Casino addiction is a serious problem worldwide, and the pandemic has only made it worse. In the US alone, around 10 million people are compulsive gamblers, according to the North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help. Online casinos are major contributors to the trend, as they are accessible from any device 24/7. What can you do to overcome the addiction?
Assuming that all casinos are evil is a mistake. According to the most detailed reviews of real players on https://clashofslots.com/, many of them provide fair and quick payouts. Yet, they are always at our fingertips, and addiction can affect all genders, ages, and ethnicities. The first step to recovery is acknowledging the problem.
Understand your addiction
Compulsive gambling is a behavioral or process addiction. Just like drug addiction or alcoholism, it requires supportive treatment. Rehab programs and support groups are found all around the world. Begin by admitting that you have a problem. Explaining this to others is the next (and more embarrassing) step, which is why only a fraction of problem gamblers seek professional help. Most of them hide their compulsion from friends and family out of shame.
Do not live a secret life and do not blame yourself. Online casinos fill a void when we feel lonely, unhappy or stressed. Gamblers become addicted due to a perfect storm of circumstances, including isolation, depression, and trauma. For many addicts, the problem starts with escapism.
Admitting to addiction will make you feel weaker, but you cannot overcome it otherwise. Gambling is still a great taboo, but it is based on a chemical reaction in your brain. Gambling triggers the release of dopamine, which makes it similar to social media. The more you gamble, the more you want to play, as this activity is intoxicating. It is similar to smoking, drinking, and drugs, which are embedded in the public consciousness.
How to Address the Problem
Healthy habits will help you minimize the financial, psychological and social harm. These guidelines may look simple, but they will help you gamble responsibly.
- Tell your friends and family. Do not try to hide the problem by locking your devices and minimizing communication. This will only exacerbate your problem. Let your friends and relatives know about your problem. Their support will help you get treatment easier and faster.
- Use a prepaid method. Setting a limit on online transactions via a banking app is not enough, as you can raise it in a couple of taps. Using prepaid cards is a great way to limit your casino expenses. You will not be able to go over budget.
- Do not try to recover losses. In the long run, the House always wins, and every outcome is random. This is why chasing glasses is a failed strategy. Shift your focus to the joy of playing your favorite games, rather than making up for the lost money. Otherwise, you will play for too long and spend too much.
- Set a specific time to play. Experts recommend limiting each gambling session to a period between 10 minutes and 1 hour. Use your smartphone timer to help you. Do not let yourself get immersed in a game for too long.
The bottom line
Problem gambling can affect your life in many ways. Unfortunately, it is also poorly understood due to a lack of exposure. An addict’s relationships with relatives, friends, co-workers, and other people deteriorate as they can no longer distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. Acknowledging the problem and setting strict limits are the first steps to recovery.
David Tobin did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is interested in mental health and well-being.