Gambling is like drinking, in a way. The thing is some people can enjoy a few drinks now and then, have a great time, and even profit from drinking, for example, with business partners. Some people, in turn, understand that this went out of control and that having a drink or two is not an option anymore. Now, this is a must, a necessity, something, without which life is unthinkable. Sounds familiar? If it does not, you hardly have a gambling problem, but we still recommend you to keep reading to make sure that everything is fine. If you think that the problem is real, please, feel free to use the information below to overcome the addiction.
How can I understand if I have a gambling addiction?
Here are the most important questions you need to ask yourself to find out if you have gambling addiction:
- Do you lie to your family and friends claiming that you win when you actually lose?
- Do you use fake excuses for skipping work last minute and gambling?
- Do you have serious financial difficulties because of gambling?
- Do you borrow money to make bets?
- Do you spend more than you can really afford?
- Is gambling destructive to your relationship?
- Do you spend all your free time making bets?
- Do you spend money that was supposed to be spent on more useful things on gambling?
- Do you feel like you want to quit, but you cannot?
- Do you feel like you will win a jackpot next time after you lose your money?
So, if at least a few answers are, “Yes, I do,” you are likely to face gambling addiction. Do not worry; there are a few effective ways to overcome it.
What exactly gambling addiction is?
Before we get to the ways to overcome the problem, let us talk about the addiction itself in more detail. Is it a disease? Yes, even though people who face this problem do not have any physical symptoms or dependences on casino games, it can be classified as the disease or a psychological disorder. In other words, this is an addiction, a mental state that does not allow to control your desire to play particular games or casino games at large.
What are the reasons for the addiction?
To overcome a challenge, one needs to understand its nature. So why does this problem arise? Let us take a look at the list of the things that often case gambling addiction:
- Loneliness, frustration, anxiety, and dissatisfaction
- Desire to make a lot of money without making any effort
- “Addictive” personality
- Mental disorders
Even though we have listed a few reasons, we cannot deny that two of them are causing problems more often. If you are not satisfied with your life, if you are frustrated, if you feel like gambling is the only thing that makes you happy, you better avoid online casino sites. So, if you have not joined any of the websites yet and feel like this may be a problem in the future, choose another hobby. If you think that you are already addicted, read the info below carefully.
What are the symptoms of the addiction?
We have already listed the questions that may help you understand if you are addicted or not, but there are a few more important things to mention. Generally speaking, all the symptoms can be divided into two main groups: emotional and physical symptoms. So, even if you felt good enough before you started gambling, the addiction may cause depression, anxiety, and, more importantly, suicidal tendencies. Feeling hopeless is one of the most typical symptoms of addiction.
As for the physical symptoms, we must note that all addicted gamblers have them, but still, you need to know about them to protect yourself from such threats. In particular, some of the emotional symptoms that we have listed above may lead to physical symptoms. In most cases, they are sleep deprivation, panic attacks, and weight loss or, in contrast, weight gain.
Main stages of becoming addicted to gambling
- Big win. This is the first stage, and at this time, a person does not spend time on casino sites regularly. In most cases, a person is just interested in gambling and/or wants to earn some easy money. Well, he or she usually wins it, and that causes euphoria. Then, a gambler spends more and raises the stakes hoping to win even more.
- Lots of losses. If a player starts spending all his or her time on gambling sites making bets, spending money, and hoping to win a jackpot, this will inevitably lead to numerous losses. More importantly, a person who is getting addicted will spend more and more money.
- Understanding. At this stage, a gambler usually realizes that he/she has a gambling addiction. Though a player understands what is going on, he or she cannot overcome it and continues gambling. It should also be noted that a gambler faces a lot of problems, in particular, problems in a relationship, financial problems, etc.
After one understands that it is the addiction, he or she has at least two paths to choose from. We hope that even if you have the addiction, you will choose treatment, not doing nothing with this. However, the desire to overcome this challenge is not enough, no matter how strong it is. That is why it is so important to develop the right strategy and save yourself from lots of negative consequences.
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How to overcome the addiction
If you think that you are addicted or if you know that one of your closest ones has faced problem gambling, you need to understand a few important things. Only if you realize that you cannot do anything right now to help yourself or another person and that the real treatment is needed, you will achieve your goal.
First of all, you need to realize that ultimatums, accuses, conflicts, persuasion, long talks with yourself, or with your friend or with your spouse do not really work, not to mention other extreme measures. This will cause aggression, and even if you are trying to bring yourself to quit by blaming yourself, that will lead to negative consequences.
The second crucial thing you need to consider is that any person who has the gambling addiction cannot cope with this problem without professional assistance. Of course, there are some exceptions, but we recommend you not to assume full responsibility for everything that happens to you, mostly because you never know if you can change your state of mind, and failure will lead to another disappointment. We must also note that a psychiatrist is better than someone who will just listen to you. If you are addicted, you need a professional, a doctor who will really help you, especially if you cannot imagine your life without gambling.
You need to find another hobby. This may sound obvious, but it really can help. If you feel like gambling is the only thing you want to do, try to remind yourself of other things that interested you before. We want to emphasize that this may be anything, from creating paintings to spending more time with children.
Join anonymous groups, call the help centers, find someone who can really help you. The most crucial thing is that nothing is embarrassing about being addicted. This can happen to anyone. Another important thing is you may need the treatment, including medical treatment, help of a professional, experienced psychiatrist, and that is normal.