Sometimes the love of gambling becomes an addiction. It is very difficult to overcome. Nevertheless, it is quite possible. There are quite a few methods that will help to cope with it. Remember that gambling addiction, gambling disorder and gambling addiction is not a sentence.
If you realize that cravings for online casinos have become a problem, then be sure to study the information on this page. Don't forget to seek help from a specialist to change your attitude towards gambling.
What are some ways to overcome gambling addiction? We'll take a look at:
- Independent work.
- Help from family and friends.
- Addressing other problematic players.
- Qualified help from specialists.
- The problem and its awareness.
- How does one deal with gambling addiction?
- Independent work.
- Help from family and loved ones.
- Phone lines and online chats.
- Support groups.
- Help from psychologists and specialists.
- Rehabilitation centers and inpatient treatment.
- Support organization contacts.
Awareness of the problem
Gambling addiction treatment begins with the most important thing - recognition and acceptance of the problem. You need to understand that your love of gambling has taken the form of pathology, and it needs to be addressed. Until you do, the problem will remain forever.
Everything seems to be clear. If there is a problem, you need to understand it. And then you can choose ways of treating gambling addiction. But this first step is often the most difficult. Ludomania can affect the mind and subdue it, making the player believe that nothing depends on him.
You need to understand that online casinos are no longer a paid entertainment and have become a burden. Only then will you be able to regain control of your life. Before that - be sure to read our materials on diagnosing gambling addiction. So you can soberly assess your gambling experience and understand that it's time to change something.
How does one deal with gambling addiction?
It is very difficult to imagine the whole process of overcoming addiction in detail. That's why we'll look at two schemes that will help you see addiction from the outside.
- Three steps to overcoming gaming addiction.
- Cycles and the wheel of change.
Three steps to overcoming gambling addiction
Psychiatrist Robert Custer began using modern techniques to deal with addiction. He developed a comprehensive model with three periods of compulsive gambling and three stages of recovery. Online gambling has changed over the decades, but the principles derived by Caster have remained the same.
The three stages of compulsive play look like this:
Gradually passing these periods, the player hits rock bottom and faces hopelessness, nervous breakdowns and withdrawal syndrome. Very often such people start abusing alcohol and drugs. And on the background of financial problems thoughts of suicide or readiness to commit a crime for the sake of money can appear.
If you have reached the stage of despair, know that there is a way out. The main thing is not to fall into despair. Start taking simple steps to overcome your addiction. They will help you believe in yourself and win. There are three main stages of treatment:
- Critical stage.
- Recovery phase.
- Growth Stage.
During this period you need to critically assess the situation in which you find yourself. Once you understand what has happened, you can gradually take responsibility for your actions. At this point, you will be able to stop gambling and begin to make a logical assessment of what is happening. Gambling addiction will no longer be able to influence your decisions.
Analyze your financial situation. Think about what to do next. It is now that you should try to figure out how to gradually get out of debt and restore your income. In fact, it is at the critical stage that you begin to rebuild your life without online casinos and gambling.
This period continues the process begun in the first stage. But now you have to pay attention to other areas of life: relations with friends and family, finding a job (if necessary), restoring financial well-being, personal growth, etc.
Speaking of paying off debts, there is one thing to note. It is very important not only to pay back loans and debts, but also to pay current bills for housing, electricity, etc. If there are problems of a legal nature, it is at the second stage that you need to solve them.
Remember that it is important for you to accept yourself "as is", with all your faults and virtues. Redevelop respect for yourself, learn to remain calm in any situation. Try to find a new hobby and set the right goals for the future.
Don't forget to improve your relationship with your family and loved ones. Not right away, but they will start to trust you again. And this will make your own life even better and calmer.
Once you have reclaimed your past lifestyle, you have a great opportunity. This is growth over yourself and continual development. That is why this stage is called the growth stage.
At this stage, you completely get away from thoughts about online casinos and gambling. And any problems and difficulties in life cease to be frightening. You easily find solutions for any of them. Remember that your experience with gambling addiction is a very strong point. It will help you better understand yourself and those around you. It will make it much easier to pay attention to others and to give attention to your family.
The wheel of change
A three-step model of struggle and recovery can help you cope with addiction. However, it does not take into account the possibility of relapse and breakdown. It is very common for players to return to online casinos during remission.
A transtheoretical model was proposed in the 1970s. It was derived after studying the behaviour of ex-smokers. The basic idea of the theory is that people change habits cyclically and gradually. You can't change in one go.
There are six stages of human change:
- Overthinking. A person with a gambling addiction does not see a problem in his behavior. He does not expect negative consequences. That is why he does not make any plans to give up his addiction.
- Reflection. The gambler begins to think about changing a little and giving up gambling sometime in the future. At this stage, he admits that there may be some serious problems. However, there is still no certainty about the desire to change.
- Solution. Also called the "preparation stage". At this stage, the player is already ready to act and change in the next month. He is beginning to move little by little towards giving up his gambling addiction. In general, he has thoughts of making a change for the better.
- Action. This is the stage of serious change. The player refuses to gamble and decides not to gamble in the future.
- Maintenance. After abandonment, the person maintains the new behavior for six months and continues to maintain it in the near future.
- Total failure. This is the final stage. Not only has the player abandoned the online casino, but they have no desire to return. This is a very rare outcome. More often than not, players remain in the maintenance stage.
A breakdown and a return to the game can happen at any moment. But even if you fail and come back, you must not stop and lose hope. Be sure to keep moving forward.
Methods for self-management of gambling addiction
Some players manage to overcome their addiction themselves. This is the most difficult and time consuming method, although very often the most desirable. It is easier and much more effective to go to a specialist.
The fact is that not every player is able to admit the problem and tell others about it. People do not want to share such information. And even more so, they don't want to say how much money they lost and what problems they created for others. But talking about it is necessary. This helps to significantly speed up overcoming the addiction.
Often it is friends and family who help you to recover. If you don't talk to them about your addiction, they may not even know you are in trouble. That means they won't come to help.
What can you do yourself?
Restrict access to online casinos
The websites of the best casinos and betting shops almost always have the tools to play responsibly.
- Deposit limits.
- Betting limits.
Don't forget that you can take advantage of various internet blocking software and applications. This way you will be able to completely block yourself from any online casinos. And that means you won't be tempted to go back to gambling.
However, such tools are not a panacea. They make the struggle easier, but the main work falls on you. Self-locks and various limits help you to come to your senses if you impulsively decide to go back to an online casino and bet again.
So be sure to focus on other methods of dealing with addiction. Technical restrictions will help with this, but will not do the main task. Try also to limit yourself from using gadgets, PCs, going to bars and pubs with slot machines or sports broadcasts.
Online casinos have become an important part of life for the losers. As soon as they have free time, they think of slots, slot machines and other games. That is why it is important to find another interesting activity. It should fill the free time and keep you occupied.
What can you do? Going out, playing a new sport, spending time with friends and family, etc.
Don't create a new addiction
It is very important in the fight against gaming addiction not to get hooked on anything else. So give up alcohol, drugs, and other substances right away. They will not bring you back to a normal life, but will bring even more problems.
Be sure to choose a safe hobby.
Gambling is not a way to make money. Remember this!
The desire to win back, or to win big, is one of the sure signs of gambling addiction. Often gamblers think that "now they will be lucky and will return all their losses in full". But this will not happen, and the next bets will only make things worse.
Gambling will not make you rich. In online casinos, only the casino wins. The same principle works in sports betting, lotteries, video poker and other games. By continuing to play casino games day after day, you will ALWAYS lose.
Remember that there is no way to win back. Addicted players try to get their money back, but end up losing everything. Either they manage to realize their addiction and start fighting it.
Learn to fight the urge to bet
When you give up gambling, there will be a desire to come back and make at least one bet in your favorite slot or roulette. MUST resist it. It is very important not to go along with this desire.
Unfortunately, there are no universal methods of struggle. Try some tips that will help to realize the wrongness of such desire.
- Postpone Play. As soon as you feel like playing, do everything you can to postpone your bet for a day, an hour, or even 10 minutes. During that time, you'll realize that betting won't win, it will only make things worse. You need to have time to realize that the idea of coming back is a bad one, so every postponement is incredibly important.
- Think of the losses and the consequences. Do you feel like gambling? Recall what you faced when you played and lost. Imagine how it feels to lose. Remind yourself of the unpleasant emotions of gambling.
- Distract yourself from this desire. Be sure to occupy your free time to reduce the probability of such thoughts appearing. Communicate with people around you, do sports or physical labor, find a hobby. Try not to be alone.
- Don't judge yourself harshly. You may not have been able to hold it together. It doesn't matter if you lost or won. It happens. And it can happen to anyone. Don't dwell on the breakdown. It is important not to give up on all efforts and focus on continuing to fight. Learn from mistakes, learn from them, and don't give up. A breakdown is just a mistake, but it can provide many useful lessons. But if breakdowns happen regularly, be sure to seek professional help.
Remember that everyone is different. Don't forget to evaluate your social circle. You may be drawn to online casinos because of it.
Solve your financial problems
Many addicted players find themselves in a very difficult financial situation. Debts, lack of income, loss of savings, etc. - There can be many options. If you are faced with this, you should definitely take action.
STOP gambling at online casinos. This is the first step to solving your financial problems. You will not be able to win back from online casinos, and such attempts only harm your psychological state and your finances.
Let's say you don't solve your money problems in a couple of seconds. But you will do it not immediately, but with a guarantee. And then in the future you will be able to live a peaceful and happy life. Moreover, many organizations of help to addicts are ready to support addicted players in especially difficult life situations.
Create an impact memo
This is a very effective method. Many players underestimate it, but everyone should try it.
How does it work? Take a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns. In the first, write the benefits of a life without an online casino. In the second column, point out the negative things you have encountered due to losses. Recall carefully and try to indicate at least 5 points in each half. At the same time, the reasons given should be as personal as possible. No one except you will see this memo, so it is worth to specify the most secret things. Otherwise, it will not be fully effective.
And if you have thoughts and desire to bet, make sure you read this memo.
Other ways to combat gambling addiction
Coping with gambling addiction is very difficult. And most gamblers can't do it on their own. There is nothing wrong with not being able to do it yourself. Remember, you can't stop.
If it doesn't work the first time, it's time to reach out to loved ones, family, or qualified professionals.
Help from family and friends
Gamblers are not the only ones who suffer from gambling addiction. Gambling addiction hurts family, friends, and even co-workers. Remember that. And know that these people can always help.
Spend time with family and friends. This will strengthen relationships with loved ones and keep thoughts of gambling out of your mind. You need to rebuild relationships with friends and family as soon as possible. Over time, you will regain their trust and the fight against gambling addiction will become much easier.
Your loved ones may have no idea how difficult it is. Don't hesitate to discuss your problem, tell them. Even if they do not immediately understand you, they will help you to contact professionals or support groups. There you will get the help you need.
Phone lines and online chats
Communicating with experts and like-minded people is very important. Today you can easily get in touch with an understanding experienced person, even from the comfort of your own home. All you have to do is make a phone call or join an anonymous online chat room.
Such communication can significantly speed up the process of overcoming gambling addiction. All the more so because most of these hotlines and chat rooms are completely free of charge. And this is very important if you find yourself in a difficult financial situation because of gambling.
You are not alone. There are many people in the world who have faced and dealt with the same problems. Their experience can help. Such people understand your feelings and condition very well. They can therefore give you suitable advice and support.
Find out how other players have dealt with gambling addiction. If they have succeeded, then you will too. You can learn from other people's experiences and get ready-made coping techniques that work for you.
The largest international community is Gamblers Anonymous. They started in the United States but have now spread around the world. Almost every major country has its own chapter of the club. You can also find similar organizations and contact them.
Don't miss out on forums and chat rooms like Gambling Therapy. You don't have to go to offline clubs and groups as you can start chatting online. There you will find people there to help you cope with your gambling addiction.
Psychologists, psychotherapists and qualified support
The help of an experienced psychologist is very important. With a specialist you work individually, which means you work through your own problems and causes of gambling addiction. In addition, all visits to the specialist remain confidential, and for many problem gamblers this is important.
How can a psychologist or psychotherapist help? You can:
- Understand the destructive effects of gambling on you and your loved ones.
- Learning to control your desire to play.
- Understand and accept the fact of gambling addiction.
- Identify the real cause of addiction formation and address it.
- Overcome gaming addiction and move on with your life.
Today, psychologists offer many techniques. Cognitive behavioural therapy is the most commonly used. It helps to identify the connection between emotions, thoughts, attitudes and behaviour.
Thanks to KTP, you will become aware of your attitude towards online casinos and gambling and take control of your emotions. This will help you beat the addiction.
Exposure therapy can also be used. It helps you clearly understand how you feel during and after gambling and understand the devastating effects of gambling on your life.
Rehabilitation and assistance centres
In the most complicated cases, you can turn to a specialist centre or clinic. These facilities provide round-the-clock attention and care.
The centres exclude access to gambling, which makes treatment easier. Patients interact with qualified specialists who have extensive experience in the treatment of gambling addiction.
There are also players with addiction in rehab centers. So you will be able to socialise with people who are facing the same problems and you will not suffer from loneliness.
Where to look for help?
Gambling addiction is an international problem. That is why you can always find support from millions of people around the world. There are organisations in every country that help gambling addicts.
For this purpose, we collect a database of chat rooms, lines, support groups, help organisations and rehabilitation centres. On the page with these you can quickly find the right option for you.
Gambling addiction is a serious and dangerous opponent. Every player can try to defeat it on his own. But if you do not succeed, do not hesitate to seek help from relatives, friends or professionals.
Fight back and change your life for the better. Gambling addiction treatment is not an easy process, but with the right attitude and the right approach, you are sure to succeed.