Getting rid of gambling addiction is just like stopping any other addiction; it is difficult.
However, few people have succeeded in getting rid of it. For many people, gambling is harmless fun, but it can become a problem if it becomes an addiction.
What is Gambling?
The act of gambling can simply be explained as staking or wagering a sum of money or something that one values to make a profit. The end result of the event of gambling is down to probabilities, so anytime you wish to gamble, you must always have it at the back of your mind that the end result of gambling is binary(You might leave with a lot of money or you might leave with a dry pocket).
Shades of Gambling
We have various forms of gambling; online and offline. Some of which are dice rolling, lotteries, poker games, blackjack, playing casino games, bingo and betting on sports. Whichever form of gambling one engages in does not matter, but like everything in life, it must be done wisely. Gambling, as an activity, itself is not a bad thing and it can be fun. Getting fixated is where a problem comes in.
Why people get addicted to gambling?
- Idleness: Many people are addicted to gambling majorly because they are idle, as an axiom says that an idle hand is the devil workshop. Research done on gambling addictions have pointed to the fact that people who are out of job, work less or u different to work are more addicted to gambling than others.
- Flawed character: Addiction to any vice shows an individual has taints in character. Everyone has one or more particular flaw, however, some people own is gambling, they don’t just know how to say no to gambling.
- Greed: Greed occurs when you always want more and don’t know when to stop. Gambling is an avenue to get what you do not have; therefore greedy people tend to be more addictive to gambling than others.
- Mental problems: Compulsive gamblers have been identified to have health problems, particularly mental ones. Illness likes PTSD and brain tumor have been known to cause people to gamble without succor.
- An individual Age: Addictiveness to gambling is linked to individuals in their early years, particular in their teens to mid-age (estimated 15 to 45).Young people are known to be adventurous; therefore gambling offers them the opportunity to exercise such an adventurous spirit.
- Sex: The male gender has been known to be more addicted to gambling than females. In fact, men outnumber female in all addictiveness. However, females who become addicted to gambling are difficult to convince to stop.
- Having family and friends who gamble: People who have close acquaintances who gamble become more attached to gambling because they surround themselves with people with similar vices.
- Medications: It has been discovered that using some drugs can make you addicted to gambling. Drugs like Dopamine Agonist have a slightly rare ability to make one become a compulsive gambler
- Zodiac signs: For those that engage in palm reading and star forecasting, it has been shown that certain stars are more prone to addictive gambling than others. Individuals with the zodiac signs like Sagittarius and Aries are known to be gambling addicts
Results of gambling addiction
If you have gambling addictions, it may result in some or all of the following complications:
- Problems in a relationship: When you are addicted to gambling, then you may begin to carry some of the problems to your spouse and family. Instead of spending quality time at home with friends and family, you spend most of the time playing bets and chasing winnings. The lost time spent in gambling house will affect your relationship adversely.
- Monetary problems: Gambling addiction will ultimately lead to financial issues. This is because in gambling the house always wins, but an individual will use funds he/she should have invested in fertile business to gamble. 95% of the time, gambling addiction leads to financial bankruptcy for an individual. A once rich and wealthy man suddenly becomes a pauper.
- Leads to Legal problems/Imprisonment: Most people use other peoples money to gamble and by doing this, it leads to financial recklessness which may lead to jail time. The internet is filled with stories of people who because of their inability to restrain themselves from gambling used cooperative money to wager and lost shamelessly. Such people will be subject to several lawsuits from the owners of the funds
- Health problems: Individuals who gamble compulsively always end up on the wrong side of their health. You can never be of good health when you spend all days gambling away hard-earned funds. Gambling addiction eventually leads to depression, high blood pressure, stress and ultimately stroke.
- Job loss or low performance: An addict to gambling if he/she does not have a change of heart will always have issues with the job and boss. He will always be late to work and forget to finish his work because his mind is always on making quick money via gambling. His persistence in his approach to work will cost him his job.
- Suicide: An addict is sure to have financial issues, family issues and job loss. When one or all three happen to them, they might start to contemplate ending their life to stop the shame and pain. If care is not taken, an addict will eventually be a suicide victim.
How to Stop Gambling
- Always be engaged: It is said that an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. Therefore, to avoid being tempted, make sure you have a job (paid or voluntary) at hand. It is not easy to stop an addiction when you have started, however it will be of great help if you are always engaged in one activity or the other to forestall a relapse.
- Stay away from friends/close acquaintances that gamble: This does not mean you should be rude or shut-out friends that gamble, what this implies is that you make more effort to be around people that will not let you gamble if you have friends that gamble, minimize physical contact with them. Don’t let their light rekindle yours. Move with positive-minded people that will make you forget gambling as a whole.
- Find an alternative: For those without jobs, who indulge in gambling to pass away time, you can kindly find another alternative to gambling. If you are religious, a good option is getting involved in your religious activities; doing community service, writing, meditation classes are also some of the available alternatives to gambling which will be beneficial to you in the long run.
- Stay away from triggers: Stay away from anything that makes you think you should gamble. Some of these triggers are betting sites or betting companies. Block all betting sites from your phone or laptop, also you should stop passing by or visiting casinos or betting houses for any business. Stay clear of any environment will likely you gamble again.
- Put someone else in charge of your money: Some people are naturally not good at handling money for long. If all you think about to do when you have money is gamble, then you need a new finance manager. Also make sure you stop having plenty cash at hand. Appoint a trusted friend or family member or employ a professional to manage your finances for you.
- Admit you have a gambling problem: An important step in stopping gambling is to admit you have a gambling addiction. Stop lying to yourself that you have it under control. Admit your character flaw and let your family members and loved one knows. It is the first step to stop gambling addiction.
- Read books on gambling addiction: Gambling addiction is a flaw that won’t be overcome easily, therefore it is always advisable to arm oneself before fighting such battle. There are several books available offline and online about ways to stop gambling. You need to get some of these books.
- Talk to a counselor or psychiatrist: Apart from speaking to a family member or friend, it is always advisable to talk to a third party particularly an expert who is experienced in handling such cases like gambling and vice addictions. Although such personnel may not be free and will not come cheap, it will be worth it.
- Join addiction support groups: Apart from your session with the counselor, it is advisable to join a support group, particularly the ones that have to do with gambling addictions. It is advisable to see other people with such a problem and learn how they were able to overcome such addictions. To find such groups, you can ask your counselor or look online for these groups, it goes a long way in mitigating your problem.
If you are addicted to gambling, there is always a way out. It requires hard work and perseverance. If you are willing to commit time and funds to it, you can get your life back from gambling addiction. Don’t lose hope, time heals everything.