Gambling, whether you’re playing the slot machines or betting on horse races, can be an exciting and pleasurable experience. However, it can also be an addictive habit. It can be hard to stop gambling once you’re addicted, but there are steps you can take to get your life back on track.
One of the most effective ways to deal with gambling is to get help. Counseling is available from a number of sources. Psychiatrists, psychologists, and even therapists can offer you advice on how to cope with your addiction. There are other options as well, such as volunteering for good causes, joining a support group, or going on a treatment program.
The best way to avoid gambling is to set limits on how much money you spend and how much time you dedicate to gambling. This can be done in several ways, including getting rid of credit cards and setting a limit on how much you’ll spend on online gambling. In addition to restricting your spending, you’ll need to set a maximum loss limit and close any online gambling accounts.
You might want to consider other forms of entertainment, such as watching a movie or spending time with friends. These activities will help you unwind and distract you from your gambling obsession. But gambling will always have an end result, and you need to know how to control that outcome.
Another option is to attend a gambling education class. There are a number of options, such as the Veterans Administration’s New England Mental Illness Research Education Clinical Center and the Donaghue Women’s Health Investigator Program at Yale. Both are supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Getting help is the first step in recovery. Admitting that you have a problem is tough, but it’s important to do so. A supportive family can be one of the most important elements to a successful recovery. Be sure to tell your family and friends how you feel. That way, they can encourage you to seek help.
For example, some organizations offer free counselling to people who suffer from gambling problems. You can also sign up for peer support groups, join a support group for former problem gamblers, or attend an education seminar. All of these activities can be helpful in coping with your gambling addiction.
Other methods to combat your addiction include therapy, lifestyle changes, and prescription medications. Medication may also be used to treat co-occurring conditions.
There are several forms of therapy, which will help you understand why you are betting so much of your hard-earned money. Several options are available, ranging from cognitive-behavioral therapy to group therapy and psychodynamic therapy.
There are also support programs for families who have problems with their gamblers. These are designed to help the entire family work through the issues. Some examples are BetterHelp, a professional online therapy program that matches clients with therapists, and Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous.