If you have a problem with gambling, it is important to seek help. Gambling can be a harmful activity that affects your mental health and may lead to a range of problems, including poor relationships, work or study performance, debt, homelessness, and more.
A person who has a gambling problem often goes from gambling just for fun to gambling for money and losing their freedom. If you or a loved one has a gambling problem, it is vital to get help and learn to live a healthy, happy life.
Risk factors for gambling include age, gender, family or friend influence, and underlying mood disorders like depression, stress, and substance abuse. These conditions can trigger gambling problems and make them worse, so it’s important to seek help for any underlying symptoms before you start gambling.
Decide how much you can afford to lose and stick to it. If you go beyond that, it’s time to cut back or stop gambling altogether.
Limits also help you to stop wasting your money and prevent you from chasing losses. When you have a limit, you can make sure that gambling does not interfere with other activities, such as spending time with friends or family or attending work.
Avoid gambling when you are feeling depressed, anxious or in pain. It’s hard to control your emotions, especially when you’re stressed or feeling sad, so it’s best to find healthier ways of coping with these feelings.
Use a relaxation technique for your gambling cravings
When you have a gambling urge, try to distract yourself with another activity. This can be as simple as doing some exercise, watching a movie or practicing relaxation exercises.
Rely on friends and family for support. It can be tough to quit gambling on your own, but a strong support network is crucial in recovering from a gambling problem. Join a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, for example, and find someone who has been there and can offer guidance and support.
Postpone the urge
If you’re feeling an urge to gamble, resist it by telling yourself that you’ll wait 5 minutes, a few hours or a whole day. When you notice that the urge is weakening, distract yourself with a more enjoyable activity, such as going to the gym or reading a book.
Don’t borrow money to gamble on credit
It’s tempting to take out loans or sell assets to fund your gambling habit, but it is never a good idea to do this. Not only does it add to your debt, but it can also cause you to become even more addicted to gambling and increase your chances of losing your savings.
Consider asking a friend or family member to check in with you regularly and keep you updated on your gambling. They can help you to stop or reduce your gambling and encourage you to seek treatment if you are struggling with your addiction.
Compulsive gambling can be a serious issue and can have serious consequences, including losing your job, financial problems, putting you in trouble with the law, and causing physical injury. It can also lead to suicide and other serious health complications, so it’s important to seek help.