If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, it’s time to seek help. Not only can excessive gambling cause financial problems, but it also has serious impacts on relationships and mental health.
Realize that you have a problem
Gambling is an impulse-control disorder, meaning it’s hard to stop once you’ve started. If you think you might have a gambling problem, it’s important to talk to a doctor or therapist. If you have any underlying mood disorders or substance abuse issues, these should be addressed first before trying to cure your gambling addiction.
Be aware of the consequences
If you have a gambling problem, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the game and forget the real world around you. You may find yourself ignoring work or family obligations to continue gambling, and you may be spending more money than you’re earning.
Set a budget
Make sure you’re not overspending or putting yourself into debt by establishing an emergency fund. You’ll need this in case you lose all of your cash or your job, and it will help you stay on track with your finances.
Take time away from the temptations
Avoid going to a casino or poker room with friends and family members if you are concerned about your gambling habits. Schedule fun recreational activities that don’t involve gambling, and block online gambling apps from your phone and computer.
Reach out to support groups
When you have a gambling problem, it’s essential to reach out to others who can help you. These could be family members, friends, or a support group like Gamblers Anonymous. They can help you realize that you have a problem and offer advice and guidance on how to get help.
Strengthen your support network
A strong support network can help you get through this difficult time and move forward to a life of recovery. You can start by talking to a professional, asking for counseling from your doctor or therapist, or joining a support group.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for many addictive behaviors, including gambling. This kind of therapy can teach you how to change unhealthy gambling thoughts and behaviors, such as rationalizations and false beliefs. It can also help you learn how to cope with stress and overcome depression, anxiety, and other underlying mental health conditions that might be contributing to your gambling problem.
Adopt a positive attitude toward your gambling behavior
If you’re trying to change your behavior, you’ll need to adopt an optimistic approach. A positive outlook is crucial to changing your gambling behavior and preventing the relapse that can occur when you’re stressed or upset.
Remember the odds
The chances of winning at gambling are not in your favor, and they’re usually designed to keep you losing. You have to expect to lose when you play, whether you’re betting on the lottery, blackjack, or pokies.
Rebuild your relationships
If you have a gambling problem, you’ll want to rebuild your relationship with your spouse, family, and other significant people in your life. You’ll need to build trust and honesty between you and these people so that you can repair any damage that has been done by your gambling.