How to Overcome Gambling Addiction

Gambling is a dangerous habit that can lead to serious health, family and financial problems. Those who suffer from gambling addiction can be at risk of substance abuse, depression and even suicide. However, there are ways to overcome addiction and learn to control the urges that cause gambling. One way is to seek help from a professional, such as a psychologist or therapist. Those with severe addiction may need inpatient treatment or rehabilitation.

Identify triggers and avoid them. Try to identify and alter unhealthy thought patterns that encourage gambling, such as the illusion of control, irrational beliefs and the gambler’s fallacy (believing that you are due for a win). Also, try to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose and never use funds needed to pay bills or rent.

It’s best to play only a few games at a time to keep your focus. This will make it easier to concentrate and improve your chances of winning. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by too much gambling, take a break or set a timer for yourself to limit how long you can gamble. This will also help you budget your spending so that you don’t spend more than you can afford.

Don’t get sucked into playing superstitious games like slots, roulette and blackjack. Online casinos and games such as these are all powered by random number generators, meaning that the outcome of each spin, deal or roll is completely dependent on chance. You can’t predict which numbers will appear, so don’t become a superstitious and start betting on them.

Know your limits and stick to them. It’s important to only gamble with money that you can afford. When you’re feeling pressure to spend more than you should, put the rest of your money in an envelope for the day and only allow yourself to gamble with that amount. You can also try setting a specific gambling limit each day, such as $10.

Stay away from alcohol, which can increase your impulsiveness and encourage risky behavior. You can also practice mindfulness, which has been shown to reduce stress and increase positive moods. Additionally, consider starting a gratitude journal or writing down everything you’re thankful for each day to boost your positivity and shift away from maladaptive coping behaviors.

It’s important to surround yourself with people who support your recovery. It can also be helpful to find a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. These groups can help you build a strong foundation for recovery and provide the support and structure necessary to maintain it. You can also seek counseling, including marital and family therapy as well as career and credit counseling. This will help you repair your relationships and work through the problems caused by gambling addiction. You can also attend a rehab program, which will provide you with round-the-clock support and intensive treatment. This is an option for those with severe gambling addictions who cannot stop gambling despite attempts to do so at home or in a self-help program.