As per neuroscientists, problem gamblers find it difficult to stop gambling despite knowing that their actions might have negative consequences. You can see them indulging in gambling regardless of the way it can jeopardize their relationships, job and overall financial health.
As is the case with any addiction, the severity of problem gambling might vary from individual to individual, and there are no set patterns with regard to the medium and frequency. While men are fond of competitive skill based casino games, women indulge more in bingo and slot machines. Here’s how the brain gets addicted to gambling. In case you are worried about a friend’s or your own gambling habits, following are some steps you can take in this regard.
Register with Gamstop
Gamstop is a UK-based well-known online service which enables you to exclude yourself from all iGaming activity in the UK. After you register yourself with Gamstop, you would be barred from playing at all online casinos listed with them, for the duration (6 months, 1 year or 5 years) chosen by you. On the other hand, often times it is seen that people impulsively exclude themselves from online gaming activities, and thereafter waste a considerable amount of time looking for platforms that would still accept them for playing a few casino games. This is only possible on non-Gamstop casinos. Here’s a report about casinos not on Gamstop. On the whole, once you’ve made up your mind to stop playing online casino games for a certain time period, you must stick to your guns and avoid any gambling till that phase is over.
Join some support group
Apart from initiatives like registering yourself with Gamstop, you can also join self-help groups like Gamblers Anonymous, a 12 step program that is derived from Alcoholics Anonymous, utilising the same techniques. There are close to 1700 GA groups in all of the United States, locatable based on the city and state, on their official website. These groups are also active in 86 international cities.
Don’t shy away from professional help
Many people have benefited from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to overcome their gambling addiction. This procedure involves a gambling addict and a therapist working hand-in-hand for changing the former’s destructive thoughts and behavior patterns. This therapy helps the gambling addicts develop cognitive tools and coping skills to resist the gambling urge, for instance waiting for longer time periods prior to giving in to the gambling urge.
Consider taking medications
Just like in case of drug addicts that don’t get any kick from small drug dosages, people heavily into gambling don’t get the same high as everyone if they don’t bet ample amounts of money to get them excited. These people require more gambling activity just to feel the regular high. It’s not uncommon for psychiatrists to prescribe antidepressants such as SSRIs for correcting the dopamine imbalance in the body of such gamblers. Some of the other commonly prescribed drugs in this regard are lithium and opiate antagonists.