Addiction to gambling is a very serious affliction. It is brutal and extremely destructive. The consequences can be dire and include everything from bankruptcy to loss of your job and family. It is important for a gambling addict to put the brakes on as soon as possible to limit the damage done. The manner in which someone becomes addicted to gambling is much the same as the way any addict becomes addicted to any drug. Yes, we did say drug. Gambling addicts report an almost euphoric state that surrounds the allure of winning big, affectively producing a “high” feeling. So the term drug is very accurate in reference to gambling addiction.
As with any addiction, gambling is something that some people can go their whole life without becoming addicted to it. Meanwhile, the next person who walks into the casino could be almost instantly hooked. It really depends on your predisposition towards addiction. If you are predisposed to addiction and you cross that invisible threshold from casual to habitual, you have likely just started down a path that almost always ends in addiction. This can cause major issues as stated before so the first thing you should realize it that if you are predisposed to addiction, gambling is not something you should consider participating in.
Once an addiction has taken root in your life, tossing off the chains can be, and is in most cases, extremely difficult. After all, the “thrill” experienced when you win makes you feel good about yourself, and really who doesn’t enjoy that?
The good news is that there are some things you can do to help break the chains of gambling addiction. It is important that you first come to terms with the fact that you have a serious problem. No one can force you to end the cycle. It is only going to happen when you truly decide that you are ready to make a life change. It’s not going to be easy but it can be done. We are going to go over six methods commonly used to beat gambling addiction.
- Walk Away – In almost every harmful situation, walking away is the simplest method used. In the beginning, it is recommended you “walk away” for one day. Take it slow, you may even have to go hour by hour depending on the severity of your addiction. Remember, removing temptation is going to be huge in helping you to overcome your addiction.
- Find an Alternative – As mentioned before, gamblers experience a “high” when they win that the body naturally learns to crave. This is often the hardest thing to overcome. It is important that you find another activity that simulates these feelings. Many former gamblers say that exercise was what helped them quit. It is a proven fact that exercising releases endorphins that give the person working out an almost euphoric sensation. If you can train your body to crave this “high” in place of the one you got from gambling, it will be a huge step forward.
- Remember the Feeling of Losing – The next time you feel the urge to gamble try focusing on the negative aspects. Associating gambling with a feeling of losing or loss will help quell the urges
- Get Educated – Knowledge is power. We have all heard this and it is true. Understanding why something affects you the way it does will go a long way towards helping you make better decisions. Knowing how and why you are addicted can greatly increase your odds of quitting.
- Hand over Your Money – Gambling by definition takes money, this is a fact. Though it may seem extreme, it may be necessary for you to give control of your finances to someone you trust who will limit your access to money previously spent on betting.
- Find a Good Support Group or Sponsor – Being in a group or just around one person who has gone or is going through the same thing as you is greatly beneficial. It gives you an outlet to talk about your issues with someone who truly understands because they have been there too. Not only is it therapeutic, it will also help to hold you accountable.
Gambling addiction is a risk that a lot of people face. It may seem as though it is too much to handle, but it is not. Make sure you keep a positive outlook and remember, where there is a will there is a way!