While the thrill of gambling makes it worth risking your money, sometimes it becomes an addiction that can put you on the brink of bankruptcy. Those who love to gamble tend to keep pouring more money into the game when they’re losing.
This continuous cycle of winning and losses can soon turn into an addiction that most users end up ignoring. In the long run, this can become extremely unhealthy for you and your family.
Not only does gambling addiction impacts your financial health, but it also takes a severe toll on your mental health as well. According to a recent study, around 10 million people all across the USA have a gambling addiction.
If you feel like your gambling hobby is slowly turning into an addiction, then here are some tips. These will help you out if you’ve been wondering how to stop your addiction to gambling.
In this article, we’ve outlined some ways to prevent gambling addiction, and how to stop gambling addiction completely.
What are Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling?
Anyone can develop gambling problems. You start gambling just for fun but then it turns into a constant try to win. Without you even knowing it turns into an unhealthy obsession that can lead to endless issues.
A gambling addiction puts strains on relationships, financial health, professional life, and so much more. If left unchecked, gambling addiction can lead to disaster.
Gambling addiction is also called pathological gambling, compulsive gambling, or gambling disorder. If you’re a compulsive gambler, then you just can’t control your impulse of gambling. A lot of impulse gamblers even question how to quit gambling. Unfortunately, the impulse takes over and they end up gambling even if it’s putting their finances, relationships, or personal life at risk.
Gambling addiction is often related to other behaviors or mood disorders. To overcome your gambling problems, you’ll need to address these issues, and then work to improve them.
Answering Myths About Gambling Addiction
- You have to gamble every day to become a problem gambler.
A problem gambler doesn’t have to play regularly for it to become an addiction. Gambling becomes a problem if it starts affecting other aspects of the player’s life.
- Problem gambling isn’t a problem if the player can afford the habit.
No. Problems that are caused by gambling aren’t limited to money. Spending too much time on gambling can take away time from other parts of the gambler’s life and can lead to strenuous relationships.
- Only the weak-willed become addicted to gambling.
The truth is that gambling addiction can affect people of all levels of mental capabilities and intelligence. Responsible, and strong-willed people are just as likely to become addicted to gambling as other people.
- Partners of problem gamblers drive their loved ones to gamble.
This is one of the biggest myths around problem gambling. Needless to say that it isn’t true. Gambling addicts tend to rationalize their behaviors. Addicts blame others for their choices as it takes the blame off them for doing something that’s not healthy.
- You should help problem gamblers by clearing off their debts.
This is also a common myth around problem gambling. Helping gambling addicts clear off their debts is one of the worst things you can do. By helping them get out of their debts, you’re enabling them to gamble more. Helping them makes them believe that someone else will always come to help them.
Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
Stopping or preventing gambling addiction before it builds up is the key. Knowing how to stop gambling and save money is the first key to solving this issue. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction are hidden and very subtle. Problem gamblers try to avoid their symptoms or ignore them. If you think you may have a gambling problem.
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Feel the need to be secretive
If you feel like you’re trying to gamble in secret or lie about gambling to your friends and family, then it could be a sign of problem building.
- Having a hard time controlling your gambling
Once you start gambling, do you think you have control over when to stop? If you feel compelled to keep playing until you’ve spent everything you had in your pockets, then it’s a symptom of gambling addiction. Gambling addicts try to rationalize this by thinking they’ll stop when they win their lost money back.
- Gambling even when you don’t have the money
You may feel like gambling even though you don’t have any money left to gamble. If you’re using the money that you need to pay bills, rent, buy groceries, etc, then it’s a symptom of gambling addiction. Some gambling addicts go as far as stealing things to keep gambling.
- Have your family and friends keep worrying about you
This is one of the biggest symptoms of gambling addiction. If you keep denying that you have a problem, you’ll never be able to take a step back from your gambling problem. A lot of older gambling addicts shy away from seeking help until it’s too late for them to change their lives for the better. Having your family and friends keep worrying about you and still not wanting to change is a major symptom.
How to Stop Gambling Addiction?
While it may seem like the most difficult thing in life, seeking help and getting better is for your own betterment. Not only you, but it can also improve the life of your family and your loved ones. Here are some tips to control your negative gambling habit:
1. Understand the Issue
Almost every problem gambler has some underlying issue that drives them towards gambling. You can’t fix the issue if you don’t know what’s causing it. So, the first step you need to take is to try to identify the root cause of the issue. Understanding the underlying cause is the primary key to understanding how to quit gambling.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, gambling can be classified as a mental health disorder. It falls into the same category as alcohol and drug addiction. Try to figure out if you have a gambling problem, or ask a loved one to make that assessment for you.
2. Get a Support Group
Once you know that there’s a problem, it’s time to go seek help from a support group or a therapist. A quick Google search will give you a list of support groups that are run by those who had faced similar issues in the past. Hearing from them, and talking with a group may help you get a handle on your gambling problem.
3. Planning for the Future Can Help
Try to plan out your whole day. If you’re fighting addiction, it’s a good idea to keep yourself as busy as you can. Gambling addicts love the thrill of winning and they keep trying to experience that again. So, it’s better to not leave any free time in your schedule. Plan your days in advance so that you don’t have huge empty spaces where you could think of gambling or try to gamble.
4. Find a New Hobby to Focus on
Now that you’re eliminating gambling from your list of activities, you need something to replace that activity. Finding a new hobby can be really helpful. It could be something you wanted to learn since you were a kid, or re-kindle an old hobby.
Find a new hobby that takes up most of your time and replaces addiction. You can also look for a completely new hobby. Make sure whatever you choose keeps you engaged and busy.
5. Professional Help is a Great Idea
If you think trying to quit gambling is becoming overwhelming, it’s a good idea to seek professional help. Professional help can help you get rid of a habit that’s hurting your relationships and your financial health.
Professionals will help you with the ways that can help you stop thinking about gambling. You’ll be given some activities, and some advice to help you stop thinking about gambling.
6. Learn how to Handle Stress
Stress is one of the biggest triggers to going back to gambling for most gambling addicts. So, it’s vital you know how to handle stress. A lot of people go drink when they’re stressed, which is not a great idea.
There are multiple other healthy ways to manage stress. You could engage in physical activities, go out to meet someone you trust, or meditate. Keep in mind that the more stressed you are, the more you’d want to gamble. So, managing stress should be one of your biggest priorities. Professional therapists can teach you how to cope with the stress of daily things in healthy ways.
7. Think About the Consequences of Gambling
Recovering from gambling addiction isn’t easy. And it becomes even harder if you keep thinking about the guilt and shame that you’re feeling from the addiction. But, most gamblers go back to gambling when they’re feeling this way.
Instead, you should try to use these emotions to avoid gambling. Whenever you feel the urge to gamble, think about how many people including you would suffer from gambling.
Consider the emotional toll your gambling problem takes on your family and friends, and try to reduce the pain for them by avoiding gambling. Recovering from your addiction can be tough, but thinking you need to make people around you happy can help you through the process.
Bottom Line – How To Stop Gambling And Save Money?
Having a gambling addiction can ruin your life and the lives of those around you. If you see someone that’s struggling with recovery from their addiction, help them in any way you can. If you are trying to get a grip on your gambling addiction, then following these steps will help you get rid of this issue.