Facing the issue of troubled gambling, you should be aware that you’re not alone with it and there are plenty of options for help and support available for those who are struggling with a gambling problem or know someone who may be affected by it. On this page you will find professional advice from a prominent expert in the field, as well as the necessary solutions and prevention measures.
What Is Gambling Addiction And What Can We Do To Support Someone With This Problem?
Gambling problems arise when a person spends more money than he can reasonably afford or wastes a longer period of time than usual. In this case, it may be an appropriate time to consult a professional. A trusted place where you can find support and understanding is the Responsible Gaming Council (RGC). The RGC is an autonomous, non-profit organization that focuses on giving its services and time to help those who are trying to avoid the problem in gambling.
Initial Indications Of Gambling Addiction
Five main signs are distinguished to characterize a person who is dealing with a gambling addiction, according to Dr. Nancy Irwin.
A gamer hides the gambling process or tries to mask it by lying. Generally, the distinctive feature of any kind of addiction is to keep it a secret. You no longer enjoy it socially and feel you are forced to participate in the game, being aware that others are likely to be disturbed. A gambler often doesn’t like to hear about it, though it’s a demonstrative example of a problem with gambling addiction.
If your day starts with the thoughts about gambling and finishes with the same – it’s certainly a red flag. It means that gambling is constantly in the back of your mind. Getting a “high” from obsessive planning, sneakiness, trying to determine exactly that moment of time when you will be alone or far away from people who might stop or judge you – if all these situations are known to you, you are likely to have problems with gambling.
Deception of people important to you:
You avoid responsibility by prioritizing your gambling addiction over other aspects of your life (work or spending time with family and friends). You appreciate the moment of excitement when you win so much that it’s easy for you to abandon everything else that was important to you earlier.
Unknowingly, you might be spending your finances or your gambling partners, without even realizing that it may affect others. It’s just an usual thing for you to justify your behavior and deny seeing what your actions cause in the result for your family and relatives. Everything seems worse than the process of gambling.
You try to use up the credit cards, which can cause your credit rating to drop rapidly. As a result, your financial status will become completely different for the worse.
Steps To Follow: What Should Be Done To Protect Yourself?
General methods such as cooling off periods, making deals with creditors, setting limits on deposits and withdrawals, being completely honest with family about finances, and closing accounts are all awesome ways to keep a balance. On the other hand, they could be only surface-level solutions which may not work with the people who have deeper issues.
Once a gambler is brave enough to meet the challenge which provokes him to win, it will work. Often a person can’t do it by himself, so consulting with a psychotherapist who specializes in addictions is an excellent way of solution. It can help to deal with the underlying trauma, understand the sources of low self-esteem and find ways to improve it. When all these factors are processed, your financial literacy will be improved.
Gamblers Anonymous is a great, free method to begin this path with people who have the same problems. You can also combine it with psychotherapy – the results will be even better and faster. At the same time, other people are more helped by a SMART Recovery program or a life coach. Frankly speaking, the path to recovery doesn’t matter, only your efforts and desire are signififcant.
In fact, a person will likely have to go through a journey of trial and error to reach the preferred path, but it must be kept in mind that it is definitely worth it. When you achieve your goal, you will create a life balance and find meaning and joy in creative pursuits, health and fitness, volunteering and so on. When you let go of one habit, there will be a gap. But you can substitute it with something that inspires you.
What Programs Exist To Support Problem Gamblers?
As for beginning, we advise you to visit responsiblegambling.org and discover the information there to understand the subject of the problem better. It can be both support for yourself or another person, you are allowed to reach as much useful material as it’s possible for you.