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Though gambling withdrawal can be a challenging process it is important to remember that it’s an unavoidable part of recovery and the rewards outweigh the experience. If you are mentally prepared for withdrawal you can flourish during your recovery.

Learn to focus on recovery and make it a priority. Be kind to yourself and take things one day at a time. Every day will be different, somedays you will have lots of energy and enthusiasm and some days will be harder.

Though the symptoms can be intense, remember that they are not permanent, they will eventually fade away. Feeling the urge to gamble is totally normal, and it can be difficult to cope with such desires in a positive way.

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The following methods can help you to cope with gambling withdrawal and prevent a potential relapse.

Nourish Yourself and Eat Healthy

Start with improving your diet and nutrition. A balanced diet can help reduce some withdrawal symptoms like mood swings. Avoid or limit sugar and caffeine intake and ensure that your diet consist of a balanced mix of vegetables and fruits. Tempting as it may be, shy away from junk foods, and stay hydrated by drinking about 1 to 2 liters of water daily.

Exercise

Stay active and engage in physical activities like exercising and yoga. Exercise quickens the healing process for both the body and the brain. It improves the immune system and helps restore a healthy balance to neurotransmitter levels. Exercising is also helpful in keeping your mind off gambling and can also help to minimize anxiety and stress level leading to improved sleep condition.

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Identify and Avoid Triggers

Identifying high-risk situations that trigger anger, compulsive need to win, boredom, sadness, loneliness and stress can help you prevent these emotional states. These triggers are often prompted by some form of environmental, emotional or physical stimuli that will tempt you to gamble. Avoid people from you past who are linked to your old gambling life.

Delay Gambling

Delaying gambling is a good way of breaking a gambling problem. Put-off the urge for instant gratification. Often the waiting kills off the desire to gamble so find something else to do instead.

Get Support

Don’t go it alone, get help. Your support network can help you keep you on track, give you with a shoulder to lean on, a listening ear and that encouraging word to help you stay focused. Reach out to a gambling addiction treatment specialist who knows the unique challenges that you’re facing and can advise you if you need to attend a gambling-specific addiction treatment center.

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Stay Busy

Always plan ahead, schedule and find something to do. Keeping busy will distract and prevent you from dwelling on distractive thoughts. It will limit the time you have to think about how you are feeling. Consider jogging, socializing or volunteering, watching TV or movies, or reading magazines and books of interest. Be determined to distract yourself by finding activities that can take your mind off gambling.

Master Coping Strategies

There is no universally ideal treatment option or coping mechanism. Identify the reasons that led you to gambling and why you kept on gambling. Often, gambling is a way of coping with stress and anxiety and better managing your mental health can reduce your desire to gamble.

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Speak to a specialist

Gambling addiction specialists can guide you throughout every step of recovery. Their professional guidance and customized treatment programs help you address the root of your addiction, how to manage your addiction, and how to develop the strategies to refrain from gambling any more. Your gambling withdrawal symptoms might take you to low places, but they are not permanent, and they will weaken and fade away with time.

Topics: Recovery, Gambling Addiction, Treatment

Rick Benson

Written by Rick Benson

Rick founded Algamus Recovery Centers in 1992. A Cornell University graduate, Rick is an Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC-II) and a Canadian Problem Gambling Counselor (CPGC). Algamus and Rick were featured on the very first episode of Intervention on the A&E channel.