Most times, the line between problem gambling and gambling for fun becomes blurry. Though both circumstances are different, you can’t help but wonder where one can quickly draw the line. When does gaming move from being a recreational activity to being a problem? When it does become a problem, do you need a residential program or a support group? What’s the duration? Do I need to involve my friends and family?
There are lots of questions that need clear answers when a gambler is seeking for help. Meanwhile, there is one thing that we all need to keep in mind, and that is the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Do qualitative research on the options you have and keep a note of these mistakes to help you get through the steps you take towards recovery.
Looking for a “one-size-fits-all’ program
Gambling’s side effects are enormous. The impact is felt by the gambler’s family, friends, his/her health, financial status, and career. For a practical solution, look for programs that make use of a holistic approach. They deal with all the ripple effects caused by one’s compulsive gambling—Opt-in for a program that focuses on helping you develop new habits. A holistic program needs to have a ‘360’ knowledge of gambling while having the capability to address the underlying issues.
40% of people struggling with gambling addiction are struggling with anxiety. 60% with PD (Personality Disorder), while 50% have mood disorders. These people are also 2.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than a regular person.
Not knowing the right time to ask for help
One of the major mistakes made by gambling addicts is not knowing when to seek help. You don’t have to wait to be at a point in your life before asking for help. It’s never too late or too early to reach out. If you think you or somebody you know is struggling with gambling addiction, then it’s time to talk with a professional.
If you aren’t a compulsive gambler, then you’ll know the right time to stop gambling. It would be best if you backed off when you reach a certain threshold. Compulsive gamblers, on the other hand, however, can get that “high” even when they are losing. They exceed their limit and have a distorted judgment – it’s at this point they start to chase their loss. They get the same feeling when they win too.
Expecting Instant Recovery
No solution in the world is instant. Addiction recovery is not about getting rid of the addiction instantly. Its more about developing the right mindset, having the proper knowledge, and being able to cope with the crisis while creating a better version of oneself. Gambling addiction recovery takes time – the healing process takes years. When trying to break an old habit, you need to gradually fade it out and replace it with a positive one. Gambling addiction includes mental or financial issues, recovering from all that requires time.
Most gambling problems won’t stop instantly. It is quite similar to drug and alcohol abuse. Recovery is possible, but first, you have to be mentally prepared.
Not doing it because you want to
Some gambling addicts seek help not because they see their current situation as a problem but because their family and friends want them to. No doubt, family and friends’ support is essential, but you won’t go far if you aren’t doing it for you. Forcing someone to do something they ought to do on their own, especially when seeking help, won’t change a thing. For someone to heal, they need to acknowledge their problem.
Knowing the right support group to join
There are therapists professionally trained to help you through your recovery state, and there are support groups. These groups let you contextualize your problem and see it from another point of view. Sharing your experiences with others who can easily relate is a beautiful experience. The environment feels safe, and you need not worry about people judging your past because they share similar experiences with you.
Gambling addiction affects people from all works of life as it doesn’t discriminate. Our organization focuses on gambling addiction, so we understand the experiences of people struggling with it.
Correct approaches for treating compulsive gambling.
There are some things you need to do if you wish to get your life back on track. Here are some tips to help you.
- It would help if you were sincere with yourself. Ask personal questions, and if you’ve ever had the slightest hint that you might have problem gambling, then it’s time to take action. Is the addiction causing friction between you and your loved ones? Are you having financial troubles as a result of your gambling activities?
- Talk about your problems. Once you’ve recognized your problem, then you need to talk to someone about it. Your best bet is to talk about it anonymously. That way, you don’t have to worry about people judging you.
- Next, talk about your problems with your loved ones (family and friends). It is incredibly difficult to open up to someone who has a stake in your behavior. Your healing often starts at this point.
- Look for healthier outlets for relieving challenging emotions. Gambling is commonly used as a coping mechanism; what if you look for a positive medium?
Compulsive gambling is nasty. It drains your happiness, finances, hope, and leave you empty and damaged. It can leave a hole in your pocket (metaphorically speaking) and put you in severe and unwarranted debts.
However, there is hope, and it starts with you acknowledging that you have an addiction problem. Taking the steps that we’ve highlighted above will be a lot helpful. Avoiding the common mistakes that we’ve shared will help you tremendously. First, take action, and every other thing will fall in place. We wish you the best of luck on your path to recovery.