Hello punters, I am very happy that you are reading this. If you do, you will then be able to share what is my wisdom about responsible gambling. I believe that gambling should be above all else a source of entertainment.
Yet, I am perfectly aware of some of the downsides associated with gambling and specifically – excessive gambling. To help yourself steer clear from those, I have put together a guide that will help you address the issue.
As the age-old cliché says, the first step to dealing with a problem is to admit that you have a problem. So, I will start there. Please note that this is a genuine attempt to help anyone who may be facing problem gambling.
I am no stranger to addiction. But the good news is that the same passion that drives you in one particular aspect could very well be channeled into another. How do I know? Experience.
Facing the Problem: How to Spot It?
The first thing you got to do is be able to recognize your problem. Once you do, the rest will fall into place. To do so, I urge you to sit down and ask yourself some basic questions which will very quickly highlight a problem if there is one present.
- Do you ignore your personal and social obligations to gamble?
- Have you found yourself prioritizing gambling over your closed personal relationships?
- Do you feel the urge to gamble immediately after you have won big or lost big?
- Can you say with certainty how much you gamble each week?
- Do you spend too much money on gambling or amount that exceeds your weekly paycheck?
- Have you caught yourself thinking about gambling at work or feeling a strong urge to gamble while elsewhere?
- Have you ever lied to your closed ones and friends or avoided them for the sake of gambling?
- Do you think you would steal, or have you already stolen, lied, or cheated to find money to gamble more?
Now, this questionnaire is very much to the point in the sense that it asks the hard questions. I realize this. However, by being completely honest with yourself, you have a unique chance to address the issue.
Don’t worry if you don’t like the questionnaire or if you find it too intrusive. I assure you that you are going to be the only person who would know the results. Don’t hesitate to be honest with yourself, and if I can help, do let me know.
My Advice for Dealing with Gambling Addiction
I understand how overwhelming the feeling can be. When it seems like there is no way out, and you are almost ready to give up on looking for a way out, you should remind yourself that there is always something to try. I will now list my ways of dealing with gambling addiction.
As someone with experience in this area, I feel that I am at least qualified to offer some level of support to anyone who may need it.
#1 Don’t Underestimate the Power of Just Talking About It
Many people just decide to pent up all the feelings of discomfort they experience and not utter another word about it. I am strongly against them. By stating your problem clearly and loudly, you can start to work on it.
It’s more important than you think. Talking about an issue helps you truly get in touch with the reason why you do something in the first place. It may seem a little counterintuitive at first, but as you talk, you will find out a lot about your problem, all by yourself.
#2 Make Sure to Seek Help
Now, the second thing daunts many addicts and problem gamblers. Seeking help means officially recognizing the problem. While scary at first, the counselor is capable of approach the subject in a friendly, casual, and yet helpful way.
Your addiction is normal. Everyone is addicted to something, whether they realize it or not wholly so. Just because your hobby has taken you another way, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. However, you must do your best to bring any harmful hobby under control.
#3 Let Your Closest People Know
Now, the best way to approach the issue is to share it with your closest friends. They cannot be there 24/7 for you, that’s for sure, but that’s a great start. I have seen many people avoid sharing, and I have also seen some people who shared and were open. The second group tends to recover and even overcome their addiction much quicker. So, I urge you, please do try this.
#4 Fight It
Temptation takes effort and dedication. To be able to resist it is no easy feat, but by resisting a little each day, you are already doing a great job. Now, remember, the goal is not to completely quit but to bring your gaming hobby to a level where it doesn’t impact your quality of life in any way. That could be financially or mentally. I strongly recommend you show determination.
#5 Try Self-Excluding
Now, the best way I have found out to work for others is self-exclusion. It sounds a little harsh, but it really isn’t as restrictive as you might think. Good self-exclusion will give you time to think and rearrange your priorities. As such, you can set the time you want to be excluded, whether it’s for 24 or 48 hours, a week, a month, or even longer.
Please, Play Responsible and Reread This Page
Most of my advice is common sense. Yet, it’s very helpful to have a constant reminder about what is right and what is wrong. That’s precisely what I am hoping to achieve here. If you ever feel like you are losing your way, reread this page and more importantly, get in touch with any of the agencies listed below:
- Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania
- National Council on Problem Gambling
- Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
- Gamblers Anonymous
- PGCB Self-Exclusion Program
- PGCB Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling