One of the many problems with addiction is that it very rarely only affects the addict. Friends, family and loved ones usually have to share some of the burden as well, and gambling is one of the addictions where this is most prevalent.
Gambling addictions can have a devastating effect on you and your loved ones, and can ultimately lead to bankruptcy and homelessness. Not only that, but it can put an enormous strain on your relationships. If you or someone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, here are five simple ways to find a way out.
1. Step Away
Probably the hardest thing for any addict to do is simply just stop, but it can work for some. You don’t have to say ‘I’m never gambling again’, but set yourself goals. Start with ‘I’m not going to gamble today’ and build from there.
2. Find Distraction
If you can find something that shifts your priorities from gambling to an interest of your choice, then gambling will start to become less and less important. Find yourself a hobby. It doesn’t matter what it is just so long as it is something that interests you and will take up a lot of your spare time. The best advice is to try and find an activity that keeps you away from anywhere you might have access to gambling.
3. Don’t Forget Your Lows
As a gambling addict you have probably experienced some incredibly high losses as well as successful wins. If you can remind yourself of the feelings you had when lost this will probably deter you from wanting to gamble quite so heavily. An addict from the UK used this method after she lost 800 playing bingo. She explained that the feeling of “utter hopelessness” allowed her to think twice before spending large sums of money and eventually allowed her to slowly stop feeding her habit. Reputable sites such as Sun Bingo make sure customers play responsibly, so it is less of a problem.
4. Find People in Similar Situations
Self-help works for some, but others find more success when working with others in a similar situation. Look for support groups that could help you with your addiction. Word to the wise – be sure to ask questions and have a firm idea of what the group’s philosophy and treatment methods are. Not all will work for you. Most common is the ‘12 step program‘ but look into, or even sample, a range of support groups.
Addiction is rarely a result of ‘I just wanted to try it’. More often or not there is an underlying reason why you have this affliction. Talking to a counsellor can help you discover a few truths about yourself and help explain why you felt the need to gamble in the first place. If you can find the reason behind your gambling habit, you can address that and then focus on your addiction.
Beating addiction can be a lengthy process and is a different battle for everyone, but by using a few of these tips to help you, you may find yourself well on the road to recovery.