If you’re gambling online, there are ways to break the habit. First, talk about it with somebody who won’t judge you. This could be a family member or a professional counsellor. You can also reduce financial risk factors by avoiding using credit cards and carrying large amounts of money. It’s also a good idea to stop using gambling venues as a social outlet and find an alternative recreational activity or hobby.
Another step in breaking the addiction is learning to recognise triggers. This includes knowing what situations, thoughts or feelings cause you to gamble. You can then work to change these triggers and develop a healthier coping mechanism to replace your maladaptive gambling behaviour.
Many problem gamblers use a variety of coping mechanisms to try and stop their gambling, including self-denial, lying, borrowing money or stealing from others. This can lead to a variety of issues, including emotional stress and strain on relationships. It’s important to recognise these symptoms and seek help as soon as you notice them.
Often, a gambling addiction can become serious and life-threatening. It can affect a person’s ability to think clearly and make sound decisions, and the associated cravings, denial and withdrawals are similar to those of drug addiction. Left unaddressed, a gambling addiction can cause serious financial harm, debts and even bankruptcy. It can also lead to depression, anxiety and strained or broken relationships.
One of the most common reasons people can’t control their gambling is that they’re under the false illusion that they can win. The truth is, whether you’re playing a casino game or betting on sports, the results of any bet are random and out of your control. Challenging fallacies such as the illusion of control and superstitions can help you overcome this type of addiction.
You can also take steps to limit your exposure to gambling websites and apps. This can include deleting these apps, blocking gambling sites and removing yourself from betting and tip forums. In addition, you can also use a self-exclusion tool like GAMSTOP to block hundreds of gambling and betting websites and apps automatically.
It is also a good idea to set a gambling budget and stick to it. This can be as low as $100, but it will be a helpful way to keep track of your spending habits. In addition, you should avoid gambling more in the hope of making back losses – this is called chasing losses and can be a leading indicator of problem gambling.
Another good strategy is to write in a gambling diary when you feel the urge to gamble. This can be a great way to understand your thoughts and behaviour, and it will help you develop a plan to stop gambling. In addition, you should remember that it takes time to recover from a gambling addiction, so be patient and give yourself a chance to succeed. In time, you’ll find that it becomes easier to resist the urges to gamble.