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I have gambling problems, what can I do?

Gambling addiction or gambling can become a very destructive disease, which can leave the patient and their entire family on the streets. The person with gambling problems cannot resist the urge to continue gambling, which generates large debts and financial problems. If you have gambling problems, we recommend that you seek treatment from professionals to make it easy for you to quit your gambling addiction. Keep reading and you will find some tips that can help you stop being a gambler.

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1.- Accept the problem
The most important step in stopping playing is recognizing that there is a gambling problem that you are not able to control. It takes a lot of courage and bravery to do it, especially when a lot of money has been lost on it, but it is crucial that you recognize this problem exists in order to fix it. “If I have a gambling problem.”

2.- Seek help
If you have decided to stop playing, it is essential to find a trusted person (partner, family member, friend …) to help you. It is important not to lie to the trusted person under any circumstances. Only if you stop lying will you be able to stop playing.

Also, the trusted person can become your salvation when you feel like playing. So, you can call her when you feel the urge to play to help you cope.

Other ways to control the urge to gamble include the following:

Postpone the game. Think that you will play 5, 10 or 60 minutes later. You will see how this wait will decrease your desire to play.
Seek support from family and friends. You can also turn to support groups with people with the same disease.
Clean, go to the gym or go for a walk, watch television … do activities that entertain you to prevent your mind from going to the game all the time.
Avoid isolating yourself, recover your personal relationships or create new ones.
Think about the consequences of playing again and how you will feel if you do.

3.- Control the money
One of the most useful things to stop gambling is to avoid temptation, that is, not having money to play. Block access to all your accounts and money sources. Ditch the cards and don’t borrow money.

Let your trusted person take charge of your money and ration it. A very useful trick is to present the invoice of all the expenses that you have had during the day so that you know where you have spent all your money.

4.- Avoid places related to the game
Minimize the chances of playing to the maximum by avoiding entering places where you have played. Prohibit access to casinos, bingo halls and bars with slot machines, or enter accompanied by your trusted person.

5.- Plan your time and look for new activities
If you don’t have time to play, you won’t. Plan your day with healthy leisure activities that have nothing to do with gambling. Let your life fill with other activities that you have been missing while wasting your time in the game.

6.- Ask for professional help
Gambling, like other addictions, is used by the addict to cover up what he does not like in his life, which is why the help of a professional is necessary to face daily discomforts now that gambling cannot be used.

In addition, on many occasions gambling can trigger or worsen an anxious or depressive disorder in the sick person, which must be put in the hands of an expert.

Visiting a specialized center does not mean that you are weak or unable to control your problems, but rather that you are smart and responsible enough to realize that you need help to solve problems with gambling.

7.- Keep abstinence
Relapses are one of the biggest obstacles to maintaining abstinence. To avoid them, it is essential that you establish certain healthy lifestyle habits that replace gambling. For example, do sports or meditation to relax. Learn social skills that allow you to find new friends to socialize or join an NGO.

Gambling is a very complicated addiction, so it is difficult for a person to stop gambling without receiving help, no matter how much willpower they claim to have.

The causes of gambling tend to be several and it is essential to pay attention to all of them in order to disarm the problem. Furthermore, gambling is associated with certain personality characteristics (immaturity, fears, feelings of inferiority, lack of responsibility…) that must be treated during treatment.

The 24-hour availability of this type of game, the ease of access, the possibility of playing without leaving home or the perception that gambling is an easy way to get money works as aggravating factors of this disease in the youngest.

Gambling addiction can be treated, stopped, and regained.

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