How does gambling addiction work? Many people think of it as harmless fun, but experts know better. Gambling addiction progresses in a similar way to an alcohol or drug addiction: the gambler develops a tolerance to gambling, becomes dependent on it, and when they try to quit, they can experience serious withdrawal symptoms. Even after they’ve overcome those physical symptoms, they may continue experiencing cravings and other mental health issues related to their addiction. Here are some tips on how to cope with gambling addiction withdrawal symptoms so you can be ready to start your recovery as soon as possible.
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1) Get Plenty Sleep
This may seem like an easy fix, but it’s a powerful tool for managing your gambling addiction. When you sleep, your brain naturally begins to produce chemicals that make you feel good—serotonin and dopamine. These feel-good chemicals can combat some of your cravings for gambling. So, it’s important to get enough rest.
2) Write Your Thoughts Down
There are some basic things you can do to cope with cravings. First, write your thoughts down. Just by writing down what’s going on inside your head, you’ll help clarify things and reduce stress, which helps keep your withdrawal symptoms under control.
3) Keep Busy
When you’re suffering from withdrawal, one of your biggest concerns is probably how to cope with cravings. The best way is to keep yourself as busy as possible; once you sit down and start thinking about gambling, it can be very difficult not to go back again. Make sure you occupy your time with other activities like exercise or reading.
4) Reach Out To Your Support Network
Your friends and family can be one of your biggest assets when you’re dealing with a gambling addiction. When you’re going through withdrawal, it can be incredibly difficult to feel positive—especially if you have a tendency toward depression or negative thinking. Have your support network close by, so they can remind you how far you’ve come and how strong you are.
5) Know You’re Not Alone
Though gambling addiction is not a common disease, it is still a valid medical condition that requires treatment. Fortunately, with proper care and support, you can overcome your problem and lead a healthy life. Find support groups or consider going to the nearest rehab centre for support. Don’t be ashamed of your condition—embrace it and use these resources to help yourself recover from addiction.
6) Practice Self-Care
The rush of excitement that comes with gambling and earning a big win makes it even more tempting to keep going. But don’t be fooled—gambling can be just as addictive as alcohol or drugs, and can lead to serious consequences if you don’t take care of yourself while you’re trying to kick your habit.
7) Know That Withdrawal Is Temporary
Your gambling habit may be physical, but it’s not a life sentence. If you are experiencing withdrawal from gambling, know that it will pass. Your addictive personality has been nurtured by years of exposure to—and dependence on—gambling, but if you commit to kicking your habit and follow through with treatment, you can start living a healthier lifestyle that does not include gambling. The first step is admitting that you have a problem—and then confronting that problem head-on with honesty and an eye toward recovery.