Gambling is a fun and exciting way to pass the time but it can also be an addictive disorder. There are a few signs to look out for if you think you may be having a gambling problem, and there are several steps you can take to stop it.
1. Keep a gambling diary
If you’re experiencing a problem with gambling, it’s important to record your thoughts and feelings about the activity. Doing this will help you to understand what causes your addiction and how to overcome it.
2. Get help to beat your gambling habit
It’s important to find someone to support you if you feel you have a problem with gambling. This can be a friend or family member, or it could be professional counselling. You can also ask for help from the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, or from a local charity.
3. Identify the triggers that lead you to gamble
There are many things that can lead to your gambling problem, including depression or anxiety. These problems can make it even more difficult to resist the urge to gamble. It’s important to find out if there are any other issues that are causing you stress or tension in your life, such as substance abuse, family or relationship problems, or job or financial struggles.
4. Change your lifestyle and activities
It’s important to replace the habits you have developed around gambling with healthier ones. This could include exercise, learning new skills or spending more time with people who don’t gamble. It could also involve changing your diet or taking up a new hobby.
5. Seek a support group or treatment
It can be tough to fight an addiction, but if you’re willing to put in the work it can be possible to overcome your problem. Joining a support group such as Gamblers Anonymous can be a great start. It’s a 12-step program that helps you learn new ways to cope with your problem and find support from other people who have experienced the same difficulties.
6. Make a plan for the future
It is important to set some goals and develop a plan to achieve them. This will help you to stay focused and committed to your plan.
7. Consider a cash limit
It’s a good idea to keep a budget and set a maximum amount of money you can spend on gambling. This will allow you to control how much you spend, and will give you an idea of whether or not you’re on track.
8. Talk to a counsellor or psychologist about your situation
If you are struggling with your gambling addiction, talking to a professional can be a vital part of recovery. Your therapist can advise you on how to deal with your problem and help you create an action plan for recovery.
9. Seek treatment for your underlying mood disorders
Whether you have a mood disorder such as depression, or are struggling with stress, if you’re gambling, it can make the symptoms of your disorder worse. You should seek treatment for these conditions and any other issues that are causing you stress, so you can stop gambling.