The onset of gambling addiction is often triggered by anxiety and depression. These underlying issues can lead people to turn to online gambling as an escape. The accessibility of gambling sites and their easy availability on mobile phones makes them a convenient tool for those struggling with these underlying problems to indulge in risky behaviors.
In fact, studies have shown that behavioral addictions like gambling cause changes in brain function similar to those seen in drug abusers. This is why it is important to identify the root cause of your problem and address it.
Whether it is anxiety, depression or boredom, it’s important to find healthy replacement activities for your online gambling habit. The key is to place more barriers between you and your addictive behavior. This can help to break the pattern and prevent a relapse in the future.
When it comes to replacing your gambling habits, one of the most effective solutions is to volunteer in your community. Research shows that volunteering can increase happiness and lower stress levels, which may be contributing to your gambling behavior. Additionally, setting new goals and tasks can provide a positive distraction from your urges to gamble. Try tracking your progress and listing everything you’re grateful for to boost positivity and shift maladaptive coping mechanisms away from risky gambling behaviors.
Another way to reduce the amount of money you gamble is to set a budget for yourself before playing. Most online casinos allow players to set a loss or time limit for their game sessions. Ensuring that you know the maximum you can lose in one session will be a great help to your discipline when you are on a losing run. In addition, most online casinos will also let you lock your account so that if you do win, you cannot withdraw it.
If you’re unable to stop gambling on online slots, the best solution is to self-exclude from any sites where you’ve played before. Alternatively, you can use an app such as Freedom to block dangerous gambling websites on a recurring basis. This will put more obstacles between you and your addictive behavior and will bring awareness to unconscious triggers.
Gambling addiction is a serious problem and it’s important to seek help for it. Many people struggle with this addiction and it’s not an easy thing to give up. However, it’s important to remember that this is a long-term process and it requires dedication and determination. In addition to therapy, it is also helpful to get support from friends and family. This is especially important when you’re in recovery and need the encouragement to stay strong. Ultimately, you can overcome your gambling addiction with the right tools and support. For more information about gambling addiction and how to help a loved one, visit GamCare or Lifeline’s gambling pages for resources including gambling self-assessment tools, financial management assistance, and free gambling helplines.