Gambling is a fun activity that can be enjoyed in moderation, but if you’re unable to control it, it can become an addiction. It can have serious effects on your life and relationships, and it’s important to treat it as a problem before it becomes too severe.
There are several reasons why people start gambling. They might want to socialize with friends, relieve their loneliness or boredom, and even unwind after a stressful day at work or an argument with a loved one. However, if you have a gambling addiction and it is negatively impacting your life, it’s time to seek professional help.
The first thing you should do is identify the problem. Talk to someone you trust, such as a family member or a friend, and discuss your habits and feelings. They may be able to give you an honest assessment of your gambling habits and recommend an effective treatment plan.
Set limits on how much money you spend and how often you gamble. This will make it easier to stop when you’re ready.
Avoid borrowing money from friends or family to gamble with, as this isn’t healthy and can cause financial problems in the long run. Also, don’t borrow money from your credit card to pay for gambling – this will only increase your debts and leave you more at risk of bankruptcy.
If you’re not sure if a loved one has a gambling problem, take their finances into account. You might consider cancelling or removing joint accounts, or making them aware that you’re worried about their money.
It’s also important to check your own credit report. You might be linked to their financial situation through a mortgage, rental agreement or loan.
In some cases, a person might be able to borrow from their partner or spouse. This can be a big help, but it’s important to make them aware of your concerns and to let them know what you’re doing to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Find ways to relieve unpleasant feelings in healthier ways, such as exercising or spending time with friends who don’t gamble. It’s also important to practice relaxation techniques or try a new hobby to keep yourself busy and away from the temptation to spend your money on gambling.
Deal with any debts you have incurred as a result of your gambling habits. This can be an emotional and difficult task, but it’s important to address them as soon as possible. If you are unable to manage your debts on your own, it’s a good idea to get free advice from debt charities and agencies.
Alternatively, you might choose to file for bankruptcy as this is an alternative way to deal with gambling debts. It isn’t always the best option, but it might be the only solution in some extreme situations.
You can also ask for assistance from the GamCare charity, which provides support and counselling to people with gambling problems. They have a number of online services and a free hotline to talk to advisers. They can also help you find a suitable place to seek treatment for a loved one.