Sports Betting Addiction: What can I Do?
The risk of addiction walks hand in hand with the risk of losing money as far as sports betting is concerned. Engaging in sports betting is quite addictive because you are in constant pursuit of money, contesting against sports bookies, trying to beat sports bookies, nervous until the very end of the match to see if something magical will happen to make your bet successful. An adrenaline rush, a sensation of winning is involved. But when people get into a bad losing streak and find it difficult to get out, they become very desperate and they try to get out of the financial mess through more bets. All these are signs of betting addiction.
We will be having an in-depth look at the risks, myths and facts, signs and symptoms of sports betting addiction in this article. We will not only look at the problems of sports betting addiction but also proffer solutions on how to get out of it. So, sit back, relax and read all you need to know about sports betting addiction.
- No one is immune to betting problems
- Betting addiction is also known as betting disorder
- Acknowledging the problem is the first step to recovery
What is Betting Addiction?
The truth is that; no one is immune to betting problems. It may start as a fun betting, harmless diversion and end up as an unhealthy obsession having grave consequences. It doesn’t matter if you engage in sports betting or casino games whether live or online, betting problems take a toll on your relationships, your work and ultimately result in financial problems. You can even go to the extent of doing things you’ve never done before or thought of, like stealing or having huge debts hanging on your just to gamble.
Betting addiction is also known as betting disorder, compulsive betting or pathological betting which is an impulse control disorder. A compulsive gambler finds it difficult to control his gambling impulse, even if it negatively affects him or his family. He will gamble whether he is flush or broke, down or up, and he will continue gambling no matter the consequences, even if he knows that the odds are not in his favor or if he cannot afford to lose.
It is possible for you to have a gambling problem but not completely out of control. Betting problem refer to all gambling behavior that negatively impacts your life. If you are obsessed with gambling, and you spend all your money and time on it, trying to overturn losses or gambling in spite of the grave effect it has on your life, you have a gambling problem.
Betting addiction is usually linked to other behavior disorders. Some problem gamblers also experience bipolar disorder, depression, unmanaged ADHD, substance abuse issues, stress or anxiety. To subdue your gambling problems, these other problems together with other elementary causes must be addressed.
Although it may seem as if you are powerless against betting addiction, but there are a lot of things that can be done to overcome the problem, fix your finances and relationships, and completely regain the control of your life.
Myths and Facts about Betting Addiction
Myth: A problem gambler is that person that gambles every day
Fact: A problem gambler may not gamble frequently or every day. Gambling becomes a problem when it starts causing problems in your life.
Myth: Sports betting addiction is not really a problem if you can afford it.
Fact: Sports betting addiction problems are not only financial. Spending enormous time on gambling usually lead to job loss, legal and relationship problems, mental health problems like anxiety, depression and even suicide.
Myth: Anyone who is addicted to sports betting is unintelligent, irresponsible or weak-willed.
Fact: People from all works of life, background and levels of intelligence are affected by sports betting addiction. Strong willed and responsible people also get addicted too.
Myth: Partners of people addicted to sports betting usually drive their lovers to gamble.
Fact: People addicted to sports betting usually try to justify their behavior. They blame others for their actions without taking responsibility.
Myth: Fixing a problem gambler’s financial problem makes them remorseful.
Fact: Fixing a problem gambler’s financial problem may seem to be the right thing to do. But doing this may actually worsen matters because they may continue in their act knowing that you are there to end.
Signs and Symptoms of Sports Betting Addiction
To overcome sports betting addiction, you need to first of all realize that you have a problem. To realize the problem, you must be able to identify the signs and symptoms.
According to statistics gotten from addictions.com, about 80% of American citizens gamble annually and that out of every 100 US gamblers, 3 to 5 suffer sports betting addiction. Going by this statistics, there are many persons suffering from sports betting addiction and they might not even realize it because they don’t know what sports betting addiction symptoms look like.
Check below for some of the signs and symptoms that indicate you are suffering from sports betting addiction:
- You find it difficult to stop gambling. People who are not addicted to gambling have budget or time constraint they adhere to but addicted gamblers don’t. Even if they have such constraint they struggle to adhere to the budget.
- You start betting with money you cannot afford to lose. You can’t separate between bill money and fun money.
- You start chasing your losses. Addicted bettors don’t stop gambling even after streaks of losses, they try to chase the game to beat the sports bookies. They are willing to lose more money or even use the money they cannot afford.
- You usually search for gambling money at all cost. You may start by borrowing money from friends and family, using bank loans, using student’s loan, or even going as far as engaging in theft.
- When gambling becomes your first priority, with your friends and family coming last. You start missing dates, school, holiday events and work.
- When you have frequent and drastic mood swings. Gambling can induce series of emotional feelings from ambition, frustration, excitement, remorse and depression to rage.
- When you start avoiding colleagues, friends and families who have shown some sort of interest and concern over your gambling act.
- If your home, job or cars are lost due to sports betting addiction or if your utilities are cut off.
- If you start lying and sneaking around just to conceal your betting activities.
Self-help for Sports Betting Addiction
Relieve your sad moments in healthier ways
Does loneliness and boredom make you gamble? Or does an argument with your partner or a stressful day at work trigger you to gamble? Then, gambling may be one way you have chosen to relieve yourself of unpleasant emotions. However, you could try more effective and healthier ways of relieving your moods like spending more time with your family, engaging in exercises and so on.
Reinforce your support system
No one can successfully overcome sports betting addiction without family and friends support. If your support system is weak, you can make new friends without resorting to gambling. You can contact your friends, families and colleagues to help you out. You may also join a book club, sport team or a volunteering team.
Join a rehabilitation class
You can join a rehabilitation class for addicted gamblers. Rehabilitation class is usually occupied by problem gamblers who listen to experiences of former addicts, learning from the methods the former addicts employed in overcoming their addictions.
Seek assistance for elementary mood disorders
Elementary mood disorders like substance abuse, depression, anxiety or stress can activate sports betting addiction. Even if you overcome betting addiction, these mood disorders remain, so it is better to address them too.
Further Advice on Overcoming Sports Betting Addiction
Many sports betting addicts find it less challenging to quit gambling but find it very difficult to stay in recovery. They encounter challenges in sticking to their ‘no gambling commitment’. This is due to the fact that the internet has made it far easier to access betting sites. TV commercials, promotions and adverts about the various sports betting sites available are not also helping matters. Even with all these temptations, you can maintain recovery from betting addiction if you steer clear of tempting sites and environments, surround yourself with loving people who you are accountable to, let someone trustworthy control your finances and replace gambling with healthier activities.
The best way to stop gambling is to eliminate all gambling elements in your life and substitute them with healthier options. The following are the elements to eliminate:
- Money: You cannot gamble without money. So just do away with your credit cards, let a trustworthy friend or family take control of your finances, keep only needed cash on you and close your betting accounts.
- A game: You can’t gamble unless there is a game to bet on. So try not to find yourself in a tempting environment. You can inform your favorite sportsbook about your gambling addiction and request that you be restricted from logging in. Uninstall all betting apps and block all betting sites on your computer or phone.
- A decision: Before you can go back to gambling, you must have made the decision to gamble. Where you feel any urge to gamble, just stop whatever you are engaged in, and call a friend. You can also reflect on the consequences of your action, try to stop thinking about betting and engage in something healthier.
- Time: You can’t engage in sports betting if you are very busy. You may have a schedule of satisfying leisure time for yourself. However, such leisure time should not be gambling related.
Want to get More Relevant Information?
You can also check our sports betting comparison for several other insights on sports and casino betting. The information on our sports betting comparison page is researched critically to help you make the best choices and to ensure you profit maximally from your