How to be free from a gambling addiction
Many people have dived into the vice of gambling, hence the problem of being addicted to it. The addiction happens to anybody who engages in gambling. It turns from being fun and enjoyable to be an unhealthy obsession with long-lasting effects. The gambling industry is wide and with many games to gamble on examples being; poker, roulette, sports, slots in a casino, or online and scratch cards. It has affected people in their work environment, in their relationships, and made people dive into financial problems. It has also made people do things they never thought of, like stealing.
Gambling addiction also called gambling disorder or compulsive gambling is an impulse control disorder. When you have the impulse to gamble, you cannot stop the vice even if it has negative effects on you. You will still gamble whether you have money or not regardless of the consequences. Even if you are aware, the odds are against you or you cannot afford to lose.
When you are preoccupied with gambling, you keep on committing your funds and time to it, and when you fail you keep on chasing losses. Gambling disorder is also associated with other underlying issues or mood disorders. Many gamblers are also found to be substance abusers, stressed, depressed, with bipolar disorder, and have anxiety. To overcome the problem, you need also to address these issues.
Myths about gambling problems
1. You have to gamble daily to have a gambling disorder
The truth is that whether you gamble frequently or infrequently and it still brings you a problem, then you have the disorder.
2. If gamblers accumulate debts, you should help them take care of it.
The truth is that when you help them come out of debts, you could be worsening the situation because they will still dive deeper.
3. Gamblers drive their partners and friends into gambling.
Facts about gamblers are that they will try to blame their close people and avoid taking responsibility for their behavior, hence make them feel that they are causing the problems they are going through.
4. The gambling problem is just being unintelligent, weak, and irresponsible.
Anybody who gambles regardless of the level of intelligence and responsibility can turn to be impulsive to this vice.
5. Gambling disorder is not a problem if the gambler can afford it.
Gambling disorder not only results in financial problems but also comes in with other problems like wasting most of your time, job loss, stress, anxiety, and even suicide.
Signs and symptoms of gambling disorder
Gambling disorder has no physical signs, and that is why it is referred to as hidden illness like any other drugs that show physical symptoms. Those who are addicted also deny that they have this problem even if they are asked to stop. However, these are some signs;
1. You always want to be secretive when gambling.
You lie others with how much you have gambled with or you want to surprise them when the bet wins.
2. You cannot control your gambling.
When you start gambling you are not able to walk away until you spend up to the last coin.
3. You gamble even if you don’t have money.
After you have spent all your money, you result in what you don't have. Money for paying bills, money borrowed from friends and even you may decide to steal.
4. Family members and friends worried about you.
When you start living in denial family members and friends may be concerned. You need to come out and explain what is ailing you so that you can get assistance.
Overcoming gambling problems
Acceptance is the biggest milestone in overcoming the gambling problem. Applying the remedy will be easier if only you accept the issue, and in the shortest period possible you will recover back to normal. Things might have happened that may make it difficult for you to take up this step, things like broken relationships, too many debts or lost a lot of money, and lost a job. Don't look back but accept and look for someone who can stand with you and help you come out. Here are some of the things to do;
1. Remove the unpleasant feelings in a healthier way
Do you gamble because of boredom or stress? If you gamble as a way of removing stress or trying to be busy then we have healthier ways you can use. Try to keep yourself busy by doing exercises, by walking away from an argument that may result in stress. You can also practice your hobby or by taking a nature walk to refresh your mind. Again, spending time with friends helps a lot because you will have much to share out with them.
2. Move closer to your support network
It will not be possible to come out of addiction when you don't move close to your network. Talk to your friends and family members and always ask them to help you come out of the addiction. You can as well form new friends who are ready to accept your situation. You can reach out to people at the workplace, at a book club, and even volunteer for any good cause.
3. Look for help on underlying problems
Substance abuse, stress, anxiety, and depression are some of the underlying problems a gambler will probably face. You need to always look for solutions to overcome them.
4. Join a peer support group
Look for those people who were in the same problem before and ask them to help you overcome the addiction. Join groups whose main purpose is to assist people affected with gambling addiction and walk their talk.
How to stop gambling
Quitting gambling is not a big problem for gamblers, but rather staying in the recovery mood. The internet has made the vice very difficult to quit because of the readily available of gambling sites. Online casinos and bookmakers are open all day for those with smartphones and computers to access. But coming out of addiction is possible if you surround yourself with the right people, avoid tempting environments, and always find a healthier way to stay away from it. Take these steps to stop gambling;
1. A decision
For you to gamble you must decide to do so. When you find yourself thinking about it, stop what you are doing and look for something else to do. Think about the consequence of your gambling and tell yourself to never again go there and immediately find something important to do.
Money is key for gambling to occur. Get rid of all your credit cards. Make sure you assign someone to be in charge of your cash. Close all the betting accounts and retain only a few cash with yourself.
You normally gamble only if you have time. Look for some important activities to do with your time. Do some recreational activities that have nothing to do with gambling and if you gamble using your phone, you can decide to watch some funny videos with it.
Gambling only occurs when there is a game. Don’t be in tempting environments and always restrict yourself from going into gambling shops. Sign out of the gambling accounts and uninstall them from your phone.
Gambling is fun if only you take it as a means of entertainment and not as a means of revenue. You can have no problem when you lose the gamble this way. You will be able to put aside some of the money to gamble with and not use the whole of it. You should always restrict yourself from gambling if it is appropriate. Practice the above few tips and always do it the right way.