Why is it that some people can have an occasional flutter and other people find they just can't stay away from gambling however much they promise themselves - and everyone else - that they will?

An interest in gambling often starts as the result of a big win or experience of someone else's big win fairly early in a person's experience of gambling. That could be as small as a few pounds from a slot machine as a child or a larger win at a casino or at the bookies as a young adult.

There are various reasons why people reach the state of becoming compulsive gamblers but that initial buzz of that first win is what the compulsive gambler is nearly always seeking again. The search for the buzz could be because there isn't much other enjoyment or excitement in that person's life and so when they win is one of the few times or maybe the only times when they feel good about life.

This becomes truer as their gambling increases because, whilst they get their buzz when they win they will tend to experience periods of depression when they lose. Often it's not only the emotional low points that are a problem, relationships and finances suffer which also leads to low self esteem.

Fortunately, someone who has become a compulsive gambler doesn't have to stay one. There are ways to control the allure of gambling in someone's life so it longer has the importance it had in the past. However, the desire to change has to come from the gambler and can't be imposed on them by other people.

If you think you are addicted to gambling and would like to change then here are some ways you can control your gambling.

Firstly, think about what is important in your life. What do you enjoy? Why do you enjoy gambling? What other activities give you enjoyment? You may want to think back to times before gambling had become quite as important in yout life. Make a list of these. For instance, you might enjoy gambling because of the challenge, because you like to succeed, because you think a big win would bring big changes to your life.

Secondly, use the information you put together in the first step. You have just idenitifed the things that are most important to you so finding alternatives to gambling to satisfy those needs will be a good way to reduce your need to gamble.

Thirdly, start planning your days so that you don't have any time to fit in any gambling. Some of that time may be discussing ways to get your finances back on track and you may want to spend more time with people who are important to you. Start to create a life that gives you the things that you know make you feel good and look for new challenges that you can add to that list. There are numerous people who can help you in this process. You might want ongoing support from organisations such as Gamblers Anonymous, counselling services or complementary therapies. If you feel depressed then visit your doctor for help.

There are many people who have overcome a gambling addiction and you can become one of them.