With the increasing popularity of online casinos and betting sites, online gambling addiction has become a real problem. Many people around the world have been affected, but they never seem to take it seriously. It’s actually a serious problem, but you should still be able to enjoy your favourite casino games. You can avoid online gambling addiction with the right strategies and, of course, some help. Here are a few important points you need to consider beat the cravings:
Choose an online casino that cares about you
This might sound ridiculous, but gambling sites are not that self-centred to let their customers become victims of online gambling addiction. Many online casinos are worried about players who overspend on gambling. These sites usually have a self-exclusion function. The function is an option on a players account that voluntarily (but forcibly) locks players out of their accounts. Most casinos won’t lift self-exclusion for whatever reason until the indicated period lapses.
Confide in people you trust
You can also confide in a family member or friend. This is the first step you should take before seeking professional help. But the problem is that the act of opening to a family member or friend about your growing addiction to online gambling is usually the most challenging part of the whole process.
Unlike other forms of addiction such as alcohol or substance abuse, you cannot see any immediate signs on someone who is suffering from gambling addiction. It is an addiction that cannot be noticed easily and chances are that your confidant may not have noticed. Instead, the signs might have been subtler whereby you may have started withdrawing from social interactions, exhibiting mood swings, or not feeling good about anything.
But when you share the problem, you and your confidant will feel relieved. They might have suspected something was wrong because of your changing behaviour, but now that you have opened up, they will feel better. But they’ll still be worried about you.
Ask someone you trust to help manage your finances for some time
Another problem that exacerbates the secrecy of gambling addiction is that the victims are afraid of being judged or viewed as greedy. So, the next step is being able to overcome the embarrassment and shame and realise that the person you are confiding in will not take it as greed. Relinquish the control of your finances to them for a certain period of time. It doesn’t have to belong. It could be for one month.
By allowing someone to control your finances, whether it is a credit card or a bank account, the burden will have been lifted off your shoulders for some time, and this will make it a lot easier for you to move on. At this point, you may want to consider debt management because unmanaged debt might drive the addictive behaviour of chasing your losses. Loss chasing is one of the most difficult gambling habits to quit.
Find something to keep you busy
The fact that you no longer have access to your online casino account doesn’t mean the cravings to gamble will go away. Just like overcoming any addiction, you’ll experience a period of withdrawal. This is the worst feeling and it tends to be stronger during the first few days or weeks after quitting gambling. So, it is important to keep yourself busy during that period. You may also want to spend time with your friends to distract yourself.
It is vital that you avoid the thoughts of how one more gambling session could win you a lot of money that would solve all your problems. That’s only but a dream. When you have a gambling addiction, your chances of winning are almost zero.
But if you can’t handle the withdrawal and you feel stressed and depressed, then its best to seek the help of a professional. That brings us to the next point.
Many professionals are willing to help you overcome your growing addiction to gambling. You can also join a support or help group for gamblers. There are effective methods that have been proven to address gambling addiction. This includes techniques, plans and other special methods put in place to help people who are affected. Don’t shun away from these useful programs as they can help you to overcome the problem before it gets worse and becomes a pathological nightmare.
Follow the example of others who successfully overcame a gambling addiction
If four weeks have passed without gambling, then you should be feeling better. The desire should have reduced, and if someone has been helping you with your debt, then your finances should be recovering by now.
However, this could also be a difficult time for you considering that it’s not long since you gave up the cravings. To ensure the success of your new endeavour, you should consider following the example of people who successfully avoided gambling addiction, and they are now living a normal life. Keep reminding yourself that there are people who overcame the cravings and it’s possible for you to beat online gambling addiction.
Online gambling addiction is real. But this doesn’t mean you should completely avoid wagering on your favourite online casino games or visiting your local casino to bet on poker or roulette. The main advantage of gambling sites is that some of them have self-exclusion and deposit limits that can help you control your gambling behaviour. But it also comes down to seeking help when you can’t resist the urge to gamble. Good luck!