When you bet on sports and casino games on a physical platform or online site like https://icecasino.com, it should be for fun and not primarily focused on chasing the big bucks. However, if you find yourself having an irrepressible urge to continue gambling despite the toll it’s taking on your life, then there is a problem.
When a punter becomes gambling addict, they tend to spend more time and money chasing losses. As a result, such players may encounter great financial loss, get into huge debts, strained relationships with their loved ones, or even get fired from a job. Furthermore, gambling addiction, commonly referred to as problem gambling, may cause depression, migraines, anxiety-related stress, and intestinal disorders. In addition, a punter may feel helpless when battling the addiction, which may sometimes even lead to extreme cases of attempted suicide.
As with any other kind of addiction, gambling can affect anyone and varies from one person to another. But the good news is that it’s never too late to begin the rehabilitation process. If you seek help and follow the right remedies, you can regain control of your life.
Telltale Signs of Gambling Addiction
Unlike other addictions such as drug abuse, gambling addiction has no physical signs and symptoms. Therefore, problem gambling is usually a bit difficult to diagnose. Additionally, punters who are addicted may deny having a problem even to themselves, which sometimes introduces another layer of obstacles. So, in case you are worried about your gambling habits, here are the signs that will let you know that you have a problem:
- Lying or being secretive about the extent of your gambling because you feel like other people will not understand.
- Inability control, stop or reduce gambling or betting until your last dollar to try and recover lost money.
- You are always preoccupied with gambling. For example, you are always thinking of ways to place a wager at work or when with your family or friends.
- After losing money, you have to depend on others to pay for your gambling habit or bills.
- Restlessness or irritability when trying to control your gambling habit.
- A negative impact on your relationships with your family and friends or professional life.
- Stealing to fund your gambling habits or get out of a financial fix caused by gambling.
Steps to Overcome a Gambling Addiction
If there’s a chance that you are suffering from problem gambling, here are some of the steps you can take to begin your rehabilitation process:
Admit You Have a Gambling Problem
It takes much courage to own up to the addiction, especially if it has left a trail of strained relationships and you have lost a lot of money. However, as with all other addictions, the first step you take towards the recovery journey is to admit you have a problem. Unfortunately, in the beginning, most addicts may be in denial and sometimes end up getting help very late in the addiction cycle. Nonetheless, do not despair; others have recovered and have since rebuilt their lives.
Join a Support Group
If you desire to stop gambling, you can join a Gamblers Anonymous support group to share your experiences with other group members. You will get a sponsor, a former gambler who has controlled the addition to support and encourage you. The group will help improve your quality of life and reduce gambling symptoms through the 12 steps recovery program under Gamblers Anonymous. Additionally, your spouses or relatives can go to the meetings to learn how to support you in your journey without enabling your addiction.
Look for Professional Help
The primary treatment for gambling addiction is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), where a therapist or a primary doctor works together with you to identify a destructive behavior. The treatment helps you develop coping skills and cultivate cognitive tools that assist you in dealing with gambling urges. For example, through CBT, you can wait longer periods before giving in to the desire to bet. Essentially, the therapy teaches you the most effective techniques for dealing with issues rather than looking for an escape through betting.
You trigger the brain’s reward system when you win a bet because, with each win, there’s a release of dopamine. Unfortunately, like a drug addict who has become numb to small quantities of drugs, gambling addicts often have the same problem getting the same ‘high’ that other people get when anticipating a win. A doctor will therefore prescribe drugs such as antidepressants or lithium if the patient also has bipolar disorder to stabilize their dopamine levels.
If you are trying to cope with gambling addiction, it is important to have a trustee who will prevent you from accessing your money for gambling. In addition, even though you might not have a gambling problem, it is important to put regulatory mechanisms in place by limiting how much money and how often you gamble.
Use All the Help You Can Get!
While quitting may be difficult if you have a gambling problem, you should do your best to use all available channels, such as support groups, programs, and call centers. You do not have to go through recovery alone!