People gamble for different reasons. Some people find it thrilling, others do it as a release from stress or other problems in their lives. But when your gambling becomes an unhealthy obsession it can have serious consequences.
Problem gambling can damage your wellbeing, your relationships, your finances and your health. This NHS gambling questionnaire can help you figure out if your habit has become a problem.
It’s hard to escape temptation if you’re trying to avoid gambling. Understanding more about what triggers your need to gamble can help your recovery.
Try these tips if you’re feeling the urge to place a bet.
Take a pause
Take each day at a time. Breathe, take a minute and adjust to each new situation as it comes.
Check your emotions whenever you feel the urge to gamble. Are you worried, stressed or bored? Try to find other ways to deal with these feelings.
Mindfulness practice can teach you new ways of dealing with how you feel in the moment. This can help you change how you respond to certain triggers.
Know what triggers your urge to gamble
Examine your gambling history. Is there a particular time of the day when you are more likely to gamble? Does being with certain people increase your temptation to gamble?
Try to beat these triggers. Arrange to meet a friend or schedule an activity at the times you’d normally gamble. Avoid meeting up with people who make you want to gamble.
Make it harder to access your money
Talk to your bank and ask them to block your account and cards from gambling retailers. You may be able to do this on your banking app.
You can ask someone you trust to manage your money when you’re feeling the urge to bet. Only do this if you know you can trust that person.
Outsmart ads and apps
- Sign up to services that restrict your access to gambling apps and sites
- Register for Gamstop to exclude yourself from gambling with all online gambling companies based in the UK
- Contact gambling companies based in Ireland and ask to be excluded from their services
- Sign up to GamBan to stop your devices accessing gambling sites and apps
- Click ‘hide ad’ when you see a gambling ad on a website or social media to block gambling ads
Know when and where to get help
Get help when you need it. Speak to someone as soon as you start to feel like you’re losing control or you need to gamble.
There are specialist services who know how you feel and how you can start or continue your recovery journey. Contact
- Dunlewey Addiction Services on 08000886725 if you’re in Northern Ireland
- Extern’s Problem Gambling Project on 075 3718 8575 (NI) 089 241 5401 (ROI)
You can overcome a gambling problem. There is support out there. Use that support, talk about your feelings and experiences and celebrate your successes.