Gambling has probably existed as long as humanity. Fast forward to today, and most of the modern countries indulge in this pleasure in one way or another. However, just like you can overdo any other activity to the point of it being harmful — gambling is more or less the same.
Just like all the other things that can give you an adrenaline or dopamine rush, some people can often go to extremes when it comes to gambling. That’s how they risk developing a gambling addiction or problem gambling, as many call it today. The problem is not in the gambling per se; it lies in the lack of control some people develop or are genetically predisposed to. Worldwide, one can find many people who gamble occasionally — As a result, they don’t lose a lot of money, and they only spend what they allow themselves. However, the problem is in gamblers who try to turn gambling into their primary source of income. In spite of so many successful professional players who win big on tournaments, everyone will advise you against making gambling your main source of income.
Due to all this, you will often find gambling banned in some of the modern countries. Gambling addiction is the key reason why Japan, as one of the most developed countries in the world, lift the ban on gambling only in 2019. The law that restricted gambling dated all the way back to the year 1903. Additionally, there is an essential fact in all this that psychologists worldwide realised — We don’t need to treat gambling — we need to address and educate compulsive gamblers.
There can be so many reasons. Although, the bigger question here is why do people start to gamble? Is it because they want to spend some free time exploring this new territory or because they are going through a certain turmoil in their lives? A lot of things can trigger this compulsive gambling behaviour, and this form of addiction has raised a lot of concerns about public health lately. To be precise, in the year 2017, over 5 million people needed help with gambling addiction. And this addiction can cause a lot of emotional and financial distress, not to mention mental health problems or even intestinal disorders.
If you’re going through a tough time in your life, gambling is probably not the answer to your problems. Here are some of the reasons that triggered compulsive behaviour in a lot of players.
You Need to Heal Yourself First
Let’s break this down. There are some factors you should consider before you decide to enter a casino or gamble online. Have you suffered a trauma recently? It doesn’t need to be anything significant or serious — a lot of situations can cause trauma. If you get divorced, you’ve been slightly traumatised because, all of a sudden, your entire life is changing! Losing a job, or even a promotion can be a traumatic experience too. If any of these happened to you recently, maybe postpone gambling until you have the situation under control.
Also, if you’re doing a job you don’t like or if it causes you a lot of stress, nobody will advise you to go out drinking every night to feel better. Nobody wants you to become an alcoholic — The same goes for gambling, so if you’re very stressed because things are not going the way you imagined, a casino is probably not the answer.
Additionally, if you’re suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder, you should deal with that first. A lot of people today feel overwhelmed with the pace the world moves at, and this is perfectly normal. It is a bit too fast, wouldn’t you agree? That’s why a lot of people start feeling anxious and out of control — they believe they can’t catch up. Luckily enough, therapists found so many methods to deal with these disorders. In case you’re feeling anxious or depressed, maybe doing something less risky than betting will help? In case you should lose a lot of money, you definitely won’t feel any better.
Surround Yourself with the Right People
If you spend too much time alone and isolate yourself for some reason, then you probably shouldn’t test your luck. When you start to gamble too much, it is essential that your family and friends notice this pattern and intervene on time. If you’re already suffering from some other addiction, you shouldn’t add gambling onto this pile. So whether you’re a drug addict or an alcoholic, starting a new hobby that also triggers your ‘happy’ hormones is probably not a very good idea.
And in the end, your environment might also cause you to start excessively betting on your luck. A lot of people who inherited a lot of money decided to try to double it by gambling, and it didn’t work.
I’m not saying this to convince you to gamble — I’m saying it because every new gambler needs to realise they should bet for the sake of fun. You don’t gamble to earn a living or to double your fortune — You gamble to have a good time with your friends or by yourself. As long as you look at gambling that way, you won’t become an addict.
I love using slot machines every now and then, but I’ve never bet more than $10. If I win some cash, that’s great, but if I lose it all, I will just move on with my day with no regrets. The same goes for any other type of gambling. If you play card games, do it so you can test all the strategies and check if you can outsmart your fellow gamblers. All these forms of gambling were invented so you could have a choice, not to make you a prisoner.
There are plenty of ways to help yourself. Admitting you’re an addict is nothing to be ashamed of, and there’s a high chance everyone will understand. Having support from people around you is important. Additionally, psychologists have developed three of the best methods to control your gambling addiction.
If you notice that you have a gambling problem early, you can put a stop to it by talking to a therapist. As a trained professional, your therapist will probably be able to find the actual source of your problem. You probably only repressed it by gambling — And once you deal with the real problem, your gambling addiction will probably go away with it.
Joining one of the many anonymous groups that provide help to gambling addicts can also help. You will be surrounded by people who have been through the exact same thing. They will be able to empathise with you better than anyone. You can listen to their advice and perhaps use the same methods.
Additionally, as a last resort, you can turn to medications. Of course, this only goes if your therapist decides you need additional help. Antidepressants and mood stabilisers help a lot of patients who can’t fight this addiction. Moreover, your therapist will probably use this as the last option — it is always better to deal with any problem using your own mind.
Now you know that it is not about gambling — it is about when you gamble and for which reasons. Furthermore, there are times when you need to turn to yourself and face the problem head-on. And if you have a lot of issues to deal with, escaping to a casino or drinking yourself under the table won’t help. You should find a solution to all the issues first, and then once your life is back in order, you and your friends can visit a local casino to have some fun. That’s why gambling services are there and why gambling was invented in the first place. So make sure to stop gambling the moment you notice you’re doing it too often. Good luck out there!