Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The appeal of gambling is hard to overcome if you keep thinking that you'll win the next time you gamble. These recovery skills may help you remain focused on resisting the urges of compulsive gambling:

  • Tell yourself it's too risky to gamble at all. One bet typically leads to another and another.
  • Give yourself permission to ask for help, as part of realizing that sheer willpower isn't enough to overcome compulsive gambling. Ask a family member or friend to encourage you to follow your treatment plan.
  • Stay focused on your No. 1 goal: not to gamble. Coping skills to better manage the other issues in your life can be initiated only when you aren't gambling.
  • Recognize and then avoid situations that trigger your urge to bet.

Family members of compulsive gamblers can get counseling, even if the gambler is unwilling to participate in therapy.

Feb. 12, 2014

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