How to Treat Your Gambling Problems
Addiction is never easy to overcome, no matter if you are addicted to an activity or substances such as opioids, nicotine or alcohol. There is always light at the end of the tunnel though, and hundreds of thousands of addicts over time have successfully overcome their addictions and returned to leading a ‘normal life’.
If you feel you are a problem gambler, or if you feel you are gambling too much and you want to spend less time and/or money gambling, then there are several ways that you can get help to overcome your gambling problem. It is often easier to get help from third-parties for you to cease your problem gambling and indeed that is something that we here at NewCasinos.org recommend that you do, but we also recognise that not everybody is built in the same way. There are methods outlined below that will help you deal with problem gambling yourself, but we stress that if you find these methods ineffective, you need to ‘bite the bullet’ and get the help you need.
It may help you recognise that you have a relationship with gambling, and that relationship has – like many relationships we experience throughout our lives – turned sour. To overcome your problem relationship, you need to rebuild it or, as is more likely, recognise that this relationship is not for you and bring it to a beneficial conclusion.
You cannot get anywhere unless you acknowledge that you have a problem.
If you break your leg, it’s pretty obvious that something is wrong. There’s the intense pain and the inability to use it. Few people break a leg but claim nothing is wrong and then try and carry on as normal.
It’s very different from problem gambling – most people with a broken leg don’t find having a broken leg pleasurable. Yet, most people with gambling problems still find that gambling is pleasurable, which is why many problem gamblers refuse to accept that they do actually have a gambling problem.
Problem gambling is a psychological problem more than anything. If you are a problem gambler, then your brain has probably become accustomed to the ‘pleasure’ chemicals released while you are gambling, regarding them as essential. Most addictions – such as opioid addiction – work in precisely the same way. This means that your compulsions to gamble are so strong you find it almost impossible not to gamble.
This means that gambling is more than simply a pastime for you – it’s an essential part of your life, and because of this, it may be hard for you to acknowledge that you have a gambling problem at all even if it is obvious that you do.
In other articles in this section, we have explained how you can work out whether you have a gambling problem. We suggest you look at these articles if you feel you may have a problem with your gambling.
No matter what – you will not get anywhere unless you recognise that you have a gambling problem, and that is a big step, but it is one that you need to take. It is only then that you can address your problem gambling and get the help that you need.
Beginning the process of solving your gambling problem.
Most people who are not addicted to gambling feel that solving problem gambling is easy – stop gambling. ‘Cold turkey’ is one way that many people do stop problem gambling. They place a bet, decide that they’ve had enough, and never place a single bet ever again. If this works for you then brilliant, but for many problem gamblers ‘cold turkey’ is simply not something that will work.
For most people, a different method of overcoming problem gambling is a necessity. One method is based on three stages, as expressed below.
The first stage of overcoming problem gambling is to take time out and think – carefully and considerately – what your gambling is doing to your life.
- Has it affected relationships with people who are close to you? Then you need to start rebuilding those relationships.
- Are you in debt because you’ve borrowed money to fund your gambling? Then you need to start plans so that you can start to pay that money back.
- Have you committed crimes to fund your gambling? Then you need to own up and accept the consequences of your actions.
This can be hard to do, but he’s the crucial crux – no matter how low a point you have reached in your life because of problem gambling, if you continue to ignore the problem, you will only sink lower. When the time comes for recovery, it will be more difficult for you to recover, the lower you sink. Every problem gambler will eventually reach their bottom point – when they cannot source any money or their crimes are found out – and the ‘higher’ that bottom point the ‘easier’ it is for a problem gambler to recover. You should certainly never wait until you get to the point where you cannot source any money or your crimes – if you have committed them – are found out.
If you acknowledge that you have a problem and begin to take responsibility for your actions, then once you are past that first hurdle, you may be amazed about how differently you feel about your gambling. Simply acknowledging that you have a problem can galvanise you into doing something about it, leading to the next stage …
In the 700s BC, the Chinese began to build an immense wall across their northern border to prevent invasions from nomadic armies. When those armies knocked down sections of the wall, did the Chinese simply give up and say ‘well, that worked for a bit, but not now’. Of course not – they simply rebuilt the wall. The same goes for you and problem gambling. Problem gambling has knocked down sections of your life. To get your life back on track, you need to undertake a rebuilding process.
Rebuilding your life may seem difficult after a period of problematic gambling, but it certainly is not impossible. You probably were a decent person before you fell into the trap of problematic gambling, and you need to rebuild that person as you recover. The rebuilding process is very much one of personal growth – you need to find rewarding and unproblematic ways of filling the time you spend gambling and the enjoyment you gained from it. Happily, there are countless ways you can do this, as the world is full of time-consuming activities that are of much more benefit to you than experiencing the pain of problematic gambling.
Financially, help is always available to enable you to repay the debts you have amassed. If you have maxed out your credit cards, then explain your current situation to your credit providers. Your credit providers should help you find ways of making manageable repayments. They want their money back after all and will accept reasonable payments terms that you can manage.
If you cannot afford to make the repayments, then bankruptcy is a possibility. This means that the reimbursement of your creditors will be taken out of your hands. This is an ultimate step though as a result of bankruptcy, you may lose any assets you own, including your home. Your creditors should work with you to prevent you from having to take such an extreme step, as bankruptcy will mean that you will only get back a fraction of the money that you owe to them.
Once you have been placed back on an even financial keel, you will start to feel a whole lot better. Dealing with debts is stressful, and if you have found agreements to allow you to settle your debts, you will feel less anxious about your financial future. You feel better as you will see that your future is no longer as black as you thought it once was.
Finally, once you feel a little more confident in yourself, you will need to begin to rebuild the relationships that have been damaged as a result of your problematic gambling. These may be with your spouse, your children, your family, your friends and your colleagues. It is a sad fact of life though some relationships are irrevocably damaged by problematic gambling, and cannot be fixed no matter how much effort is put in. In this case, the best thing to do is to accept the loss and move on. One thing to remember though – if people see that you are making a genuine effort to deal with your problem gambling issues, they are more likely to allow you back into their lives.
The most important thing to remember through the rebuild stage is that things will not return to normal in the blink of an eye – it takes time, and it’s time you must be willing to give up. You cannot force people to forgive you, and if you push them, they may never do so. In this situation, patience is most definitely a virtue.
Most people reach rock bottom at some stage in their lives … they look ahead can see nothing but problems ahead of them, and they don’t know what they can do and who they can turn to. The vast majority of people who do reach rock bottom, when they turn back and reflect on such a desperate period of their lives all tend to agree … they have become a better person because of the experience.
The option of becoming a better person is an option available to everyone every day. If you have managed to overcome your problem gambling, you have shown you can become a better person – you identified and acknowledged that you had a problem and took steps to deal with it.
Facing such a problem and having the wherewithal to deal with it shows how strong a person you can be if you put your mind to it. Your potential is now much less limited, and there’s a whole world of possibilities out there for you. Your experience with being a problem gambler has made you a stronger person, and you are free to enjoy life without the burden of your gambling resting upon your shoulders.
The problem with solving problematic gambling – lapses and relapses
Nobody is perfect. If someone claims they are perfect then either they are deluded, or they are lying! Alcoholics fall off the wagon. People who have quit smoking take a cigarette. Drug users who are clean start using narcotics. It’s all part of being human as human beings are imperfect creatures.
If you have solved all your problem gambling issues but then start gambling again, it is important not to think of yourself as a failure. Some people dealing with their gambling issues are too frightening, so they continue to gamble even if they have breaks from gambling that last days, weeks, months or even years.
If this describes you, then taking a cyclical approach to solving your gambling problem may benefit more. Instead of dealing with all the fall out from your problem gambling, you make continuous changes to the way you behave. Once you have gone through this cycle several times, you will find that your problem gambling has been dealt with.
There are six stages to this process:
You do not understand that your gambling is problematic. You do not see why you should change your behaviour as it is beneficial to you. You have no plans to stop gambling.
You are beginning to understand that your gambling is problematic. You can see that changing your behaviour could be beneficial to you. You begin to make plans to stop or decrease your gambling.
You begin to reduce your gambling. You reduce it daily intending to stop gambling altogether within one calendar month or so.
You have stopped gambling.
You have stopped gambling for a prolonged period. You have no intention ever to start gambling again.
You live out the rest of your life without ever gambling again.
People with any kind of addiction will recognise this process. This is not an easy route to take, and in truth, very few people ever make it to the ‘termination’ stage – but that is okay because as long as you reach the maintenance stage, you are at least not gambling.
Also, it is not a straight path from ‘pre-contemplation’ to ‘termination’ for many people. Most people will reach one stage only to slip back one or two stages. Some people will fall back from ‘maintenance’ to ‘pre-contemplation’ and have to start the whole process all over again. It is simply part of being human that we make mistakes, and no one can ever expect to be perfect.
Some people simply do not want to make it anyone else’s business that they have a gambling problem, but they do recognise that they need help, so they decide to deal with it themselves. Although this is one of the most difficult ways to overcome problems gambling, it is still possible to do so.
Many problem gamblers can come to terms with the fact that they have a gambling problem, but they cannot come to terms with the idea that to get the help that they need they have to ‘force’ their gambling problems on their friends and family. For them, their gambling and their gambling problems are a personal thing. It is a problem that they have created and a problem that they need to sort out. Others may not wish to burden their friends further because they need to sort out their gambling problems. Some people simply may not want to be helped by the people closest to them.
If you feel you would like to attempt to solve your gambling problems on your own, then here are some steps we can suggest you take to enable you to do that.
The majority of (but not all) online casinos will offer the facility for you to limit the sizes of your bets or your deposits, or to exclude for a period of time or forever. You might like to consider this something should you feel you are spending too much time gambling but are too ‘afraid’ to cut off your gambling altogether.
A period of self-exclusion can be an eye-opening exercise. If you cannot gamble for a period then when you reach that period’s end and you’ve no compulsion to gamble, it’s probably best that you move on and spend your time doing other things. If, however, you spent your entire excluded time frustrated that you couldn’t gamble and you were marking off the days of your ‘ban’ on a calendar, then that might be a sign that you have deeper gambling problems that you were willing to admit to.
Some people may be asking the question ‘what’s the point of self-excluding at one online casino when I can switch to a different online casino and gamble there?’. If this describes your thinking, then perhaps you ought to consider more resilient tools. You can use apps such as BetBlocker, Gamban and Net Nanny to limit your access to online gambling. These work by monitoring your internet usage and preventing you from accessing any site that’s thought to be in relation to online gambling. Of these Net Nanny is the best, but it also the most expensive.
Of course, such tools will not do all the work for you. It does not matter if an alcoholic is banned from all pubs, bars and shops selling alcohol in their local area – if they want alcohol badly enough, they will find a way to source it. Even if online routes to gambling are curtailed for a problem gambler, there is still the real world. Gaming terminals are available in many towns and cities on the planet, like bricks and mortar sportsbooks and bookmakers. Exclusion is as much your responsibility as the people who offer any kind of gambling service.
Finding alternatives to gambling
For many people, gambling began as a means for them to fill a little bit of their time to thwart boredom. It soon became a means for them to fill a lot of their time – to the point where they abandoned their other typical activities to enable them to gamble.
If you were spending a lot of time gambling, you would need to find something to replace that time. If you can’t, you will grow bored and revert to the one thing you previously used to fill your time – gambling.
If you are struggling to think of ways to fill your time think back to what you used to do before you fell afoul of problematic gambling … we are guessing that you didn’t spend all your spare time sitting down, twiddling your thumbs. Think back to what you used to do and what you used to enjoy before your life became too much about gambling. Perhaps you will rediscover an old hobby.
We will not patronise you here and suggest you join a gym or go for long country walks instead of gambling. You know yourself best, and you know the kind of activities you are likely to find appealing. Explore any possibilities, and enjoy the time that you now have free to experience them.
Finding non-addictive alternatives to gambling
You may wonder why some people never get addicted to anything. The truth is, everyone’s brain is wired differently. Some people are much more prone to addiction than others. It’s is how your brain interprets the risk and reward cycle, and how sensitive it is to the chemicals released when you experience a pleasurable sensation.
This means that you are likely to become addicted to other things if you are a problem gambler. This does not mean you will become an alcoholic as soon as you stop gambling … it just means that you are more likely to become obsessed with activities you take up as an alternative to gambling. It can be hard to find something to channel your gambling energies towards once you’ve stopped gambling appropriately. Still, as long as you keep an eye on how much time you are spending on any new activity, you will learn how to adopt something that does not completely take over your life.
How to make money gambling
This is probably the moment – as a problem gambler – you’ve been waiting for. We will let you in on the secret of how to actually make money gambling as many people have done. All you need to do is open a casino, a sportsbook, or create an online slots software company. In short, you need to jump over the fence and see the gambling world from the other side.
Of course, we are not really recommending that you open a casino. We are trying to illustrate to you that there really is only one way to make money gambling, and that’s by not gambling and offering gambling services instead. As UK journalist Jeffrey Barnard once said: “in most betting shops, you will see three windows marked ‘Bet Here’, but only one window with the legend ‘Pay Out’.”
The unfortunate thing for you – as a problem gambler – is that while most people can gamble for entertainment purposes (and understand that their gambling will never cause their bank accounts to explode with cash), you are not in such a fortunate position. Problem gamblers gamble for the thrill of gambling, but always at the back of their minds, there’s the sure-fire certainty that their massive payday will one day arrive. For nearly all gamblers, that day never arrives.
There is no need to beat yourself up about this misconception as it is part of human nature to over-estimate the chances of something actually occurring. For example, millions of people in the USA buy lottery tickets in the hopes of winning the PowerBall jackpot at odds of 292 million to one. If you buy a PowerBall lottery ticket and then go and grab a can of soda out of a vending machine, then it is more than twice as likely that the vending machine will fall over and crush you to death then you will win the lottery. Despite this, more people believe they will win the lottery than believe they will die in a vending machine crushing incident!
This may seem frivolous, but once you accept that you will NOT make loads of money via gambling, then you will have taken a massive step upon your road towards problematic gambling recovery.
If you are still not convinced then here’s something else – gambling games are designed to make you think that you CAN win money when they are designed to make you lose money over the long term. Every gambling game has a ‘house edge’ – the advantage the house has over the player. There is no such thing as a ‘player edge’ – casinos would not offer any games with a ‘player edge’. This house edge is kept at a level to make players win only slightly less than they lose so that they keep on playing. If you win 49 hands of blackjack out of 100, your brain will make you think that you are doing well, even though you are still losing.
There is the emotional side of problematic gambling too. Poker plays call this ‘tilting’ – where your emotions take over your decision making. Successful poker players are all expert mathematicians who can judge their betting ratio to the odds of them winning. If they start to hammer in more chips than they should, then they have gone ‘on tilt’ and are on their way to a loss.
Because of this, one of the most common responses to a losing streak is to increase bets or to keep betting, almost at random, until a player’s bankroll is exhausted. If a sports bettor bets on five races and doesn’t back one single winner, then the chances are they will back a long-shot in the final race to ‘win back’ what they have lost. It’s a long-shot that hardly ever (if ever) comes in.
There is only one proper reaction to a losing streak, and that’s to walk away. If you begin a playing session at blackjack with $100 and only $20 left after ten minutes, then the correct thing to do would be to walk away … you would still have $20, after all. In most cases, though, people in this situation will simply keep on playing until they have nothing left.
Gambling is not a way to make money.
Fighting gambling cravings
The brain has a fantastic system for getting you to do what is of immediate benefit to it. For example, if you touch something with your hand that is so hot that it damages your skin, your brain will send out pain signals. This will encourage you to move your hand away from the source of heat.
As we have explained before, if you are a problem gambler, then your brain has become accustomed to the chemicals released by the ‘joy’ that gambling brings you. Your brain ‘wants’ those chemical reactions and doesn’t like it is not getting them because you are not gambling. Therefore, it has a sneaky way of ‘persuading’ you to gamble so that it can get its chemical fix – it sends out new, hard-to-resist signals. You will recognise those signals as cravings.
This is identical to ALL addictions. People quitting smoking receive tobacco-related cravings. Alcoholics receive alcohol-related cravings. People trying to quit opioids receive opioid-related cravings. Cravings are like pain signals – you can only make them go away if you remove their source. In terms of problematic gambling, you can only do that by starting to gamble again.
This is where overcoming problem gambling gets tough. Cravings can be tough to deal with. Imagine having an itch and not being able to scratch it, or have stood on a thumb-tack and not being able to pull it out. It is a lot easier to scratch the itch or pulls out the thumb-tack on both such occasions. With problem gambling, you must resist your cravings else you will find yourself back on the very path you are trying to free yourself from.
Everyone deals with their cravings differently. Here are some things you might like to try to deal with your gambling cravings.
Count to ten
Not literally, but just as you are advised to ‘count to ten’ when the first flush of anger takes over when you feel the urge to gamble, just promise to give yourself ten minutes. Remove yourself from a potential source of gambling – go for a quick walk or watch something on TV. It is amazing how different you may feel if you just give yourself ten minutes to subside your cravings.
Many smokers adopt this policy when the cravings for a cigarette take over. Even if though cravings only slightly subside over ten minutes, it leads to the thinking: “If I can survive ten minutes without a cigarette, then I can survive another ten minutes without a cigarette.” You may be able to adopt the same brand of thinking when dealing with your gambling cravings.
If you are experiencing gambling cravings, then visualise how you have felt during the worst moments of your gambling. Perhaps you experienced a massive loss or felt really, really bad after a prolonged bout of gambling. Try and remember how bad you felt at that time, and how awful it would feel to have to experience those feelings again. Now weigh those feelings up against the relief you’d feel if you started gambling again. Hopefully, you will recognise that relieving cravings is not worth the pain of experiencing the worst times when you were gambling.
Have a chat
The best way to curtail gambling cravings is to divert your attention from them totally, and the best way of doing that is to involve someone else. Pick up the phone and chat to a friend, or arrange a coffee or some kind of get together. Go to a local café or restaurant where you are friendly to the owners or staff. Any place really where you can talk to someone. You will be amazed at how easily distracted you will become if your thoughts are currently occupied by someone else. You won’t have time to experience the cravings.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up.
Lots of people cave in to cravings because they want to ‘punish’ themselves for experiencing them. They also want to ‘punish’ themselves for falling foul of problematic gambling in the first place, which they do by gambling more. This might sound paradoxical, but it’s one of the most insidious ways in which addiction works.
If you do cave in, then you mustn’t be too hard on yourself. This is common with people who lose a lot of weight … they have a bad day in which eat far too much, feel bad about themselves, so they cheer themselves up by doing the one thing that is guaranteed to bring them joy … they overeat.
Just because you have failed once doesn’t automatically mean that you will fail again, and even if you fail a few times, it doesn’t mean that you cannot ever defeat problematic gambling. Returning to our dieting analogy, if you ask any successful dieter how many times they tried to lose weight and failed, the answer will surprise you. Many dieters go on countless diets and fail until they go on a diet they finally succeed.
Find What Works For You
Everyone is different, and what works for someone might have absolutely no effect on you. You must try multiple techniques to find a way to overcome any gambling cravings you will experience. Make sure you explore all steps possible so you resist any urges to start gambling that you will no doubt experience.
Getting out of debt
Gambling is, of course, irrevocably connected with money, and problematic gambling is irrevocably connected with the loss of money. If you have fallen into debt because of your problematic gambling, you will need to start paying that money back. The good news is that as you are no longer gambling, you will have more money available to settle your debts.
If you can see no way to settle your debts, you need to seek advice. Approach everyone to whom you owe money and discuss ways in which you can replay the money back. People and companies will often be willing to negotiate about payment plans; else the alternative would be for you to be declared bankrupt after which they would only see a small proportion of what you owe returned to them.
Sadly, if you have broken the law to fund your gambling, then you will have no option but to own up to what you have done. Approach a solicitor or any kind of legal representative and explain in full what you have done. They will advise you on the steps you need to take to make right what you have done, and they will represent your best interests. This can be the hardest part of facing up to gambling issues, but if you have acted illegally, ignoring what you have done or trying to ‘get away with it’ will only make things worse. Do not try and run away from your responsibilities as they will have a way of catching up to you, and the consequences will be dire.
Getting Help from Friends and Family
If you decided one day to get up off your sofa and go and climb Mount Everest, then which of these scenarios do you think would give you the best chance of succeeding – going alone or going with a support crew? Most people would choose the latter, and that same goes for solving your gambling addiction problems. You can go it alone, but it usually better if you find support.
If you keep trying to win this battle on your own and keep failing, then the time really has come to get support. There are three levels of support, and we will look at each of them in turn:
- Family and friends
- People overcoming their gambling problems
- Professional help
We must reiterate the importance of not blaming yourself or punishing yourself for your gambling problems. You simply have the kind of brain that is sensitive to the pleasure that gambling can bring. As you did not choose your brain when you were born, you cannot be blamed … although you can be blamed if you are well aware you have a destructive gambling problem, and you choose to do nothing about it.
Family and friends
Family and friends are the people we most frequently turn to when we experience any kind of problem, from relationship break ups to physical health problems. As these people are the people closest to you, they are also likely to be the people most affected by your gambling. This means they are the people most likely to want to help you when you tell them you need help in overcoming your problematic gambling.
The first step you can take is to spend as much time with your friends and family as possible. Obviously, if you have friends who gamble, it may be unwise to spend time with them, but otherwise, you should try and fill your time with people you enjoy spending time with. You will do well to remember that there was a time in your life before you started gambling. If you built up relationships during that time (as most people do), then the time has come to rekindle them. If you have grown estranged from loved ones, then you need to start building bridges again. You may have lost a lot of trust from people in you because of your problem gambling, so re-establishing your trust will not be a simple, ‘click of the fingers’ solution. Don’t get impatient with people, as they are the one who has done nothing wrong.
You may have to accept that some people will have built a fence between you and them during your problematic gambling period, and it will be a fence that they will steadfastly refuse to tear down. In such cases, you must simply respect that you’ve hurt them too much for the wounds to heal, and move on.
If you are struggling for friends, then don’t forget about 7.8 billion people. You can always make new ones.
If you as a family face issues because of problematic gambling, then family therapy should be something to consider. Then are plenty of organisations available that offer family support in times of trouble, no matter the source of any problems.
People overcoming their gambling problems
Often, as a problem gambler, you feel so alone. You feel that you alone have gotten yourself into this mess and it is up to you alone to get you out of it. These are false feelings – there are hundreds of people in the same boat as you.
It is human nature to seek kindred spirits as it gives every individual a collective resolution. Flat-earthers feel more empowered in the 2000s as the internet gives them easy access to people with identical delusional thoughts. No one likes to be singled out, which is why seek people with whom we share a certain affinity.
You can now find people just like you who are working to deal with their gaming problems just the same as you are, from the comfort of your own home. Hunt around online and you should soon find a forum or support network for problem gamblers. You’ll be amazed at how useful and inspiring you will find it to associate with people who are trying to deal with problematic gambling.
Once you have talked to people online, you may find this gives you the strength to want to talk to people in the real world too. No matter where you live, there is likely to be some manner of support group. Even if there is not one local to you, then there may be one for people struggling with any kind of addiction. Recovery from any kind of addiction has the same basis – the struggle to abstain from the concept of what you are addicted to. You have more in common with someone struggling with, for example, alcohol addiction, than you may realise.
Even if you’ve never touched a drop of alcohol in your life, you’ve probably heard of Alcoholics Anonymous. You may not have heard of Gamblers Anonymous though. This organisation aims to help gambling addicts precisely the same way that AA aims to help people who have resolved to cease drinking.
In all these aspects, Google is your friend. There are many organisations out there you can turn to when you need help with your problematic gambling, and finding them is a lot easier than you think.
If you failed to go it alone and find that talking to family, friends, and fellow problematic gamblers are not helping, then the time has perhaps come to seek professional help. There are countless trained professionals out there who have made it their life’s work to help people experiencing problem gambling issues.
You may feel that problematic gambling is an easy thing to understand – you enjoy gambling but to the point at which it ruins multiple other aspects of your life – but often problematic gambling is much deeper than that. A trained professional will talk to you and work with you to understand why you have fallen foul of problematic gambling.
With their help, you may fully understand the many negative aspects your gambling has brought to your life. You will be able to come up with working techniques to control your gambling cravings, giving you the chance to win your battle against gambling have caused you.
You may even learn reasons for your gambling that you may not have considered. For example, perhaps you have been using your gambling as a means of ignoring an unrelated issue in your life? Perhaps you feel you need to earn lots of money – more than you can reasonably spend – because of pressure placed upon you by others and you use gambling as a false method of earning that money? Perhaps you use the ‘joy’ of gambling as self-medication in dealing with some aspect of your life that you currently feel is unpalatable.
Talking to a professional counsellor or psychotherapist could bring you massive dividends in your fight against your problematic gambling. If you find a deep-seated issue for your gambling problems, you could solve your gambling issues by solving that issue.
For some people, they cannot help but gamble. The gambling virus has gotten such a stranglehold that they cannot be helped in the normal way. You could show them all their credit cards bills, and point out the damage they have done to the important relationships in their lives yet as soon as your back is turned, they will gamble. Is this describes you then again, you do not need to blame yourself for your actions, but you do need to get professional help, and you need to get professional help now.
For such people, residential care is the sole solution. You will spend a limited period in your life dealing with your gambling problems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be under professional care all the time. People will work with you constantly to help you find ways of overcoming your gambling.
This all may sound slightly daunting, but for some people, it is sadly the only workable solution.
When you began gambling, gambling was a friend to you. You found it entertaining and joyful, but then as a friend, gambling became clinging and demanding. It became less of a friend and more of an enemy. Your only way forwards now is to end this friendship, but gambling addiction is a difficult enemy to thwart.
Plenty of people though have defeated this particular enemy and so can you. There is countless way you can do this – on your own, with the support of friends, families and others or with groups and professional organisations.
Gambling is just a casual bit of fun for plenty of people, but if you are a problematic gambler, then that is a category that, sadly, you will never fall into. Gambling and you will never share the same headspace, and that’s something you need to understand and accept.
It’s a long journey, and sometimes it’s an arduous one, but it’s a journey you need to take. All being well, you will reach the end of your path and a much better, fulfilling, and stress-free life will be your reward.