Gambling is commonly viewed as a harmless activity. After all, it’s heavily promoted across the media. Risks of developing a gambling addiction are also perceived as significantly lower when compared to the likes of drugs and alcohol, down to it being a physical choice, carrying recognised consequences of failure and loss.
While this may be a common outlook, there are many dangers of gambling, at an excessive rate. Those outlooks will also be provided by those who view gambling as a pastime, rather than a controlling, highly influential and risky fixation. From severe money problems, to the damages that dependence of any degree can have, to relationship breakdowns, and to the risk of developing further habitual and mental health issues, living with a gambling addiction can result in great suffering.
Down to this, learning how to stop a gambling addiction in its stride is very important, helping to reduce that suffering. With this in mind, if you’re suffering to any degree from the accessibility and influence of gambling promotion or activity, it’s time to consider professional support.
Alongside professional intervention, there are some proactive steps you can also take to reduce your desire to gamble.
As we’ve shared above, many individuals downplay the severity of gambling addiction. This is however a misconception which has unfortunately hindered recovery opportunities for many individuals. Ensure that this doesn’t hinder yours, as the enablement of gambling activity when living with an addiction can result in life-threatening consequences.
Overcome your gambling addiction by following our below guide, provided by our team here at Addiction Advocates.
The dangers of gambling
Gambling is a pastime for most. Those who engage in gambling activity can mostly control their spend and desire to bet. However, down to virtual gambling apps, down to greater accessibility, and down to the heavy promotion of gambling, more and more people are using it as an escape.
In the moment, gambling can feel like a positive experience. Rushes of energy are common, motivating more and more engagement. However, with the highs, soon follow the lows, of losses, of missing out on that next big win. For those who can control their gambling activity, they will then decide to hang up their coats for the time being.
Yet, for those who cannot control their gambling activity, this is where the consequences of risk begin to show themselves, where mere engagement turns into a desire, a craving and an addiction.
While negatives are experienced through gambling, just as users will chase that next high through drug abuse, those who gamble will follow the same pattern of behaviours. This is where a physical and psychological addiction will materialise, as the desire to gamble will influence actions moving forward, even if consequences are present.
There are many dangers of gambling excessively. At the surface level, many will associate financial losses and legal problems. However, a gambling addiction can motivate mental health problems, such as depression, it can influence further habitual behaviours, such as substance abuse, and it can take over someone’s life, from their relationships to their debts and home life.
With this in mind, if you’re suffering from the signs of gambling addiction, it’s time to stop. You’ll likely be addicted if you cannot stop, even when consequences are present. It’s also likely that you’ll use gambling as an escape from further negative emotions or scenarios, seeing it as a positive step, when in fact it’s a reactive, dangerous activity to enable.
How to stop a gambling addiction
Knowing exactly how to stop gambling addiction is very important. Ideally, once you spot the signs of addiction, of a life-changing habit, it’s time to press the stop button by following the below steps.
Acknowledge your problem with gambling
Firstly, you must acknowledge your problem with gambling on a personal level. This can be difficult for some, where a family and friend referral will luckily be made. However, if you’re seeing the changes in your behaviour, there’s a likelihood that you’ll be able to see that enough is enough.
Understand your triggers
Addictive behaviours are triggered by a number of different influences. Triggers can be anything from stress, to emotional attachments, to mental health issues, and to environments. As they affect all individuals, personally, it’s important that you work to understand your trigger. Ask yourself, what started off your excessive gambling activity?
Open up to loved ones about your gambling problem
This may feel like a challenging step, however, once you offload your struggles, you will feel a greater level of motivation to stop your gambling activity. Opening up to loved ones about your gambling addiction is recommended, no matter how difficult the consequences may be. The greatest important factor is that you can stop your gambling addiction, which will naturally fall into place to improve your overall quality of life.
Source professional gambling addiction help
Alongside personal support, sourcing professional gambling addiction help will be recommended. We can assist you with this at Addiction Advocates, helping you find treatment services, necessary to tackle the psychological connection you have to gambling. If you’re already abusing drugs or alcohol in combination with gambling, dual diagnosis treatment can also be sourced through rehab.
Build a relapse prevention plan
Building a relapse prevention plan can help you spot the signs, easier, on whether the desire to gamble will resurface. Plans will be formed throughout your gambling addiction support sessions, helping you understand the necessity to delay and distract your desires to gamble.
Change your lifestyle
Changing your lifestyle can begin to diminish your gambling addiction, whether you visit rehab or not. Positive changes to your relationships, to your diet, to your mindfulness, to your exercise and to your hobbies will be encouraged. Here you’ll have healthy distractions to divert your attention from gambling. You’ll see your new lifestyle as a coping strategy, treating you favourably over gambling.
Keep committed to your long-term recovery intentions
Committing to the long-term can be difficult. Yet, by making these changes, by speaking out, by limiting your access to funds, by investing your money into things that make you happy and by truly understanding the consequences of gambling, you can learn exactly how to stop a gambling addiction for the future.
Gambling addiction support here at Addiction Advocates
Knowing how to stop a gambling addiction and committing to the process are two very different ideas and actions. If you are however hoping to activate your knowledge and commit to change, we can assist you at Addiction Advocates.
Reach out today for gambling addiction support, here to help you find care, treatment services, guidance and resources to tackle your gambling problems.