Anyone can have issues with addiction to gambling. Gambling ranges from a casual, harmless activity to an addiction with severe implications that is unhealthy. A gambling addiction can weaken your relationships, interfere with work, and result in economic catastrophe, whether you gamble on sports, scratch cards, roulette, poker, or slots at a casino, on the track, or online. You can also do stuff that you never imagined you would like to run into debts or even stealing money to gamble.
Addiction to gambling is an impulse-control condition, also known as compulsive gambling. You can’t seem to control the temptation to gamble when you’re a gambling addict, even when it has detrimental repercussions for you or your family members. A gambling addict will keep gambling regardless of the consequences.
You may still have an addiction to gambling without being completely out of control. Gambling is any betting activity that interferes with your life. If you’re obsessed with betting, spending more time and money on it, chasing losses in spite of its significant consequences in your life, you have an addiction to gambling.
Sometimes, gambling addiction or problem is linked with other mood problems or behaviour. Some issue gamblers often suffer from include drug addiction problems, unmanaged ADHD, stress, anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. You may need to fix these issues and any other root factors in order to solve your gambling issues.
While it may seem like you’re helpless to quit gambling, there are tons of things you can do to solve the problem, and ultimately regain control of your life. The first stage is to separate the misconceptions from the facts about addiction to gambling:
- Misconceptions: You must gamble daily to be a gambling addict.
Fact: A gambling addict can gamble frequently or infrequently. Gambling can become a problem if it causes issues.
- Misconceptions: Gambling is not really a concern if the gambler is willing to afford it.
Fact: Issues resulting from excessive gambling are not just monetary. Spending too much time gambling can also contribute to the relationship and legal issues, work loss, mental health issues that include anxiety and depression, or even suicide.
- Misconceptions: It is only a case of being weak-willed, reckless, or unintelligent to have a gambling issue.
Fact: Gambling issues affect individuals of all intelligence levels and backgrounds. Previously responsible and strong-willed persons are just as likely to suffer an addiction to gambling just like everyone else.
- Misconceptions: When a gambling addict runs into debt, you should help them take care of it.
Fact: solutions to fast fixes can seem to be the right thing to do. Nonetheless, bailing a gambler out of debt might potentially make things worse by encouraging their gambling issues to continue.
Signs and symptoms of addiction to gambling
Addiction to gambling is referred to as a “secret disorder” since there are no visible physical signs or symptoms like addiction to narcotics or alcohol. Gambling addicts usually deny the issue, even to themselves. You can have a problem with gambling if you:
Feel the need to keep your gambling secret
You could be gambling in secret or lying about how much you are gambling, believing that others are not going to understand or that you are going to impress them with a huge win.
Have trouble keeping your gambling under control
Can you withdraw if you start gambling? Or are you forced to gamble until all your money has been spent, raising your bets in attempts to get back lost money?
You gamble even when you don’t have enough money
You can gamble until you spend all the cash you have on you, and then move on to money you don’t have, cash to pay your children’s fees, credit cards, or other things. You may feel tempted to borrow, sell, or even steal items to get money for gambling.
Have your friends and family concerned about you
Denial keeps the gambling epidemic alive. Listen to your friends and family if they are concerned. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. Many older gamblers are hesitant to reach out to their adult children if they have gambled away their money. However, it’s never too late to make real changes.
Self-help for addiction to gambling
Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step to addressing addiction to gambling. To own up to this requires considerable strength and courage, particularly if you have lost so much money and damaged or destroyed relationships along the way. Do not panic, and try not to resolve this problem on your own. Many people were in your shoes and were able to break the habit and reconstruct their lives. You can also do that!. Below are a handful of pointers that can help with your addiction to gambling:
Learn to alleviate uncomfortable emotions in healthy ways
Do you gamble when you are alone and bored? Or after a hard day at work or after a disagreement with your partner? Gambling may be a means of relieving unpleasant feelings, unwind, or socialize with yourself. But there are better and more convenient ways to control your moods and alleviate boredom, such as running, hanging out with friends who are not gambling, taking on new activities, or practising relaxation methods.
How to quit addiction to gambling for good
It is not stopping gambling that is the most formidable obstacle for many gambling addicts, but rather remaining in rehab, making a lifelong effort to stay away from gambling. The Internet has made gambling available and, thus, more challenging to prevent relapse for recovering addicts. Online casinos and betting shops are active all day long, every day for anyone with a smartphone or access to a computer
Surround yourself with people you’re accountable to, resist engaging environments as well as websites, and relinquish control of your financial affairs (at least at first). At the same time, seek healthier activities to substitute gambling in your life while keeping up recovery from addiction to gambling.
Making healthier decisions
One way of avoiding gambling is to eliminate the elements needed in your life for gambling to happen and substitute them with healthier options. The four features required for gambling to keep going include:
You ought to decide to bet in order for gambling to occur. When you have a desire to interrupt what you’re doing contact someone, think about the repercussions of your acts, tell yourself to stop worrying about gambling, and quickly find something else to do.
Without money, gambling can not take place. Let go of your credit cards, leave your money with someone else, or have the bank make automatic payments for you, and most importantly, close online gambling accounts.
Even online gambling can’t fully occur if you don’t have the time. Make plans that have nothing to do with gambling. If you’re gambling on your mobile, find some other way to fill your day with peaceful moments.
There is no chance to gamble without a game or operation to bet on. Don’t put yourself in enticing situations. You can inform gambling shops that you have a gambling issue and ask them to restrict you from participating. Uninstall gambling applications and block betting pages on your mobile and device.
Seek alternatives to gambling
Maintaining treatments for addiction to gambling relies a lot on seeking alternative activities that can be replaced by gambling. Some instances include:
- Reason for gambling: To provide excitement
Alternatives/solution: Get a challenging hobby, that includes rock climbing mountain biking, or Go Kart racing
- Reason for gambling: To be more social, overcoming shyness or isolation
Alternatives/solution: Go for counselling, join a public speaking class or social group, volunteer, connect with family as well as friends, and meet new people
- Reason for gambling: To numb bad feelings and avoid not think about problems
Alternatives/solution: Consider trying therapy
- Reason for gambling: Boredom or loneliness
Alternatives/solution: Look for something that you are enthusiastic about like art, sports, music, or books, and then find people with a similar interest
- Reason for gambling: To relax after a difficult day
Alternatives/solution: As little as 15 minutes of day-to-day exercise can alleviate stress. You can also try deep breathing, meditation, or massage
- Reason for gambling: To settle your money problems
Alternatives/solution: The odds are usually stacked against you, so it is far better to seek assistance with debts from a credit counsellor
Dealing with lapses
If you aren’t able to fight the gambling craving, don’t be too harsh on yourself or use it as a reason to give up. It’s a complicated process to conquer a gambling addiction. From time to time, you will slip; the vital thing is to learn from your errors and keep working towards rehabilitation.
Treatment for addiction to gambling
It’s never easy to overcome an addiction to gambling, and getting clinical help doesn’t imply you’re deficient in any way or can’t manage your issues. It is crucial to remember that every player is special, so you need a rehabilitation program specifically tailored to your needs and circumstances.
Speak about various treatment options with your doctor or mental health professional, including:
Rehabilitation services and inpatient or residential care
These are targeted at those with a severe addiction to gambling who, without round-the-clock help, can not deter gambling.
Treatment for underlying medical conditions
Factors that cause conditions like drug addiction or mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, OCD, or ADHD, might also be the reason for compulsive gambling. These factors may include modifications in therapy, medicine, and lifestyle. aAddiction to gambling may also be a sign of bipolar disorder, but before making a diagnosis, the doctor or therapist may have to rule this out.
CBT for addiction to gambling concentrates on modifying habits and thoughts of pathological gambling, like rationalizations and false beliefs. It can also teach you the ways to overcome the impulses of gambling and solve the financial, job, and relationship issues caused by gambling addictions. Therapy will give you the resources that will last a lifetime to deal with your addiction.
Marriage, job, and credit counseling, as well as family therapy
These can help you navigate through the certain problems that your addiction to gambling has created, building the basis for your relationships and finances to be repaired.
Do’s and don’ts for the partner of a gambling addict
- Please speak to your partner regarding their addiction to gambling and its consequences when you’re calm and not worried or upset.
- Look to get help: Self-help organizations for families of gambling addicts, like Gam-Anon, will expose you to individuals who have faced the same obstacles.
- Let your partner understand that you’re seeking assistance because of how their gambling affects you and the family.
- Speak to your kids about your partner’s issue of gambling.
- Take over the supervision of your family accounts, supervising bank, and credit card statements carefully.
- Support and motivate your loved one, even though it could be a lengthy process laced with setbacks, during treatment of their addiction to gambling.
- Lose your cool, preach, or make threats and ultimatums that you can’t follow through with.
- Overlook the good characteristics of your partner.
- Discourage your partner from engaging in family life and events.
- Expect the recovery of your partner from problematic gambling to be seamless or quick.
- Bail your spouse out of debt or in some way encourage their gambling.
- Cover-up or dismiss the topic of your partner to yourself or others.
Compulsive and problematic gamblers need their family and friends’ help to assist them in their battle against gambling addiction. However, the decision to quit must be theirs. You can’t make someone stop gambling as much as you might want to, and as painful as it is to see the results. Nonetheless, you should encourage them to seek help, assist them in their attempts, protect themselves, and take any talk of suicide seriously.