Changing your gambling can have a profoundly positive impact on your life. In fact, here at the Nebraska Problem Gamblers Assistance Program, our clients have reported enjoying better family relationships and more time to enjoy their favorite activities as a result of taking control of their gambling.
Yet many individuals who gamble avoid getting the help they need, or making the changes they really want to. Instead of starting healthy habits, overcoming gambling triggers, and focusing on the fulfilling parts of life, they’re stuck in problem gambling: the incontrollable urge to gamble in spite of its negative consequences on your life.
There are a number of reasons individuals may avoid making the changes they really want to. But these three major gambling myths may be part of the problem.
Are any of these misconceptions holding you back from taking control of your gambling?
Myth #1: Gambling isn’t a problem in my life if I’m not gambling daily.
Reality: If gambling hurts you or the ones you love, and you struggle to change your gambling, it’s a problem—no matter how often you bet.
When gambling disrupts your life, takes your time and money, or creates tension in your closest relationships, it may be a serious problem. Regardless of when, where, or how much you bet.
Myth #2: Gambling is a reliable way for me to make money.
Reality: Gambling one cause of financial problems. Not a solution to them.
There are many reasons why gambling is not a reliable way to get out of debt, especially if that debt is due to excessive gambling losses. In fact, borrowing more money to resolve a gambling-related problem is actually one of the key signs of gambling that has reached a problematic level in your life.
One reason why gambling is an ineffective way to earn money is that the odds always favor the house. Casinos are strategically designed to encourage gambling—and keep you there, losing, as long as possible.
Another reason gambling to “make money” is a losing game is that when those who gamble lose their bet, they may feel the need to gamble even more to attempt to win back their losses. That can lead to a dangerous downward debt spiral—and serious financial harm. This illusion of control can cause individuals to gamble excessively, while their losses mount.
Myth #3: Asking for help means I’m weak.
Reality: Seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness. It shows that you’re ready to make a lasting change.
There are many different ways to meaningfully change your gambling. You can choose to set limits on your gambling and change your behaviors on your own, or you can get support from the trained Helpline Specialists here at the NPGAP.
Of the Nebraskans who chose to work with our team, a full 93% reported reducing their gambling after they started getting help from a trained professional.
Realizing that extra help and support can make changing your gambling easier isn’t a weakness. In reality, it’s one of the most effective ways to take control of your life—and break free from betting.
Don’t let these common myths hold you back.
These three pervasive gambling myths have the power to trap you in a cycle of gambling. But when you understand that these myths are nothing more than misconceptions, you’re one step closer to transforming your life, family, and finances.
When you gamble more than you want to—or can afford to—NPGAP can help.
Did you know our resources and support are completely free to Nebraskans and their family members? Whether you gamble, or you’re calling for a friend or loved one who does, our confidential and compassionate team is always ready to provide the help you need to counter the effects of gambling—and enjoy a life after betting.
To get started, just call our dedicated helpline at 1-833-BETOVER (238-6837) or text 402-806-7344. Helpline Specialist Justin Antons (MA, PLMHP, LADC, CDGC) is standing by, ready to take your call or message.