What do you do when your gambling habit becomes much more than just that, and you find yourself thinking about only hitting the next jackpot? How do you beat an addiction like that? There is always a way if you gather enough strength to deal with it. Read our article to learn how.
When a Habit Takes Over Your Life
When you first find yourself in a casino, the thrill immediately washes over you. All those available games, people dressed elegantly, drinks and cigars to spare — All of this gives an allure of luxury. And when you achieve that first win, things are never the same. You will feel like you can do anything. Game by game, round by round, coins keep flowing and the highs and the lows keep you on the edge of your seat. But after the initial drive, as you find yourself thinking only about that next opportunity to try your luck again, the true colours will start to show.
Gambling addiction, also known as a compulsive gambling disorder, is an addiction like any other. It takes over over every single one of your thoughts, and before you know it, you use every chance you get to make a pit stop to a casino for a quick round or two. Being a compulsive gambler is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is quite hard to stop this destructive behaviour. It requires a lot of patience, support from family and friends, as well as therapy with the help of a professional.
How It Starts
There are a lot of ways to easily spot a gambler who has fallen off the grid. It might sound reassuring, but it can help you a lot when you find the problem is within you or someone you love.
People dealing with gambling addiction do not recognize that they might have a problem. It is a part of their everyday life, hence why they’re not aware of the elephant in the room. They experience the urge to gamble in the same way anyone else has the urge to drink water.
At first, it will start slow. Many turn to gambling out of curiosity but end up playing for years because of the thrill that never goes away. Before you know it, you are pulled in much deeper than you initially planned. When you start losing, which is inevitable regardless of the game you choose, you will gamble even harder to get some of that money back. That’s how you get stuck in a never-ending loop of winning and losing over and over again until you are eventually left with nothing.
Being a gambling addict doesn’t mean every single person on the street will immediately recognize it and judge you for it. People who do not spend all of their time playing casino games can still have a problem. When the gambling habit starts to disrupt your everyday life, that’s when you know that this issue has taken its toll.
Feeling powerless is one of the worst things in the world, especially for people with a pathological gambling problem. That’s why they rather choose to dwell in denial than face the ugly truth. But running away from the problem has never helped anyone.
When having a problem like this, you will get easily distracted at work and with your family, or anywhere else except in a casino. That’s when your concentration will be at an all-time high. These kinds of behavioural ups and downs can gravely affect your health, not to mention other parts of your life as well. People that go through these issues experience a higher level of stress, which can lead to problems such as severe cases of anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. All of this can create consequences that often result in loss of a job, and even legal problems.
Never Enough Time
In addition to never having enough money, another problem gamblers experience is often losing track of time. You can spend hours in front of a slot machine or a roulette table, but it will still feel like minutes. Especially if you are not winning and the money is wasting away in front of your eyes. You end up feeling helpless, and the only way to get some of the control back is to constantly raise your bet. This gives you hope that something will change, and the luck will be back on your side.
Before you know it, you will be spending all of your time in a casino, and this will take a toll on your relationships as well. The only interaction many gamblers have with other people is when they are borrowing money. They mostly lie about the reason why they need it, which only makes the problem grow bigger.
The first step is always the hardest, and we cannot stress that enough. Most people find it difficult to admit their troubles. Not only to themselves but to their loved ones as well. But the good thing is that maybe you don’t even have to just yet. There are many organizations such as Gamblers Anonymous who serve that purpose. There, you can meet many people who deal with the same issues you do — No strings attached. You can talk or stay quiet whatever makes you feel more comfortable. Sometimes, just hearing others and knowing that you are not alone can take you a long way.
When you are hesitant of looking for a helping hand, letting it slide might seem like a safer option. You start telling yourself how you can deal with it on your own, that your troubles sleeping or lack of concentration has nothing to do with it. You’re convinced that it will all eventually pass. But fooling yourself won’t get you anywhere. It will only further the damage and prolong the process of healing.
Once you’ve accepted the ugly reality of your situation, you will experience quite a shock when you realize how your behaviour affected the people around you. You might start to resent everything you did in the past — The attraction to casinos and endless time you spent there.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. Though it will initially be quite uncomfortable, you might even feel ashamed of your actions, and you will start to change your way of thinking and doing. You will realize that you can do much better now that you have gone through such difficult times.
Ups and Downs
After your journey of recovery begins, you will have many good and bad days, and they will often be jumbled up. This will create quite a rollercoaster of emotions. Don’t let this defeat you though, there will be plenty of days when you feel proud, happy, and supported. And you should enjoy that.
But when the worst days come knocking, you might feel that all your hard work was for nothing and that giving in is easier. Though you should not listen to those bad voices in your head, you can use them as a tool to fight back. Hardships can make you stronger only if you persist long enough.
Train Your Mind
By dealing with your gambling issues, you can significantly improve other aspects of yourself. Additionally, you can even create new skills that will help you in other parts of your life. Beating an addiction, any addiction, takes a lot of courage and persistence. And this is a quality everyone could benefit from. So by developing those traits, you will only become stronger and more aware of what you can achieve.
Gambling addiction is becoming a serious problem among gamblers worldwide. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible to beat it. Like with any other addiction, there are steps you need to take if you wish to get rid of it. The modern-day society acknowledges this, and it offers different types of therapy and counselling. Additionally, being in a supportive and providing environment is a pretty good step towards recovery.