How to Control a Gambling Problem
Gambling can be enjoyable for many people, but it can be a problem for others. When a person cannot stop themselves from gambling and it begins to cause them to experience financial problems, it becomes an addiction. Gambling problems can affect more than just finances. Like any other type of addiction, gambling problems can lead to friction between family members, affect the workplace, and often cause emotional problems for those who experience them. Admit that you have a gambling problem. Before you will be able to control the problem, you will need to be aware of the fact that you actually have one. It is the most important thing that someone with any type of addiction problem can do in order to recover from it or control the problem. Ask friends and family members for their support. One of the biggest mistakes that those close to people with gambling problems make is paying off their debts for them. Letting your family know that you need them to allow you to take responsibility for your own problems is a very important step to controlling a gambling problem. What's even more important is making sure that everyone who is important to you understands that you are making an effort to get help and control the problem. Find ways to keep yourself busy aside from gambling. Instead of going to a local casino, invite one of your friends to go to the mall to catch a movie or spend the day outdoors. Go rent a movie instead of going to buy lottery tickets or play poker at a friend's house. The more that you keep your mind off of gambling, the less likely you will be to gamble. Know your limits. For most people, everything is okay in moderation. Gambling only a few times a year and setting a budget for how much you will spend is ideal. However, it is important to keep in mind that some people cannot handle any amount of gambling. If gambling leads you to want to gamble more, stay away from it altogether. Join a Gamblers Anonymous program. This works just like Alcoholics Anonymous. You will go through a twelve step program where you will deal with your gambling program. To find a program near you, check out the Gamblers Anonymous website, which you will find below. Consider seeing a therapist. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, those who become addicted to gambling may also experience other types of addiction problems, such as drug or alcohol abuse. If this describe you or if Gamblers Anonymous doesn't help, you may want to think about visiting a psychologist to help work on your problems.