Don’t beat yourself up

dont beat yourself up

Do you beat yourself up about your gambling?

Maybe you think that you deserve to feel bad after a session, as a punishment for going. It kind of makes sense. When kids do something wrong, we punish them, so that they’re less likely to do it in future. Why would it be any different for us and our gambling? So if we go to gamble, punishing ourselves by beating ourselves up about it should make us go less likely to go in future, right? Wrong.

In spite of this, you might think that you deserve to be punished for your continued gambling anyway. You know you can’t win, yet you keep going. This could only mean that you’re dumb or weak for going. Right? Wrong again.

The fact is that gambling problems affect a whole range of people, and having a gambling problem is absolutely no reflection on your level of intelligence or your will power. Gambling problems affect people from all walks of life from bankers to doctors to labourers. Highly intelligent and highly disciplined people can all succumb to gambling problems.

Beating yourself up about gambling is NOT an effective strategy for helping you stop. What’s more, will power alone,  is rarely enough to help people stop. What helps the vast majority of people stop or reduce, is to have a guide, who can help them uncover the reasons why they gamble in the first place. The answers might surprise you.

If you think you have a problem with gambling, or if you want to know more, a gambling counsellor can be found by calling Gambling Help on 1800 858 858. Free individual sessions are available to anybody who might be concerned their gambling has gotten out of hand.

The Gambling Help website has a range of free resources and self-help tools available to download or order, as well as new community support forums where you can share your experiences and hear from others who are in similar situations. Visit www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au/forum to join the conversation.

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