Self Help Strategies
Many problem gamblers say that once they’ve taken the first steps to deal with their situation, they immediately feel much more positive and in control. There are things you can do today that will help you take control of your gambling.
|•||Keep a gambling diary|
|•||Limit your access to money|
|•||Find other leisure activities|
|•||If you gamble, limit the time and money spent|
|•||Get support from a close family member or friend|
Keep A Gambling Diary
Keeping a journal can help you keep track of your gambling behavior. Simply jot down the details in a notebook. Each time you gamble, write down the day and date, the time, the place, who you were with, how much cash you were carrying and your net win or loss. It is important to be honest with yourself.
Ask yourself why you were gambling? Did your friends encourage you? What were you thinking about, and how were you feeling? Were you bored, angry or stressed? By looking back at these details later, you will probably be able to see patterns emerge that give you an idea of what makes you want to gamble. You’ll also get a clear idea of how much you are losing – both in time and money.
Limit Your Access To Money
When you decide to gamble, leave your ATM and credit cards at home and only take the amount of cash you can afford to lose. Never “chase your losses” or try to win back money you’ve already lost. This is how gamblers most often end up in serious trouble. Decide on a limit and once you have spent that money, walk away. Once you have lost, or won, walk away. You can also consider asking your bank to lower the daily withdrawal limit on your ATM card.
Pick someone in your life whom you trust and talk to them honestly about your gambling and how you’d like to gain more control over that aspect of your life. Ask them if you can “check in” with them once a week, or as often as you need to, to talk over the steps you’re taking to change your life.
Making positive changes can be difficult to begin with, so having someone to cheer you on can be a big source of strength and encouragement.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, call us on 1800 858 858– this service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The person at the other end of the line has talked to hundreds of people just like you and they understand exactly what you’re going through.
You can call as many times as you like, at the cost of a local call, and can arrange to speak to the same person each time, if you prefer.
Self-exclusion is effectively a way to keep yourself from a place where you may be tempted to gamble. You have the right to ask to be excluded from any licensed gambling venue, including clubs, casinos, pubs and TABs. Your local gambling help service can help you to complete the paperwork.
To exclude yourself from online or mobile phone-based gambling, visit the GamBlock website. This is not a free service and users can be charged up to US$100 a year.