Menu

How to Stop Gambling Addiction

How to Stop Gambling Addiction

Online gambling is a thrilling pastime, but it has to be taken in moderation. Gambling for an hour every now and then is a great stress reliever. However, if you or someone you know is starting to lose control and is spending too much on casino sites not on GamStop, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Gambling addiction is a serious issue, one that’s present in roughly 2.8% of the UK population, which is close to 3 million people.

How Do You Know You Have Problems with Gambling?

Here are five simple ways you can tell if you or someone you know is struggling with problematic gambling:

Can’t Stop Talking About Gambling

If you can’t stop talking about gambling, then it’s surely time to quit… or take a break, at the very least. If your thoughts are consumed by gambling, you’re already in too deep and in dire need of a soft reset.

Lying About Gambling Habits

If you find yourself lying about your gambling habits, no matter how innocent or small the lie might be, you’re dealing with a proper issue. These are the first symptoms of gambling addiction, and professional help might be necessary.

Chasing Losses

Chasing losses is when you keep depositing money you can’t afford to lose in the hope of breaking even and winning back the money you’ve already lost. This is a cornerstone symptom – if you start chasing losses, there’s no going back without a serious intervention.

Constantly Asking to Borrow Money

If you ask friends and/or relatives to lend you some money for gambling or paying the bills (after gambling away your bills’ money), no additional words are needed. You get the picture!

Refusing to Accept the Problem

If you don’t accept you have a problem even after assessing these symptoms and finding yourself in them, you already have a serious problem. Immediately start looking for ways to put an end to your problematic gambling habits.

Ways to Stop Your Gambling Addiction

In our experience, there are three legitimate ways to stop gambling addiction. There’s the self-help method, self-exclusion, and the third is based on counselling. Let’s take a closer look!

Self Help

Self-help represents a handful of basic principles that’ll provide much-needed help for taking back control over your gambling habits. The steps of this method are the following:

  • Determine Your Triggers for Gambling
  • Identify Thoughts and Feelings that Lead to Gambling
  • Avoid Situations Connected with Risk
  • Reconsider the Value of Gambling for You
  • Delay the Decision to Gamble
  • Find Healthy Alternatives

Self-Exclusion

UKGC is known for having some of the strictest gambling regulations. A good portion of these regulations are related to player protection and responsible gambling. In our experience, the GamStop framework is by far the best responsible gambling tool present on domestic casinos. Once a player signs up for the GamStop self-exclusion framework, he/she can’t use any UKGC-licenced gambling sites. It doesn’t take a lengthy GamStop overview to understand its benefits. Nevertheless, it has an inherent flaw – GamStop only works on UKGC casinos. Players who want to bypass it can simply use a casino licensed outside of the UK.

Counselling

If you can’t deal with your gambling addiction with basic self-help principles and/or self-exclusion tools, we warmly recommend you seek professional help. Professionals are well aware of the dangers gambling addiction brings to the table, which is why they’ve developed a comprehensive methodology for dealing with said issues.

Professional help for gambling addiction offers much more than once-a-month gamblers anonymous meetings. We advise you to enrol in cognitive-behavioural therapy. If your family is there to help, consider enrolling in family therapy. It’s a lengthy process, but one that might be the only method of pulling yourself out of the slump.

FAQ

I'm worried about someone I care about who gambles excessively. What can I do?

Learning about the symptoms helps a lot. Also, try to understand what’s going on and express your concern to the person in question. If you see no positives after that, actively encourage the person in question to contact professional help. Never lend them money, no matter what promises they make. Lending money will just push them deeper down the rabbit hole.

I'm worried about the withdrawal symptoms. What can I expect?

Symptoms of gambling withdrawal are quite nasty. You’re in for quite a few rounds of irritability, gambling cravings, and the usual anxiety-related problems, including restlessness and difficulty sleeping. Luckily, all these symptoms will begin to fade after a week or so.

Is there a chance I can gamble again in the future?

We’re going to be 100% realistic here – there’s always a chance that you’ll gamble again. However, if you’ve experienced gambling addiction once, a single wager could turn into a full-blown relapse. Take our advice and don’t succumb to the pressure. You’re better than that!

Related Articles

This is our primary guide for tackling gambling addiction. However, we have several equally important pages on related topics. If you’re knees deep into problematic gambling, we warmly recommend you check out the following: