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
- Gambling disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Highlights of changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/changes%20from%20dsm-iv-tr%20to%20dsm-5.pdf. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Questions and answers about Gamblers Anonymous. Gamblers Anonymous. http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/content/questions-answers-about-gamblers-anonymous. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Unwin BK, et al. Pathologic gambling. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 26, 2013.
- Schneekloth TD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 2, 2013.