When you struggle to stop gambling, it escalates into a problem. When costs surpass income and have an adverse effect on well-being (physical or mental), productivity (in school or at work), security (financially or socially), or relationships.
Problem gamblers often neglect their families, careers, and academic obligations while racking up big gambling debts and loan payments. They may deny they have a problem, chase their losses anyway, and prioritize gambling over everything else in their lives, even themselves.
Gambling addiction recovery begins with the gambling addict realizing they have a problem. It takes a lot of strength of character to accept this, especially if one's financial and social resources have been depleted.
Don't lose faith, and don't try to deal with things on your own. Many others have been where you are now, overcoming your addiction and going forward with your life. You, too, can do it.
Do you find that gambling helps you kill time when you're alone and bored? Alternatively, after a disagreement with your beloved partner or a particularly stressful day at the office? If you want to gamble responsibly, you should play simply for fun and not as a means of getting away from problems.
Safer and more helpful ways to deal with your emotions and beat boredom are to work out, hang out with others who don't gamble, explore new interests, and learn relaxing techniques.
Talk to your friends and family about it if you need help getting over your gambling habit. You don't have to depend on casinos or the internet if you're lonely and looking to make some acquaintances. Get in touch with people at work, sign up for a sports team or a reading club, enroll in a class, or volunteer. It's best if you can get a professional to assist you.
Alternative support communities do exist. Gamblers Anonymous, for one, employs a 12-step program to aid in recovery from compulsive gambling. Finding a "sponsor" or a former gambler who is now sober and can offer guidance and support is a crucial aspect of the program.