The prosperity of gambling may mean positive results for revenue generation, but its surgency comes with severe mental health repercussions in the form of gambling addiction. For most players, gambling is a fun, harmless indulgence that comes with the chance of landing withdrawable payouts.
However, it can quickly progress to an unhealthy obsession that is impulsive and has dire consequences in the short and long run. Pathological gambling can affect anyone that indulges in the practice, whether they are playing sports, roulette, slots, blackjack, or poker. If you are battling with the condition, below are some pointers to guide you on how to overcome it.
Accept the Problem’s Existence
Quitting gambling is a challenging task that can only be accomplished after admission that the issue exists. A lot of people deny that they have plunged into addiction, even if they have. Most people use different justifications for their gaming habits, including minimization, comparisons, misinformation, and glorification. Admitting that the issue exists, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel, is the first step to handling the problem.
After you admit to having a gambling addiction, take some time to understand what it is. Pathological gambling is an impulse disorder where the player has no control over the habit. Most other addictions recognized by health organizations often result in physical effects. However, gambling addiction manifests mentally as a strong need to gamble. Other symptoms include;
- Repeated and failed attempts to quit
- Chasing wins to get even with the casino
- Lied to loved ones about partaking in the activity
- Needed financial support due to gambling away finances
- Broken relationships due to gambling
- Stolen or broken other laws to indulge in the pastime
Ensure you are honest with yourself when carrying out the assessment. If you do not trust yourself, ask a loved one to help you understand the issue better. Once you stop denying that gambling is a significant problem, you will begin to see the negative impact on your well-being.
Prepare to Change
Once you establish your goal to overcome gambling addiction, you still have to ready yourself for change. Even if you state your desire to change, moving through the same motions every day will likely result in a relapse. Preparing for the road ahead means getting rid of any triggers that are likely to get you hooked on the pastime again. You need to freeze accounts in online casinos, uninstall any gambling applications, and avoid visiting websites related to the activity. Changing may also mean letting go of some social relationships with people that support your addictive behavior. This step can make things very lonely, especially if you do not have other people in your life that are free from the same actions. You can reach out to loved ones that you lost contact with along the way and only keep those that support your goals.
During your recovery journey, there are going to be moments when gambling cravings hit you. These urges are usually strong and often feel like there is no end to them when in the middle of one. However, it is critical to remind yourself that it shall pass and you will be back in control of your mind in no time. That is why websites like free-onlinepokies.com promoting Responsible gaming. When experiencing such a craving, procrastinate getting to it. Firstly, relax and take deep, slow breaths. Distract yourself with something you enjoy to take your mind off the urge to spin some reels or hit the blackjack tables.
Indulge in Old Hobbies or Find New Ones
Many gambling addicts lose touch with activities that bring them joy and dedicate their energy to casinos. When in the depths of compulsive gambling, the mind gets used to functioning with constant stimulation. Once you quit the habit, you need to find other ways to excite your brain without needing casino games or sports betting. Rediscover hobbies you used to enjoy, such as drawing, dancing, swimming, or studying. You can also find new activities that challenge you in ways you have never before, which can improve your problem-solving skills.
Preplan Your Days
Sobriety from pathological gambling can get boring fast, and already being in a state of boredom fuels a relapse. If you remain inactive for long periods, you are likely to bounce back to your old ways. Therefore, make sure that you plan your days the night before or in the morning. Pack any free time with activities that will take your mind off gambling so that you are not tempted to rekindle the habit.
Consider the Repercussions
Gambling addiction has a lot of adverse effects that can affect one’s personal and social life. Dwelling on these consequences can be a source of shame and guilt. However, forgetting about them altogether will likely push you back to gambling. Indulge in a small level of guilt and shame to remind yourself of the reasons to remain in recovery. Indulging in gambling most likely caused emotional pain and financial challenges. Although you should not let such low moments define your journey, they are ideal fuel to keep you motivated to avoid gambling in the future.
Get Professional Help
If your compulsive gambling is severe and you have failed to tackle the issue yourself, seek expert help. Seeing a mental health specialist can transform your life using refined skills that you would not have come up with yourself. There are numerous organizations online dedicated to helping problem gamblers. You can ask around your locality for an addiction specialist. Also, confide in loved ones and ask them to help you with the journey where they can. For instance, they can avoid gambling in front of you or remove any triggers that push you to the habit.
Gambling addiction is a challenge that is overcome daily with some days being more manageable than others. Even if you do not want to fail, be keen on your habits to avoid a relapse. Even if you fail, give it a few tries, and you will likely get it right after you have gathered control.