Gambling is one of the most powerful addictions known to man (or woman). Unlike cigarette addiction, it is difficult to maintain it without it having a huge impact on your life. At the same time, help from official channels such as government agencies can be hard to obtain.
That you've come here looking for help is an important first step but how can you now overcome this problem? Here are some important concepts and steps that you need to take.
First Understand What Gambling Really Is
The word "gamble" gets used and abused by the mainstream. Every day we make decisions that involve some risk in return for the potential of a reward.
The problem with gambling is that bookies (illegal or not) and other gambling opportunities make it so that the odds are stacked against you. It is almost impossible to win and yet you always feel like you are going to win.
You need to understand that these games are rigged in such a way so as to prey on your innate instincts. Recognize this and you can then work towards staying away from such insidious operators trying to take advantage of you.
Accept That You Cannot Win
You need to accept that you cannot win. There are many ways to make money in life. Hard work, wise investments and more. But know that you cannot win against the casino or the bookie. Sure, maybe 1 in 10,000 people can and do win but do not believe that you will be one of them.
If you want to make money then look elsewhere but gambling is not for you. Make a pledge right now to never, ever spend another dime on gambling.
Change Your Daily Routine
Since you became addicted to gambling you have no doubt brought it into your daily routine. If you have a job, make sure that your route to and from work does not involve going anywhere near a gambling establishment.
No doubt, you also have friends that you regularly meet with in gambling establishments. I am sorry to have to break this to you but you are not going to see much of them anymore. Ask yourself this: what is more important? Your mental and financial health or your addiction-based friendship?
Take Up A New Hobby
When conquering an addiction like gambling, it is normal to feel irritable at first. Feeling that you have nothing to occupy your time with is more likely to mean that you "break" and return to your old gambling ways.
I strongly suggest you take up a new hobby and throw yourself into it. It could be anything. Sports or good but your new hobby needn't be strenuous. For example, fishing is a great way to pass the time and apply yourself.
Make Plans For The Future
If you carry on as the crazy gambler you are now then picture yourself a year from now. You'll be even more in debt and your relationships will have broken down. You'll be a huge wreck.
Now imagine yourself with more confidence, getting the best out of life and with friends, family and a significant-other. Happier and more content with life. Always remember this goal anytime you think that your impulses are going to get the better of you.
Accept Your Humanity
Do not get angry with yourself. Many gambling addicts do this, especially when they have a lapse. Accept that you are just human and mistakes occur but do not let that be an excuse for carrying on gambling.
Remember that you have a responsibility not just to those who care about you but also to yourself. You are privileged to simply be alive at this very moment.
Gamblers anonymous has helped many former gambling addicts and it can help you too. Have a look in your local Yellow Pages to find the nearest branch to you. A problem shared is indeed a problem halved.