How to Deal With a Gambling Addiction
Gambling is a fun and exciting way to entertain yourself, but it can also become an obsession that causes serious problems in your life. Whether you’re betting on sports, playing poker or roulette, gambling addiction can lead to financial ruin and even theft.
When gambling becomes a problem, it is important to recognize the warning signs and take steps to stop. This can include seeking treatment for the underlying problem, such as substance abuse or mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, or OCD. It can also involve therapy to change unhealthy thoughts and behaviors that are causing problems in your relationships, work, or finances.
Make a decision to stop gambling: This can be done by telling yourself that you’re making a mistake or that you need to stop and think about your actions. It can also be helpful to set limits on how much you’re going to gamble and how long you can spend doing it.
Keep track of time spent gambling: This can be difficult, especially if you’re using an online casino, but it is possible to do so. It can be a good idea to set an alarm and to take breaks if you feel that your attention is drifting.
Set boundaries in managing your money: You can do this by getting rid of credit cards, having the bank make automatic payments for you, closing online betting accounts, and keeping a limited amount of cash on you at all times. You can also ask your family members to set a limit on how much you can spend on gambling, as well.
Consider asking for help from friends or family: You may feel ashamed or guilty for asking someone else to deal with your gambling addiction, but it is not a sign of weakness. It is also a good idea to reach out to your doctor or therapist, who can recommend a program that will help you get a handle on the problem and provide long-term treatment.
Know your motivation for gambling: Most people engage in gambling for different reasons. Some gamble to relieve stress or to socialize; others want to win the jackpot.
Avoid temptations to gamble: It is tempting to gamble even when you don’t have the money, but it’s a bad idea. It can lead to debt, which can be a major cause of financial ruin. It can also make you feel pushed to borrow or sell things for gambling money, which can be a dangerous addiction.
Have family and friends worried about you: If your family or friends are concerned about your gambling, they may be able to help you make changes in your life. They may suggest that you get treatment for a mental health disorder or substance abuse issue, such as depression, anxiety, OCD, or ADHD. They may also encourage you to talk to a professional about how to manage your money so that you don’t risk losing it.
Take the time to find out why you’re gambling: You can learn about your feelings by talking to a friend or family member, and by researching gambling-related resources. If you’re unsure about your motives, ask for advice from your therapist or a support group.