Gambling can be something as simple as getting a scratch-off card from the local gas station, or it can be an extravagant outing to a casino. In any case, it is usually considered harmless entertainment; however, it can turn into a harmful obsession, which can affect anyone without discrimination. Gambling has consequences.
Self-Help For Gambling
The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. It is a challenging step to take, especially if there is a lot of guilt involved with the amount of money and time lost, especially if the addiction affected relationships.
However, there is always hope, and you do not have to do this alone. So many have been caught in this bad habit and able to start again.
Join A Support Group
Just like other types addictions, such as alcohol, there are gambling addiction support groups as well. Here you will learn a similar twelve-step program and connect with a sponsor. Your sponsor, more than likely, is a gambler in recovery that can offer direction and encouragement.
Learn Your Triggers
Usually, addictions are a form of coping mechanism that we do not realize is happening. It is a way our brain has learned to deal with specific situations. Finding out why you are gambling is a vital step to make healthy habits instead.
Furthermore, learning if you are dealing with depression or anxiety will help you deal with them better since they will remain even through recovery.
Gamblers Anonymous is a fantastic platform where you can join virtual and in-person support groups. Also, around the site, it has many different resources that you can use to help with recovery. This resource has tons of additional resources, so you’re sure to find something that helps you.
Help and Treatment
The National Council on Problem Gambling has a plethora of resources available, which can be found separated by state. You can find programs and search for counselors as well as treatment facilities. They have a 24-hour national helpline that you can call or text and is completely confidential.
- Website: www.ncpgambling.org
- Call/Text: 1-800-522-4700
- Chat: npcgambling.org/chat
Signs You Are Addicted To Gambling
Gambling addictions are more of a mental illness, which can be considered a hidden illness that most will deny. Unlike other addictions, there are no actual physical ailments to see.
These are some signs if you have a problem:
- Gamble when you do not have the money to pay bills
- Feel the need to keep your gambling a secret or lie
- Avoiding family and friends because they worry about your gambling
- If you are unable to walk away once you start gambling
The first line of defense is recognizing that you have a problem in the first place. If you can relate with any of the signs above, you may have a gambling addiction.
What Are The Effects Of Gambling?
Gambling, when it is in the form of addiction, is considered an impulse-control disorder. This means you cannot control your impulses even if there are serious consequences.
Having an uncontrolled gambling addiction can interfere with work and can cause financial strain. You will continue to gamble even if it is hurting the ones you love, causing extreme debts, or it can lead to stealing.