How Boredom Can Trigger a Gambling Relapse

How Boredom Can Trigger a Gambling RelapseWhile a relapse may appear to be a single event, addiction professionals believe that there is a process that occurs before the specific event of relapse.

Triggers to Relapse

During the relapse process, certain situations may occur that trigger compulsive behavior, including the following issues:

  • Boredom and complacency
  • Isolation and depression
  • Dishonesty
  • Argumentativeness and cockiness
  • Self pity or ingratitude for recovery
  • Letting up on daily structure and avoiding support group meetings
  • Selfishness
  • Obsessive and compulsive thinking and behaving
  • Major or sudden life changes
  • Exhaustion

Your mental, physical and emotional state, coupled with a daily constructive routine, need to be maintained for you to maintain recovery from gambling addiction.

Am I at Risk for Gambling Addiction Relapse?

Before, during and after you are creating your relapse prevention plan, it is important for you to do a risk assessment for the possibility of you having a relapse. You should consider the following factors you assess your risk of relapse:

  • Are you managing impulsive behavior and instant gratification?
  • Are there any underlying issues you have not resolved?
  • Do you recall the consequences of your gambling behaviors?
  • Do you have a structured daily plan to support your recovery?
  • Are you motivating yourself during your recovery?

Factor these answers into your initial relapse prevention plan and periodically check back to see if you need to modify your plan at all.

How to Avoid Gambling Relapse

To succeed in preventing relapse, many people create a plan that includes the following elements:

  • Identifying the factors and situations that may trigger relapse
  • Preventive strategies to deal with these factors and triggers
  • Creating a support system that is ready, willing and able confront any symptoms of relapse
  • The identification of high risk situations or events such as entering a casino
  • A list of meetings, sponsors or other support systems that are available 24 hours a day
  • Careful money management that includes limiting your access to cash or credit cards, setting up automatic payment for bills and asking for assistance from a relative or friend to control finances
  • A daily schedule that accounts for your time in a constructive manner
  • Mood management strategies to maintain a balance emotional state
  • A journal so that you can track your emotional state
  • A well-balanced day that includes good nutrition, fitness and stress-relieving activities
  • A list of rewards that you will get should you abstain from gambling

Having a plan in writing will increase your chance for success.

Benefits of a Relapse Prevention Plan

In addition to having a blueprint for maintaining recovery, a relapse prevention plan offers the following benefits:

  • Maintaining a healthy routine
  • Helps you create goals
  • Keeps you focused
  • Helps you create positive habits
  • Increases your personal responsibility
  • Helps you achieve success in defeating triggers
  • Teaches you how to give yourself positive reinforcement

All of these benefits will enhance your life and help you create a plan for dealing with other obstacles.

Help Avoiding Gambling Relapse

Call our toll-free helpline now where our counselors are available 24 hours a day. They can not only answer your questions, but also help you create your relapse-prevention plan.