How to Deal With a Gambling Problem
Gambling is a type of betting where you wager something of value on an uncertain outcome. It can be a form of entertainment or a way to make money, but it is also dangerous and can lead to addiction.
Problem gambling is an unhealthy addiction that can cause financial and emotional damage. It can be difficult to talk about, but there are many ways to help if you think you have a gambling problem.
Keep a gambling diary to understand your problem and help you recover from it.
If you have a problem, it is important to talk about it with someone you trust who will not judge you. This could be a family member, friend or professional counsellor. You can also use a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, to help you recover from your problem.
Set boundaries in managing your money and don’t gamble on credit.
It can be easy to let your gambling addiction get out of control if you let it affect your finances, but it is possible to break the cycle and start over. To make this easier, decide how much you can afford to lose and stick to it.
Don’t let your gambling interfere with your life, other relationships or your work.
When you’re feeling low or depressed, it can be tempting to go back to gambling to try and win back the money you’ve lost. This is known as “chasing your losses” and can be very stressful for you, your family and friends.
Learn to recognize cravings.
Cravings are intense urges to do a behavior that feels impossible to resist. If you can recognize the craving, you can try to postpone it by doing other things that distract you from gambling. These may include deep breathing, calling a friend or doing some exercise.
Changing your lifestyle can also help to curb your cravings, so don’t be afraid to take action if you are experiencing cravings that are interfering with your life. For example, if you’re experiencing a craving to play slot machines, you might try going for a walk or meditating.
Avoid high-risk situations such as using credit cards, taking out loans or carrying large amounts of money with you.
If you’re unable to break the habit, talk to your bank, building society or other lender and ask for help. They can help you create a debt management plan to help you stay on track and avoid future problems.
Seek help for an underlying mood disorder such as depression or anxiety, which can lead to gambling.
Consider cognitive behavioral therapy.
Psychologists can help you develop coping skills and change the way you think about gambling. They can also help you identify triggers and irrational thoughts that make you want to gamble, and teach you to resist them.
Take the time to strengthen your support network.
It can be hard to battle any addiction, but a strong support network can be a crucial part of recovery. Reach out to friends, family and co-workers.