If you usually bet on sports, scratch cards, play poker, or slots — either in a casino or online— the issue of gambling can deteriorate relationships, interfere in the gambler’s work, often leading to financial catastrophe. You might even do things you have never thought you would, for instance, stealing money to gamble or even pay your debts. You might think you can stop, but you need help to overcome the gambling problem or addiction and to regain control of your life. First of all, if you are a gambler, you should recognize and acknowledge the problem.

Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is also referred to as compulsive gambling, being at the same time a type of disorder. Gamblers known as compulsive gamblers cannot manage the impulse of gambling even if they know they are gambling which leads to hurting themselves and their family. Gambling represents all they could think about as well as all their whole life, irrespective of the consequences. Compulsive gamblers continue gambling even if they are pleased with their lives, happy or sad. Even if they know that they have no chance, they cannot cope with losing. People with a gambling problem cannot ‘stay off the bet’.

Gamblers have a problem indeed, however, this issue is not totally out of control. Problem gambling represents any gambling behavior that disrupts the gambler’s life. If you are busy with gambling, spending much more time and money on this vice, chasing losses, or even gambling despite some serious consequences, you have by all means a problem with gambling.

Dealing with Gambling Cravings

Gambling addiction means hidden illness as it lacks obvious physical signs and symptoms like in both drug and alcohol addiction problems. Problem gamblers are typically denying or minimizing the real problem. They are also trying to hide the fact that they are gambling. For instance, problem gamblers often avoid their loved ones, sneaking around, and lying about where they have been and what they have been up to. You might have a problem with gambling if you:

  • Feel the need to keep your secret about your gambling;
  • Have some trouble controlling this;
  • Gamble even if you do not have the money;
  • Both family and friends are extremely worried about you.

Resisting cravings is difficult; however, there are strategies that can help you fight gambling such as:

  • Reach out for support;
  • Do something else;
  • Postpone gambling;
  • Give yourself a reality check;
  • Avoid isolation.