DO YOU HAVE A GAMBLING PROBLEM?
TAKE THE FIRST STEPS TO RECOVER FROM AN ONLINE GAMBLING ADDICTION
Here we will go through the most common and recognisable signs of a gambling problem and what action you could take to combat your problem so that you may have a better quality of life, healthier relationships, more control of your finances, less worry and stress about the consequences associated with your addiction, and hopefully to help understand and tackle any underlying emotions that may be responsible for driving forward your online gambling behaviours.
Many of the things we enjoy in life come with the risk of a possible addiction. Alcohol, smoking, sugar, hitting the shops – the list goes on and on, due to the release of pleasure releasing hormone dopamine. Gambling is another behaviour that can become addictive, and because the Internet also can also become addictive, online gambling is a double threat when it comes to behavioural addiction. With the growing number of online bookmakers, if you believe that you are suffering from a gambling addiction, then it is important that you take urgent action to avoid the temptation that you are opened up to every single time you open your web browser.
You are probably already aware if you are a person with an addictive nature as you generally go over the top with past-times that you enjoy. If you are an overeater, if you spend more than you can afford when you go shopping, if alcohol seems to wind up in your glass every evening, then this is something you should be aware of.
IDENTIFY IF YOU HAVE A GAMBLING PROBLEM
There are certain types of behaviours that can help you to identify if you have a gambling problem. Take time to look through the list and work out how many of them you feel actually apply to you. If you can relate to quite a few of these signs, then it’s quite possible that you are suffering from a gambling problem. It is very important that you are totally honest about this, as recognising and diagnosing the problem is the first step to recover.
Behaviours to Look out for
See how many of those behaviours you are able to recognise in yourself. You:
- Spend more money on gambling than you had planned.
• Are easily annoyed if something disturbs you while gambling.
• Chase your losses, trying to win back money that you’ve lost.
• Lose your sense of time and stay in the game longer than planned.
• Don’t tell the truth to people that are close to you.
• Don’t quit when you’re up, but continue gambling until the money is gone.
• Have a strong belief that you will make big wins.
• Think that you lose because you didn’t play well enough.
• Spend more and more time gambling and thinking about gambling.
• Need to play higher to get the same excitement.
• Spend more on gambling than you let your friends know.
• Choose gaming before family, friends or work.
DENIAL IS A BIG PROBLEM
You don’t develop a gambling addiction on purpose; it is not something you actively choose to do. Addiction is a sub-conscious behaviour; because of this, it often takes more than just willpower to conquer the addiction. Simply wanting to cut down on your gambling probably isn’t sufficient. It is only when you accept and admit that you have an addiction that you will be able to find all the resources necessary to start dealing with it. If you can say out loud to yourself, “I have a gambling problem”, then you are starting to accept it. It may make you feel better. Whether it does or not, you should be proud that you are self-aware enough to visit this page in order to help you identify if you have a gambling addiction, and that you are taking the first steps to solving your problem.
CONTROLLING YOUR ONLINE GAMBLING PROBLEM?
There are steps you can take to help you to control your gambling habits. Be sure to look through them thoroughly to assess whether you believe that it is something you can take care of on your own. If you feel this is not the case, then please go to the ‘Ask for Help’ section below immediately.
1) Rid yourself of the toxic shame that you associate with this problem. Shame can be a debilitating emotion and this is what often stops people from taking the first steps to get a grip of the problem. Call a local counsellor and try to start understanding about how to best handle this all-consuming emotion. It also helps to have a ‘safe’ person with whom you can confide in about the issue, to ensure you are kept accountable throughout your recovery.
2) Online bookmakers often allow you set your own spending limits for your wagering. You are able to instruct the sites to put a block on your user account in order to prevent you from succumbing to temptation if you experience a moment of weakness.
3) If you find that you cannot stop thinking about gambling, even after your account has been blocked, or if you simply seek other sites that you can sign-up with, then you need to act upon and control what is actually funding your online bookmakers accounts. The third step is to cancel your credit cards, close your payment option account, or even ask your safe person to take control of your finances until you are able to take back control of your gambling habits.
4) Try to understand which moods or what events lead you on to the path of online gambling. Was it through boredom? Anxiety? Sadness? Rejection? You then need to find an alternative activity that you enjoy, so that if you start feeling that trigger emotion again, you can partake in your replacement activity.
5) If the above steps have not worked for you and you find that you are still unable to control your problem, then ask someone else for help.
ASK FOR HELP
If you believe that your problem is so strong that you are unable to control it on your own, then there are numerous groups and organisations that you can reach out to in order to assist you through the tough process of getting a grip of your gambling problem so that it doesn’t ruin your life.
Always remember that you’re never alone.
There are many people who completely understand your problem and who can really help you. For example, you may be able to locate a Gamblers Anonymous group near to where you live. Just give them a call and have a quick chat. You never know, that could be a life changer.
The very fact that you made it to this page means you should be proud that you are ready to take the first step in controlling your addiction, simply by admitting that you do have a problem. Next, you must make the decision to call one of the numbers listed below so you can start taking back control over your life. Remember, there really is no shame in admitting that you have a problem and then asking for help; it’s the most rewarding action that you can make, for yourself and also for those people that are around you, to get professional help.
Listed below are the contact details of people and organisations who know how to best help you recover from your gambling addiction:
- UK GamCare Helpline: 0808 8020133
- Gamblers Anonymous: gamblersanonymous.org.uk
- Gam Anon: 08700 50 88 80 / gamanon.org.uk
- National Debtline: 0808 8084000 / nationaldebtline.co.uk
- CNWL National Problem Gambling Clinic: 020 73817722 / [email protected] / www.cnwl.nhs.uk/gambling
- Gordon Moody Association: 01384 241292 / gordonmoody.org.uk
Online sportsbetting is fun, but don’t ever gamble with your own well-being and the well-being of those people who are closest to you, as they will also be affected by your addiction. You can take control of your life and ensure a much future for yourself and your loved ones.