Problem Gambling simply put is the urge to gamble continuously or without any desire to stop, irrespective of any negative consequences. People who gamble excessively may develop such problems for various reasons and in many cases may not realize this issue until they’re nose-deep in debts or it is pointed out by someone. Gambling becomes a problem when it disrupts your job, academic pursuit or any other day-to-day activity creates financial instability, affects your relationship with family or friends or when it becomes harmful to your mental or physical health.
Problem gambling can have detrimental effects on an individual’s physical, mental (the brain especially) and emotional stability. It is not uncommon for people that gamble excessively to develop anxiety issues and depression or in extreme cases commit suicide. It is important that anyone having symptoms of depression and severe anxiety or having suicidal thoughts get help from medical professionals and have your loved ones in the loop.
Gambling has adverse effects on the brain according to research and getting over gambling might be tricky but not impossible. Research suggests the following ways to get over gambling.
Take your time
Quitting addictions are never easy; it may not serve you well to go cold turkey all at once. Take your time and make little goals like I will not gamble today, or this hour or even this minute. The important thing to ensure you achieve said goal, no matter how little it may look and then build up from there. Ensure that you’re not idle or visit places (including the internet) that may serve as a temptation.
Find a distraction
Picking up New hobbies and physical activities can be very useful in fighting addiction. Activities like exercise, drawing, painting, cooking, baking and so on help keep your mind occupied and provide a good distraction for any urge to gamble. Once you refuse to give into those urges, over time they begin to fade away. However, try not to engage in harmful activities like drinking and smoking so you don’t become addicted to those too.
Acquire self-help materials but don’t do it alone.
The first step here is to familiarize yourself with what gambling addiction really is, find out the types and what category you fall under, note the triggers and effects and after this find materials that can aid your recovery, research on the methods, scientific or otherwise and try them out, you can also check online gambling forum or join any gamblers anonymous groups that help you connect with others going through similar situations so you don’t feel alone. This will go a long way to help you on your recovery journey.
Straighten up your finances.
It will be necessary to relinquish your control over your finances for a while. Find someone trustworthy to handle your money, and deny you unsupervised access to credit cards or your account. When you don’t have money on you, it’ll stop you from gambling at that moment. Furthermore, you should seek help for how to handle your gambling debts from professionals. Addressing your debt issues will prevent you from relapsing because of financial stress.
You can carry out an exercise that shows how bad gambling is for you. Note all the problems that come with gambling and all the issues that’ll be resolved once you quit gambling and this may just push you to battle the addiction. If this doesn’t do much to help you can seek professional counseling. A professional, especially one that deals mainly with addiction, can give you the support and guidance that you really need. Don’t be ashamed to seek help, it may save you from a lot of trouble. Also, it is important to surround with people who want to help you recover rather than other addicts, so you don’t put yourself in a position to relapse.