Are You Gambling Responsibly?
One of the most important things, when you take up gambling, is that you are being responsible. Gambling should always be for fun, and you should know when it’s time to stop. Therefore, it is important to recognise if you are allowing gambling to control you – and not vice versa.
Taking The Steps to Recover from a Gambling Problem
At MaxFreeBets, we want to help you to understand how to recognise any signs that you, or someone you know, has a problem with online gambling – and what you need to do if so. This will help you to have a much better quality of life and much better relationships with family, friends – and yourself! You will then be able to get full control of your finances, which will mean less stress and worry about what consequences might arise from your problem gambling. Hopefully, you should also be able to understand the cause of the gambling problem so that you can sort out any underlying issues that might have been responsible.
Unfortunately, many of the things that we enjoy doing in our lives come with the risk of addiction. Whether you like a drink, a sneaky ciggie, sweets and sugar, exercise and even shopping. The reason for this is because these release the hormone dopamine – a pleasure releasing hormone. Unfortunately, gambling is another past-time that could become addictive if not managed properly. Online gambling even more so as the internet itself is also addictive. So, online gambling can become a double whammy. Adding to this, there is an ever-increasing number of bookmakers around, tempting you with fantastic new offers, free bets and more. Therefore, if you do think that you might be suffering from an online gambling addiction, then you need to act immediately to avoid all of the possible temptations that might be put in your way every time you switch on your phone or open up your laptop.
As you may be aware, there are certain people out there who suffer from addictive personalities. These people suffer from issues such as keep topping up that wineglass, always putting something else in your shopping trolley or enjoying too much nice food with a lack of control. If you recognise this in yourself, you need to be extra careful if taking up gambling as a hobby.
How Do I Know if I Have a Gambling Problem?
If you aren’t sure if it applies to you, then there are certain behaviours to look for. Look through the below list and see how many – if any, are applicable to you. Obviously, if you recognise a lot in yourself, then you need to take urgent action. However, all on the list should trigger alarm bells. If you look through and honestly feel that you can identify with points on the list, then diagnosing the problem is the first step. Getting help comes next.
Warning Signs and Behaviours
Look to see how many of these behaviours apply to you or someone you know. You…
- Often spend more of your money on gambling than originally planned.
- Get frustrated if you are disturbed when gambling
- Lose all track of time and don’t realise how long you have been gambling for.
- Keep your gambling secret from those closest to you.
- Keep gambling even when you’re up – and go on until you lose all your funds.
- Keep believing that a big win is just around the corner.
- Think that your losses are your fault because you weren’t good enough at playing.
- Spend a lot more of your time gambling or thinking about when you can gamble next.
- Play higher and higher stakes to get that gambling thrill.
- Hide how much you spend on gambling from those around you.
- Prioritise gambling over everything and everyone else.
Why Denial is a Huge Problem
The thing with a gambling problem is that it isn’t a choice. You don’t choose to become a gambling addict. Unfortunately, it is a sub-conscious behaviour, which makes it much harder to control. Therefore, often you need more than willpower to get it beaten. The desire to gamble less often isn’t enough to conquer it. The only way you can start beating it is by consciously admitting and accepting that you have a gambling problem. When you finally admit it, you will then be able to find the help that you need to start beating it. You need to be able to articulate out loud – ‘I have a gambling problem’, firstly to yourself and eventually to others if necessary. This should start making you feel easier. Whether this is the case or not, the fact you have visited the page to see if you are suffering from a gambling addiction is a good first step. You are already starting the journey to recovery.
Taking Control of Your Gambling Problem
When you have diagnosed yourself with a gambling problem, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to recovery. You can try to start be helping yourself, but if you choose this way, be honest with yourself that this is something you can look after on your won. If you feel you need help from a third party, then check out our Asking for Help section below.
- Get rid of any feelings of shame that you feel about your problem. Shame is a very harmful emotion and could be the thing that stands in your way of getting help and taking a hold of the problem. If you feel this, then get in touch with a counsellor to help you deal with the emotion first. It is best to have one person who is your ‘safe person’ that you can talk to about your problem. They will then be able to guide you and monitor you through the recovery process.
- Use the function in an online bookmaker that allows you to set your gambling and betting financial limits. Many allow you to set your spending limit and will then block you from any further spending once the limit is reached. This will mean that even if you do succumb to temptation, then your account will not be able to accept any more of your funds for gambling in a set time period.
- If you find that even after your account has been blocked from accepting more funds, that you are still thinking of fonding a way to keep gambling, then you need to target the source of the money. If you are feeling the urge to open a new account with a new bookmaker, then spend limits won’t work. You need to block off the source. This might mean cancelling credit cards, closing your e-wallet account – or maybe even asking a third party to look after your banking for you while you recover.
- Identify what causes you to lose control of your gambling. Often there is an underlying cause. Do you gamble through boredom? Stress? Anxiety? What is your trigger? When you figure that out, try to find an alternative enjoyable way to conquer it – exercise, playing an instrument, going for a walk. Any time you feel the trigger, train yourself to do your alternative activity.
- If this hasn’t helped and you still feel that you have a problem, then you need to go get help from a third party straight away.
Asking for Help – Where to Go
If you feel that this problem is too much for you to deal with on your own, then there are plenty of organisations out there that can help you to help yourself. They will guide you through the steps it takes to conquer your gambling addiction to stop it ruining your life.
You Are Not Alone
Fortunately, you are not the only person that is suffering or has suffered from a gambling problem. Many people out there understand your problems and can help. You might be able to find a local Gamblers Anonymous group near you. If so, simply call them up and have a talk with them. That could be the first step to changing your life.
Being here, on this page, means that you are ready, willing and able to take the steps you need to get better. This in itself is something to be proud of as you have taken step number one – the biggest step of all. The next step is to take back control of your life by contacting one of the numbers below. Remember, shake off the shame of having the problem and start feeling pride that you have the strength to beat it. Admitting it and getting help is the most rewarding course of action. It’s not only important for you but for your friends, family and all of those around you.
Here are details of people, groups and organisations that specialise in gambling problems and will be able to help you on your road to recovery.
- Gamblers Anonymous: gamblersanonymous.org.uk
- UK Gamcare Helpline: 0808 8020133
- CNWL National Problem Gambling Clinic: 020 73817722 / [email protected] / www.cnwl.nhs.uk/gambling
- Gam Anon: 08700 50 88 80 / gamanon.org.uk
- Gordon Moody Association: 01384 241292 / gordonmoody.org.uk
- National Debtline: 0808 8084000 / nationaldebtline.co.uk
Betting on sports is fun, especially online. It can be a very enjoyable and exciting past-time. However, never gamble with yourself and those around you. You need to look after your well-being and the well-being of your loved ones. They will also be affected by your problems. Take back control, control your life, your gambling and enjoy the future that follows.