Throughout the 1968 movie “Funny Girl,” played by Barbra Streisand, her role is infatuated with the charming con man Nick Arnstein, but their marriage, home, and financial security are all ruined by Nick’s reckless gambling. When the film initially came out, audiences saw Nick’s gambling habit as just a problem. Before 1980, the American Psychiatric Association had not recognized compulsive gambling as a kind of mental illness. In 1980, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) estimated that somewhere between 5.4 to 8.1 million American individuals met the requirements for gambling addiction.
Let’s look into a few methods one can use to cope with a gambling addiction.
Admit You Have A Problem
Realizing there’s a problem is, as it is with any addiction, its first step toward healing. Berlin claims that most gamblers don’t seek assistance until later in the process of addiction, which is why the number of gamblers who require treatment is just so minimal (some estimations put it as little as 3%). At first, they might be in a state of denial, but if it becomes obviously an issue, they cease attempting to ignore it.”
Many people who eventually decide to get assistance for their gambling problems turn to 24-hour hotlines staffed by mental health specialists. Whyte claims that the NCPG helpline got 317 thousand calls over the past year and that this number has increased by 10% annually over the preceding decade.
Find & Join A Support Group
Gambler’s Anonymous (GA) is a 12-step program fashioned after Alcoholics Anonymous that employs a number of the same principles, such as maintaining a sponsor, as well as individual counseling, for those with gambling problems.
A representative for GA said that there are currently groups in 86 locations throughout the globe, in addition to the almost 1,700 inside the U. S. that can be found on the site by state and city. Gam-Anon sessions (offered in 40 U.S. states) teach spouses and relatives of problematic gambling how to help their loved ones without contributing to the addiction.
Nowadays there are a number of new online casinos in USA that have gambling limitations to help players not fall into addiction as well as customer service representatives that step in when an abnormal amount of gambling is taking place. Although these services are great, a support group would be a better way to connect with other people who suffer from the same issues.
Get In Touch With A Specialist
According to Berlin, the gold standard for treating gambling addiction includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), where the psychotherapist and addict practice together to modify the gambler’s maladaptive patterns of thought and behavior. Individuals in recovery from gambling addiction can benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) by learning how to delay gratification and establish other coping mechanisms.
She says, “There’s a lot of relapses exactly as with drug addictions.” People will abstain from gambling for a time, but then something can trigger the gambling itch, and once the itch becomes too much they suffice into a binge and relapse. Individuals who engage in CBT learn effective coping mechanisms for dealing with emotional or financial stressors in their life, reducing their reliance on gambling as a coping mechanism. This will also help addicts cope with drug addictions and has a great record of success.
Implement Regulatory Mechanisms
Some gamers who aren’t currently experiencing problems but are concerned about their future well-being may strive to minimize the frequency and/or size of their wagers. An example of this would be to only use a certain amount of cash while going to a casino or placing a bet, rather than using the money intended for those activities for any other purpose be it rent or food, etc…
On the other extreme end are gambling addicts who have been diagnosed as pathological gamblers but are not undergoing treatment or are experiencing a relapse. These gamblers may choose to have a trusted advisor manage their finances to keep them from having access to funds that could be used for gambling.
Write A Daily Gratitude List
One of the most important parts of fighting the want to gamble again is reminding yourself how much more enjoyable your life has become without it. To the extent that this is in keeping with any religious tenet, then that’s wonderful. The need for constant stimulation decreases when we adopt an attitude of gratitude. Just try it I guarantee you’ll see results.
To some extent, addiction may be understood as a social disconnection. Problem gamblers form attachments to gambling when they are unable to form similar attachments to other activities. This indicates that human connection, rather than just clean periods, may be the antidote to addiction. Hence again the importance of finding support or help groups that will have people with the same issue.