How to Mentally Cope With a Big Gambling Loss

man with head in his hands at poker table

Gambling losses, large or small, can be challenging to grapple with. The rush you felt while gambling has stopped at the realization that you are now in debt.

After a loss, you may feel overwhelmed, upset, or guilty. What was once a distraction has now resulted in debt and a sense of panic. For problem gamblers, a loss may result in feelings of frustration and a determination to win back the amount of money lost. How do you step away from spending more money? How do you deal with gambling loss? 

Here are ways to cope with gambling loss — and eventually move on from it.

Take a Step Back

While gambling, you may not be aware of the money you have lost until it’s too late. Gambling small amounts of money can turn into large amounts of savings, which may leave you feeling stressed and guilty. When coping with gambling loss, you should be honest with yourself and your loved ones about your current situation.

Instead of continuing to gamble in an attempt to remedy your losses, consider taking up a new, productive activity. For example, physical activity such as taking a walk, going to the gym, or gardening may help you keep your mind off of your debt. The amount of time you use to try a new activity could help you better understand your situation and cope with your losses.

Try to Understand Your Habits

In trying to learn how to deal with gambling loss, take the time to ask yourself about your gambling habits. What is the main reason for your gambling? Understanding the answer to the question, either with the help of a friend or another support system, can help you face your gambling behaviors head-on.

Accept the Losses

Although you may feel a need to chase your losses, continuing to gamble may only result in additional losses and potential debt. Overall, when trying to understand how to deal with gambling loss, it’s essential to accept your losses instead of trying to win back your money. Continuing to gamble after a loss, when you may feel stressed and guilty, can worsen these feelings.

Find Support

Talking to a family member, friend, or another supportive person can be helpful when coping with gambling loss. Along with loved ones, you can seek out support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous meetings. These supportive communities can encourage coping with your losses.

When learning how to deal with gambling loss, know that you don’t have to do it alone. We help connect those facing problem gambling with resources, including programs and professional counseling. Don’t hesitate to reach out today. Call or text our 24/7 free helpline at 800-GAMBLER today.



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