Like other addictive behaviors, gambling is a hard habit to break - especially if you don’t realize that you have a problem. Unlike drinking or drug use, gambling doesn’t impact your physical or mental health in quite the same way, and it’s easy to convince yourself that it’s just a fun social activity that you enjoy.
But make no mistake: gambling can become an addiction, and the negative effects on your health and life are very real. When it stops being a fun diversion and becomes an unhealthy obsession, gambling can impact your relationships, drain your bank account, and lead you to other similarly unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage the stress and negative emotions an addiction can bring on.
Understanding the science behind a gambling addiction and the signs that your hobby has become unhealthy is the first step to overcoming your addiction and replacing it with healthy habits that will improve your quality of life.
Also known as a gambling disorder or compulsive gambling, this is an uncontrollable urge to keep gambling, despite the consequences or negative impact on your life. Similar to alcohol or drug usage, gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system, which is ultimately what leads to addiction and makes it so difficult to stop.
There are a few key signs that can indicate an unhealthy relationship with gambling, such as being unable to think about anything but gambling, trying to recoup lost money by gambling more, and lying to family and friends to hide the extent of your addiction.
Unlike most people who gamble casually and can stop when they’re losing or set a limit at which they are unwilling to lose any more money, compulsive gamblers keep playing to recover their money, and over time, that behavior can be majorly destructive.
The vast majority of people who play cards or bet at the track won’t end up with a gambling problem, but there are a few risk factors that could make you more susceptible to developing an addiction, including:
The key to recovering from addiction is to rewire your brain, and one great way to build a positive association with recovery is to reward yourself for staying on track. By building healthy habits and keeping yourself motivated through healthy rewards, you can promote long-lasting change and reduce the impulses to gamble.
Recovering from a gambling addiction is a challenging process, and it won’t happen overnight. But making progress towards recovery can be fun and rewarding, if you have the right tools as your disposal. Forming healthy, consistent habits, proven to reduce the likelihood of relapses, combined with frequent rewards to encourage the maintenance and improvement of these habits, is a proven way to get back on track. Sometimes you need a little help, and that’s where the Oberit app comes in.
Earn rewards for being your best self.