When it Comes to Gambling Addiction, Lockdown Makes Everything Harder

FAQ

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Addiction?

People with gambling problems look just like anyone else. They are our friends, our relatives, our colleagues. However, there are several signs of gambling addiction. The most common of them include:

  • Money missing from bank accounts, wallets, and piggy banks
  • Guests wondering if they left their money at your home
  • Regular requests for small loans from friends and colleagues who have regular jobs
  • Unpaid bills and collection notices in the mailbox
  • Taking out multiple loans for no apparent reason
  • Withdrawal from the family
  • A pattern of anger, irritation, or depression for no apparent reason
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Poor performance at work
  • Taking a lot of sick days off
  • Sneaking away from home for long hours
  • Being late or absent from commitments
  • Not liking any critique about their gambling habits

How Do I Stop My Gambling Addiction?

If you want help for a gambling addiction, the first step is to understand that you have a real problem. It can take a great deal of strength and courage to accept this, especially if you have lost money and relationships due to gambling. 

Twelve-step programs include methods for making amends and restoring relationships, but those come later. The first step is simply to stop gambling.

You are not alone in this battle. Help is near if you want it. Here are some gambling addiction tips that can help:

  • Relieve negative feelings in healthier ways: Some people gamble to get rid of negative emotions like loneliness, boredom, and depression. Try alternatives, including solo sports like swimming, hiking, canyoning, mountain climbing, and skiing. You can also take up creative hobbies like painting, craftwork, music, or writing.
  • Strengthen your support network: You can’t beat addiction without support. Your support network may be limited during lockdown, but you can rely on your family or stay in contact with friends online. Volunteering can be a good way to make supportive friends.
  • Join a peer support group: Twelve-step recovery groups like Gamblers Anonymous can be a lot of help. There are online meetings that you can attend during lockdown. People who are beating compulsive gambling can share gambling addiction quarantine tips for people who are going through the same fight.
  • Residential rehab programs: People with severe gambling issues may find it best to check in to a residential rehabilitation program that provides 24/7 support.
  • Treatment for mental disorders: People who have mental disorders may be at greater risk of gambling addiction than others. If you have issues like anxiety and depression, ADHD, OCD, or bipolarism, you may need to treat those conditions first before you can make any realistic progress at fighting a gambling addiction. 
  • Gambling addiction therapy: Cognitive behavioural therapy for gambling addiction involves changing your unhealthy gambling patterns and behaviours, helping you become aware of the harm of excessive gambling, breaking the false beliefs related to gambling, and helping you fight your gambling urges. You’ll learn ways to solve your relationship, work, and financial problems in a constructive way.

How Do I Avoid Gambling During the Coronavirus?

In the United Kingdom, there have already been measures to address issues posed by gambling and problem gambling. In April, the government issued a call to ban all gambling ads, enforce daily or weekly deposit limits, and discontinue bonuses like free bets and free spins. The Betting and Gaming Council also announced it would shut down TV and radio advertising of gambling during the lockdown.

Social activism groups are demanding that these changes stay in place once the coronavirus passes, since the people who are the most vulnerable to gambling addiction during lockdown will still be susceptible once the pandemic passes.

However, according to gambling addiction quarantine tips, it is not quitting that poses the biggest challenge, but making a commitment to staying in recovery. The internet has made gambling extremely accessible, with online casinos remaining open 24/7. To recover, you need the support of people you are accountable to. You need to avoid visiting tempting websites. You need to delete online gambling apps from your phone. You should put someone you trust in charge of your finances. And you should find positive activities to replace gambling in your life.