor games of skill.

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For example, fantasy sports betting is particularly attractive to millennials.[1] It involves a mix of statistical analysis and luck, instead of being a game of pure chance. The perception of skill being a primary factor pulls millennials into the idea. The attraction also exists between millennials and online poker. Often, the idea that pure chance isn’t involved can make it feel less like pure gambling by providing a sense of control, even if that control is essentially an illusion.

The Draw

While new players may not have a high likelihood of winning, even one or two favorable experiences can have them coming back for more. In some cases, chasing that next win draws millennials into a cycle of gambling, which can come with dire consequences.

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It’s the prospect of winning that captures most players that eventually become addicted. The idea of winning enough to solve a major financial problem leads them to invest more money into the activity. Over time, this can make the problem worse than it was prior to their introduction to gambling. Additionally, even if a big win happens, they often put those winnings back into gambling in hopes of bringing in even more.

The thrill of winning is also hard to ignore. The brain produces certain feel-good chemicals when a gambler just imagines a win, which can lead to an irrational interpretation of their chances. If a win does occur, the feeling is so positive that it alone can bring some people back for more, even if the likelihood of another win is only slightly likely.

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3 Signs of Addiction

There are a range of signs that suggests someone may be suffering from a gambling addiction. One person may not exhibit all symptoms, so it is important to consider these guidelines over strict rules.

Obsession

Gambling addicts find the pull of the activity impossible to ignore. It will become a priority and their thoughts will be overrun. Often, the obsession damages other areas of their life and the person may be unable to walk away from the activity even if they claim it is only a hobby.

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Ignoring the Consequences

Since most gamblers lose far more than they win, there are often severe financial consequences once the hobby becomes an addiction. They may use their paycheck and savings on gambling instead of paying bills. Some may resort to stealing, fraud, or other criminal activity in an attempt to get the needed funds. All of these actions are serious and can indicate a person is addicted.

Hiding the Behavior

As a person begins to spend more of their time, money, and energy directed at gambling, it will be noticed by close friends and family. If they disapprove or question the amount of gambling the person may be participating in, the addict may choose to hide their behavior instead of facing additional scrutiny. This act of deception suggests the problem may be more severe than the gambler realizes.

It is important to realize the risks of gambling and to spot the signs of a developing addiction. Luckily, help is available to those who need it, such as the services offered through Gamblers Anonymous. If you or someone you know may have problems with gambling, or exhibit any of the signs above, seek help from a professional as soon as possible.

Reference

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/nealegodfrey/2015/10/11/millennials-new-drug-of-choice-fantasy-football/#e453b381e3b9

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Shelly Green

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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