Understanding how to stop gambling is the first step to free yourself from gambling addiction and in the next chapters you will find everything you need to know about it: from the moment the first signs of gambling addiction begin to the most common behaviors they adopt. those who suffer from it, such as gamblers’ lies, and most importantly, an in-depth overview of tips for quitting gambling.
Furthermore, if you know or think you know someone who suffers from this problem, you can also find out how to understand what is the best way to help a person with this condition and which are the contacts to turn to to get a hand.
What is gambling addiction
Recognizing that you have a problem with gambling addiction is the first step to free yourself from gambling addiction: but what exactly is pathological gambling and how to stop gambling?
To begin with, the medical term “gambling addiction” indicates the pathological addiction to gambling. Gambling addiction is similar to all other types of addiction, real psychological disorders of impulse control, and it is possible to counteract and reduce it until it is completely eliminated once the Psychology of gambling is understood.
The good news, therefore, is that gambling addiction is in effect a behavioral addiction and it can happen to anyone to walk away from responsible gambling without any particular underlying motivation, but it can be resolved and treated to get rid of it completely.
How do people get addicted?
But how does a casual player become addicted to gambling? The answer is simple: some players go through three stages that, gradually, bring them closer to gambling addiction.
The first is the winning phase, which is followed by the losing phase which ultimately leads to the phase of despair, marking the birth of the destructive habit of addiction.
The first phase, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, is called the winning phase. In this moment the casual player, who has placed hopes and dreams in the imagined moment of winning, finally sees his projection come true.
Winning at gambling feels good and powerful: this feeling of pleasure however is short and runs out in a short space of time, prompting players to want to play again and again so that they feel as good again as they did when they tried the game. thrill of winning for the first time.
The losing phase is the intermediate phase in the development of pathological gambling addiction and is the moment when it begins to make it difficult to understand how to stop gambling.
When you “taste” the positive feeling you get from winning, losing becomes a disappointment and triggers a mechanism by which you want to start winning again.
Losing leads the player to want to play again and again, hoping to win again, and when this occurs they still want to play again to feel good. In this way they enter an endless cycle of play and accumulate games after games. more or less unconsciously.
The third phase, called the despair phase, is the culmination of the two phases explained above. It is a combination of both, the winning phase and the losing phase. But it is experienced in a much more delicate emotional state, during which one’s reactions are emphasized.
The player becomes stressed, aggressive, feels out of control and begins to feel the weight of the consequences of uncontrolled gambling.Economic problems, deteriorating effects on their relationships, detachment from the people they were closest to and from the rest of the world, restlessness and much more. other.
Most common behaviors of gambling addicts
A player in full pathological gambling addiction no longer realizes reality in a rational way and for this reason he develops behaviors that are widespread among all those who experience an addiction.
In the next paragraphs we will see what are the most common behaviors of addicts, such as the belief that they can quit when they want and a series of lies about their addiction.
I can stop when I want
A player in full pathological gambling addiction is unable to understand that he has crossed the line. He lives the illusion of believing he can stop when he wants, even if this “stop” ultimately never comes: he lies to himself and to others.
The first step in understanding how to stop gambling, in fact, is to be able to recognize the fact that you cannot really stop when you want, and immediately afterwards it is useful to contact a specialist and work together in order to create the desire to stop the will to bet.
The lies of gamblers
If you’ve ever heard a player say one or more of these phrases, be aware that they may be experiencing an addiction and may need help:
- Sooner or later I’m sure I’ll win
- It’s all the fault of the first time I won
- After all, I don’t spend a lot of money
- It is not true that I am addicted to gambling
- I play one more time and then I don’t anymore
- If I win, I can relieve my family of financial problems
- It’s the only vice I have
Always pay attention to what players you know are saying – they may be hiding a serious problem they are struggling to get out of.
Tips on how to stop gambling
There are several ways to learn how to stop gambling: it all starts with recognizing that you have a problem and continues with different tactics, such as joining a support group, avoiding temptation, postponing the moment of the game, finding alternatives, think about the consequences and, the most important method, seek professional help.
Recognize that you have a problem
As we have seen, the first step is the most important: recognizing the fact that you have a problem allows you to become aware of yourself and the phase you are going through and, more importantly, decide to take a path to free yourself from the addiction to gambling. ‘gamble.
Recognizing that you have a gambling problem is the first step on the path to freeing yourself from gambling addiction.
Being able to admit that you have a problem allows you to declare to yourself that you can no longer continue as it has been until now and that you have to do something: the important thing is to understand it, for example thanks to the 7 questions to ask about the possible disturbance game, then all the necessary actions will follow to understand how to stop gambling.
Join a support group
Once you have made the decision to do something to stop gambling, you can start organizing. Support groups and self-help groups can be very useful at the beginning of their detoxification process, because they allow people who are experiencing the same problems (or very similar problems) to get in touch with each other.
Thanks to groups of this kind, people who need help feel less disconnected from the world and can establish connections with others, in order to finally begin a lasting healing journey.
Avoiding the temptation to gamble is a working strategy for those who are looking for the best way to learn how to stop gambling. To stop gambling, in fact, trying to distance yourself from going to places where you play and from coming into contact with people who can trigger addiction is fundamental.
If, for example, you know that returning home by the shortest route you will find a bar with one or more slot machines, you should try another route, even longer if necessary, to get directly home, in order to prevent you from falling into the temptation to play.
Postpone the game
Sometimes even a seemingly insignificant action such as postponing the start of a game for 10 minutes can help you eliminate the temptation and stimulus of the game.
It is actually an easy decision to make but very important to follow, since the desire to play can vanish faster than expected: the temptation to play has a beginning and an end and it can be enough to simply postpone it to get rid of it with effectiveness.
In order not to immediately fall back into gambling addiction as soon as you start trying to get rid of it, it is important to find alternatives to all those moments that were once destined for betting and gambling.
Just fill your life with many activities that can keep you busy and focus less on the urge to play:
- spend more time with your friends and family
- start exercising
- read a book
- find a new hobby
In fact, the more busy your mind is, the less you will feel the need to play, and you will again be able to commit your mental and physical energies to healthy and constructive activities.
Think about the consequences
Gambling detox has begun and you are continuing on your journey to learn how to stop gambling: however, you may still find yourself in a situation where you could start gambling again.
At this point you should think about all the harmful impacts that a relapse could have on you and your loved ones, going to consider:
- Emotional pain caused to your loved ones
- Financial hardships you have experienced with your family
- Lies you created to hide your addiction from others
- Seek professional help
The best advice we can give you, in any case, is to seek professional help if you have already tried all the other tips or if the extent of the addiction you are experiencing is too severe and you don’t know how to get out of it on your own.
Do not forget that gambling addiction is a psychological disorder and psychotherapy, drug therapy or even just booking a visit with a psychologist you can talk to are all solutions that can help you stop gambling uncontrollably.
How to stick to abstinence once the problem has been solved
In conclusion, therefore, gambling addiction is a disorder that can be successfully tackled and fought: how to stick to abstinence once the addiction problem has been solved? Here are some solutions and activities that can help you or help former gambling addicts:
- set yourself alternative goals
- stay away from gambling
- learn to manage your impulses
- delay the decision to play
- find professional help
- learn how to better manage your money
- hand over your money to a family member or loved ones you trust completely
Commitment, perseverance, determination and professional help will certainly be able to improve things.