For the longest time, gambling has had negative connotations. Everyone has heard the story of someone losing their life as a result of gambling. The thrill of a huge win being just around the corner can be far too tempting for many, leading to gambling addiction.
Unlike a physical addiction, gambling addictions never truly disappear. They are a mental compulsion that will always be present with you to some degree. While you cannot stop it from occurring, you can take steps to stop yourself from gambling.
Restrict Your Account
Part of the widespread acceptance of online casinos was their obligation to combat gambling addiction. Because of this, every reputable operator has implemented a way for you to restrict your account from playing, either temporarily or permanently!
The exact process is a little bit different with every casino. However, if you are uncertain how to do it, you can speak to the support staff for assistance. After everything is said and done, you will be barred from playing with that operator. Registering a new account will not help either since the restriction applies to you as a person.
Speak to Your Local Authorities
Not all countries have an equal safety net against online gambling. Some countries, like Sweden, have a nation-wide self-exclusion registry that you can register to.
If your name is on the registry, no gambling operator is allowed to send you marketing materials. They cannot allow you to register to play at their website, or they may be faced with a fine. It is worth looking into if your country has something similar set up.
Find a New Hobby
Everyone who had issues with gambling addiction told us it never really left them. Instead, they usually find ways to avoid the temptation. Some took up jogging or swapped their entertainment over to video games. As long as you are not swapping one addiction for another, a new hobby is always welcome.
Get Help with Gambling Addiction Without Delay
Self-help is a great step forward. Upon accepting that you have a problem you have already surpassed the biggest obstacle. However, this might not be enough to control your gambling urges. This is when professional and supportive consultation can be the right choice for you.
Seeking assistance from a support group is a great idea, for example. Through support groups, you will meet people with similar experiences and pasts. They will share their struggle and their ways to beat the addiction.
Gamblers Anonymous is an organization that is specifically geared towards helping people with a gambling problem. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous work in a similar way. The organization has a 12-step approach that should guide you safely and painlessly to recovery.
Problem gamblers in the UK have access to free information, support and counselling provided by GamCare. Apart from face-to-face counselling, this service operates the National Gambling HelpLine, toll-free and available 24 hours a day. The HelpLine is operated by qualified advisers, trained to offer coping strategies and support.
Introduce Professional Assistance
Joining support groups and talking to consultants and recovered gamblers is certainly therapeutic. Nevertheless, seeking professional help will not do you any harm.
On the contrary, it will speed up the process of recovery. You can combine these two for maximum support and insights from the both sides – therapists and ex-gamblers.
Gambling addiction treatment programs are a viable option, yet you have to keep in mind that they are often not a one-size-fits-all ordeal. A mental health professional can help you pick the right decision for you and your family.
You will receive a confidential, personal assessment and an opportunity to refine the recovery skills and strategies you are already employing.
Talk to Your Loved Ones
Building a trusting relationship with your loved ones throughout the process may be challenging. Working hard on this aspect is also crucial for healing from gambling addiction.
You must understand that your loved ones have to safeguard themselves. Try not to react badly to them checking on you or looking over your shoulder. The key to rebuilding trust and relations is talking and tolerance.
You have to be ready to face their dissatisfaction and anger, but also talk to them about it. Talk about your feelings, regrets, struggles and urges. You are lucky if they are still willing to listen.