Around 10m people in the US can be considered gamble addicts and have experienced gambling-related hardships. If you are one or have loved ones who need help avoiding the habit, here are some valuable tips.
How can you solve an issue that you don’t fully understand? To get rid of gambling, you need to learn about the case and accept that you or a loved-one has a gambling problem.
Just like alcohol and drug addiction, chronic gambling is also a mental health disorder. Here are some signs to know if a person is addicted to gambling:
If you think you have the symptoms associated with gambling addicts, ask the opinion of a person you trust to understand the problem better. Don’t deny and accept the negative impact of gambling on your life.
If you see gambling for what it is – an addiction, you can apply known addiction recovery methods and prevent relapse for alcohol and substance abuse. In the recovery phase, avoid places, people, and activities that will entice you to gamble. Avoiding these triggers can help you avoid feelings and thoughts that promote gambling.
For instance, if driving past a casino on the way home from work tempts you to stop by and gamble, take an alternate route. If you feel like betting when watching sports, watch something else. Cut up or keep your credit cards away if you use them to wager. It may be inconvenient, but avoiding your triggers will help you avoid gambling. Ask for the help of your loved ones.
Gambling addiction comes with solid cravings for gamble addicts to take action. If you are experiencing such a craving, it may feel like it will not go away. However, it will not last. Find a way to postpone gambling until you think there is no more craving, and you are on the way to recovery.
Please pay attention to how your cravings feel like, what you are thinking, and how long it usually lasts. By understanding your appetite, you start to get away from its control.
Once you fully understand your situation, make a list of actions or thoughts that distract you from the habit. Some people take a deep breath or chat with a friend once a craving hits.
Like any form of addiction, guilt and shame are solid emotions for people recovering from gambling addiction. However, these strong feelings can be dangerous because they can encourage a relapse when there is too much. At certain levels, shame and guilt can give enough motivation to keep on recovering.
Think about the consequences of your gambling addiction to help you avoid gambling:
Don’t dwell on the past. Just use your past experiences to motivate you to keep away from gambling henceforth. Avoid excessive guilt or shame as they can be counterproductive.
Habitual gambling is an addiction, just like substance and alcohol abuse. However, it does not spell the end of the road for you. These tips are only some of the ways that can help you avoid gambling in the future.