For most people, gambling never becomes a problem. It is a fun activity that they can give or take, and they have full control over when they gamble and how much they spend. They can place an occasional bet on the horses or football or buy a lottery ticket on a regular basis without it becoming an obsession. Unfortunately, it is not the same for everyone though.
Gambling is becoming a major problem for more and more people and it is believed that certain factors are to blame for the growing trend in problem gambling. The ease with which individuals can now gamble is said to be a major contributing factor in the rise of those being affected by addiction. Smartphones and other mobile devices capable of accessing the internet have made it much easier to gamble at all hours of the day or night, no matter where a person is at the time.
In betting shops, fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are being blamed for a rise in the numbers developing crippling habits that are leaving them oftentimes destitute. And with so much advertising for online gambling sites, the temptation to open accounts promising free bets is drawing in those who are in a precarious financial situation.
If you are in a situation where gambling is taking over your life, you may be pondering the question “can you beat gambling addiction on your own?” If you are at the point where you know that gambling is interfering with your normal everyday life and you are ready to do something about it, you may be able to use various self-help techniques to stop. If your addiction is not severe, it might be possible for you to quit without help. If, on the other hand, you have tried to quit in the past but have been unable to, you may need professional help.
Self-Exclusion for Problem Gambling
It is natural for you to wonder ‘can you beat gambling addiction on your own?’. After all, there is a certain amount of stigma attached to addiction and you may not want others to find out about the situation you have found yourself in.
In an ideal world, you will be able to get your gambling under control and get your life back on track. But more often than not this is not an ideal world in which we live, so how can you do this?
The first thing you will need to do is limit your access to gambling. This may mean self-excluding yourself from betting shops, race-tracks, casinos, arcades, and online gambling sites. Some online sites will allow you to self-exclude for a number of weeks online but if you want to close your account completely, you will need to phone them to do this.
Many gamblers will self-exclude for several weeks but will be reluctant to take that final measure of closing their account completely. To really get gambling under control, you will need to completely close any accounts you have. If you do have a gambling problem, self-excluding for a short period of time is just leaving the door open for you to gamble again.
It might be a good idea to install blocking software on your computer, which will restrict your access to gambling sites. It is possible to install general blocking software that will mean that you need to set permissions or parental controls for certain sites. Obviously, this will not work, if you are the person who has set the permissions. For this to work, you will need to get someone else to create a password that you do not know.
To help prevent a return to online gambling, it is a good idea to install gambling-specific blocking software on your computer. This will mean that you cannot simply open new online accounts when the urge to gamble comes on again.
In addition to self-exclusion, there are other things that you can do to take the place of gambling. It is important to find things that will occupy your time so that your mind does not wander to gambling again. Acting now can help to prevent gambling becoming a massive destructive force in your life.
Try to take up some hobbies that will keep you busy and will keep your mind focused on something other than gambling. Physical activities might include going to the gym or playing a sport. A team sport is a wonderful way to keep busy and meet new people, and by committing to a team sport, you are more likely to continue with it.
Why It is Important to Act Immediately
You might believe that your gambling problem is not that bad. Maybe you have not yet found yourself in a situation where your losses are mounting up and you are drowning in debt. Nevertheless, unless you act as soon as possible, your problem can quickly spiral out of control.
Like most other addictions, a gambling addiction will not go away if you do nothing. What is more likely to happen is that it will keep getting worse. Your need for gambling will grow and you will be less likely to be able to exert any control.
If you find yourself with a full-blown addiction to gambling, you will almost certainly end up in dire financial straits. As you try to claw back your losses, you could be tempted to take desperate measures. This may mean borrowing from banks, pay-day lenders, or family and friends. However, if you continue gambling in a bid to try to win back the money you have lost, your situation will become even more desperate – this we guarantee.
You are likely to suffer stress as debts mount up, and without any way to pay them back, you may end up suffering mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. All of this can impact your relationships with those you love and care about. Your behaviour will change and as you become preoccupied with gambling, and you will have less time for the people who mean the most to you.
When thinking about can you beat gambling addiction on your own, the answer is yes – you can but it may be difficult, especially if your addiction is severe.
What Treatment is Available for Gambling Addiction
If you have tried to self-exclude and are having no luck with changing your behaviour, you may need to consider the possibility that you require professional help. The good news is that there are plenty of choices for those who need help with problem gambling.
Your first stop might be the NHS where you can try to access an outpatient programme with a counsellor. You might be placed on a waiting list and advised to take self-help measures in the interim. Alternatively, you may want to consider a private clinic where you can access help immediately. Nonetheless, you should be aware that there will be a cost for such treatment.
Whether you opt for a free or paid-for treatment programme will depend on your needs and situation. If you are worried about how to fund a private programme, you may find that some providers offer payment plans to help you manage the cost.
Despite the cost of treatment in a private clinic, there are some major benefits to this type of care, not least of which is the fact that you can access treatment immediately. There are rarely waiting lists with private clinics because they are not restricted by funding issues.
Another benefit is the fact that with a private programme, you will stay in the clinic and will be away from all temptations for the duration of your treatment, which will usually be around six to eight weeks. While you are in treatment, you will work closely with a team of counsellors and therapists who will help you to get to the cause of your addictive behaviour. You can then work on learning ways to change your behaviour.
Treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy and group therapy sessions may help you to overcome your gambling habit. Provided you are willing to commit to a programme and want to get your life back on track, a residential programme could be the best choice in terms of helping you to get well again.
For more information about gambling addiction and how to beat it, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Primrose Lodge. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to beat this problem on your own, our advisors can offer helpful advice and provide information about self-help groups in your area.
Alternatively, if you are keen to get started on a programme of recovery and believe that the only way you are going to recover is with professional help, please call us today. We can tell you more about the programmes we offer. If you are ready to overcome your addiction to gambling, we will do everything we can to help you on the road to recovery.