Dealing with addiction

Gambling can be a gratifying recreational activity. It gives players the excitement of possibly winning money from a big jackpot. Despite how enticing gambling can be, it is always important to only bet as much money as you are willing to lose.

When players continue to gamble away their money to an excessive level, then this indicates an addiction problem. Gambling addiction can potentially ruin lives, as the sufferer will keep compulsively losing their money until they have nothing left. Entire families and communities can be affected by this issue.

Being Aware That You Have a Problem

It might sound cliched, but admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery. This will then allow you to modify any harmful behaviour. Knowing the various signs and symptoms of addiction to gambling is useful. This can include making bigger and riskier wagers over time, getting a thrill from betting, and reliving these experiences in your head.

If someone finds themselves regularly talking about the act of gambling with other people, then this is another sign of a potential problem. So too is continuing to engage in this activity, even after feeling guilt and remorse because of it. If a person wishes to cut back on their gambling but struggles to do so, then this is another clear sign.

A gambling problem will affect a person’s social life. They may not spend enough time with their family because they are busy using online casinos. They will often find themselves lying to those who are closest to them. Their finances will suffer as a result of gambling, causing them to borrow money or even steal it. These issues can cross over to their professional life, jeopardising employment.

Minimising Risks

The fact is that in this modern age it is nearly impossible to avoid using the internet. This creates a problem for addicts, as there is such an abundance of online casinos. However, by choosing reputable operators who offer “self-exclusion” services the risks of spending too much on wagers can be minimised.

Recognising triggers and coming up with coping strategies is also useful. A trigger is a thought, feeling or situation which makes a person want to gamble. For example, some people experience the need to use a casino site when they are feeling particularly stressed. For some, it is a means of escaping from their problems temporarily. By keeping a journal and jotting down these feelings, it can help to understand them better.

Dealing with difficult emotions rather than escaping from them is an important life skill to learn. Everyone experiences negative feelings sometimes. Distracting yourself from them with compulsive gambling will only make the situation worse. Keeping yourself busy instead is one strategy to consider. A lot of people find that sometimes listening to music helps. Understanding impulsive behaviour, and recognising when it happens, will decrease the chances of giving in to excessive gambling.

Getting Support

Self-help can be useful, but it is rarely enough to cure an addiction to gambling completely. Asking for help from others is inevitable for people with this problem. Support groups can undoubtedly be an invaluable resource for getting over compulsive behaviour. These organisations will often give each member a sponsor, who can support them when they feel an overpowering urge to engage in online gambling.