Gambling is fun and harmless form of entertainment. There are many forms of gambling from sports betting to roulette, slots, poker, and scratch cards. Anyone can indulge but it takes great courage to leave it as soon as it gets serious. For those who indulged too much, they have a gambling addiction.
Gambling addiction is a serious one. It can affect your relationships and it can interfere with your work. The worst thing is that it can lead to financial chaos in the long run. Gambling addiction is also called pathological gambling or gambling disorder. It is an impulse-control disorder. This means that you couldn’t control the impulse to gamble even if you already know the negative consequences.
You have to know if you have gambling addiction so you can deal with it before it totally destroys everything that you built. Here are the gambling addiction signs you should know about:
You do not know when to stop
Those who gamble for fun, they control themselves and their bets. They know when to stop and how much money they are willing to lose. Gambling addicts struggle with controlling their time and money. Betting will take over their lives and they always seek the thrill of wagering.
You put your family at risk
Those who gamble for fun set aside money they can afford to lose for betting. As soon as it is used, they will stop. In the case of gambling addicts, they squander every last penny, which can potentially put the family at risk. Instead of paying bills, saving money or keeping something for your kid’s education, you end up carelessly betting. Unfortunately, these things are not enough. You will end up borrowing money from shady sources just to supplement this newly found craze. You are not only putting yourself in danger but also the family when you begin to deal with shady people.
You bet to escape something
Recreational gamblers occasionally splurge money to have a good time. In the case of gambling addicts, they play for reasons other than entertainment. Some are trying to escape anxiety or problems at home. Whatever problems you are facing, gambling is not the only solution.
You recover losses by gambling
When you do not have money left, you blindly believe that you can recover the losses so you gamble some more even if it means borrowing money from others. In fact, gambling addicts see betting as a solution for their financial losses. It is good if you win but if not, you will play some more losing threefold.
You prioritise gambling more than anyone or anything else
If gambling for you is the priority, you tend to skip your daughter’s recital or your work’s deadline. Before anything or anyone, you find yourself hitting the casinos and other betting rings. Your relationship surely deteriorated at the expense of gambling.
You experience negative feelings when gambling
For recreational gamblers, the activity is an exciting experience. However, addicts experience it differently – it stopped being fun. When they gamble, they feel a conflict of emotions from frustration to irritation, remorse and many more. If you experience negative feelings when gambling, it should serve as a warning sign.
The good news is that there are things that you can do to make things better for you and the family. Remember that taking early action is crucial to saving your relationships, jobs and bank account. Here are some things that you can do to overcome gambling:
Acknowledge the addiction
Sometimes healing takes time because it took you forever to realise something is not right. If you already know the signs, you have to acknowledge or admit that you have a problem. Treatment will not be effective if you do not admit it. Know that admitting the problem greatly speaks of how ready you are to stop.
Strengthen your support network
Gambling is like any addiction. In order to get through it, you need support. You have to know that you are not alone. You need to know that there are other people who endure the same thing. Addictions are hard to fight alone. You can get support from family and friends. If you know support groups, do not hesitate to join. Strengthening your support group can make a difference at the end of the day.
Remove elements necessary for gambling
If you know that it is not good for you, you need to avoid it. One way to stop gambling is to remove the elements that encourage it. You need to shun environments that remind you of gambling like casinos, poker tables, racetracks, and many more. If you see it often, the urge will be stronger making it more difficult to curb. The prudent thing to do here is to remove your access to sources. Start by giving ATMs and credit cards to a family member or friend.
Look for productive things to do
If you totally want to get rid of gambling, you need to replace it with something productive and positive. If you have free time, you usually think about gambling. This time, find a replacement hobby or activity. When you find yourself bored or nothing to do, you have other things on your mind. Productive and healthier activities include running, mountain climbing, fishing and many more. It will be memorable if you do these things with your family. This is to remind you what you will lose if you continue to gamble.
Look for professional help
If the gambling is too intense that you need outside help, you should never hesitate to look for professionals. You need professional to evaluate your condition and suggest an effective approach or treatment to overcome it. Treatments may include medications and psychotherapy. The doctors will also consider gambling counseling.
You did the best you could but sometimes the urge is too strong for you. If you are not able to resist it, do not be too hard on yourself and do not use it to give up. Overcoming the addiction is a long and tough process. You may slip from time to time but the important thing is you learn from your mistakes and push towards recovery.