People who do not gamble regularly feel that even contemplating the thought of progressing into compulsive gamblers is a ridiculous one. However, the beginning may be in some impulsive circumstances or situations. However, the conditions are always real.The similarity between chemical dependency and pathological gambling:The major similarity is nothing but the helplessness and the inability to stop or reduce the addiction. The denial and refusal of the addiction and also severe depression are similarities. Both these diseases are progressive and both go through stages that are similar.The beginning stage is the chase in which there is a quest for the high of winning. The addiction is used to nullify the pain that is brought by the problems. A pathological gambler and the person dependent on drugs and alcohol will have nothing but their addiction on their mind. Their self esteem becomes very low and they look for nothing but immediate gratification.A case of pathological gambling, unlike chemical addiction, is not an easily notable disease. Many indicators can be used to identify a person who is chemically dependent. However, a gambler may be normal for extended periods of time. Only if they incur a very huge debt by losing in gambles, will people come to know about his potential problem.Pathological gamblers need nothing more than a crisis counselling right in the beginning of their treatment as the rate of suicides of gamblers is far higher than the rate of suicides of drug or alcohol addicts.Levels of addiction of gambling:Many gambling forms that provide immediate satisfaction are the ones of the worst kind. A video and slot machine are the well known examples of such happenings. Effective reinforcement and instant gratification are machines that are used most by the pathological gamblers more than any other game.The time that is taken to move from the initial bet to the chronic addiction is very low for this type of gambling. In olden days it used to take ages for a gambler to get addicted to a machine. Nowadays it has become very common in seeing a person getting addicted to a machine within a few months or a maximum of 2 to 3 years only.Nature of pathological gambling:The latest discoveries in this field indicate that the dependency of gambling is a one that is similar to chemical dependency. Alec Roy, MD, a psychiatrist has studied and inferred that norepinephrine low in pathological gamblers as compared to the normal gamblers.This chemical is one which is secreted by the brain when it is stressed, excited or aroused. When a pathological gambler indulges in these activities, he actually tries to increase the level of norepinephrine, which becomes an addiction.These findings are reinforced by Dr. Henry Lesieur finding that a pathological gambler is a thrill seeker who gambles, not for money, but for the excitement.
Compulsive Gambling is a progressive illness. That means it gets worse the longer it goes untreated. The only effective treatment known for gambling problems at this time is to stop gambling completely. Problem Gambling is similar to other addictive behavior in that way. Whether it is tobacco addiction, alcohol addiction, or any other problem behavior, the best and only truly effective method to treat seems to be to stop.Part of the problem with behavioral issues is that the more one does the unwanted behavior, the deeper the behavior becomes rooted in the brain. Neural pathways seem to grow deeper and stronger and there doesn’t seem to be a way to do just a little of whatever the problem behavior is, without stimulating those neural pathways and reinforcing the synaptic loops. Cold Turkey, total cessation seems to be the only treatment.To successfully manage this behavior requires support from several sources to really increase the chances of success. 12 step programs, such as the one offered by Gamblers Anonymous, work well for many people. Other people find more success with private therapy and some combine the two. The more effort put into the attempt to control the behavior, the better the results.The drive to gamble, like all drives, urges, and emotions, seems to be located in and originate from the subconscious, also called the unconscious mind. It has been shown that the conscious mind processes only about 50 bits of information per second while the subconscious processes an amazing 50,000 bits per second. In behavioral matters the urges of the subconscious often use that advantage to force unwanted behavior to continue. That is why guided meditations for gambling problems work so well at helping to control gambling problems.During a guided meditation, the user is relaxed and his or her subconscious mind becomes more accessible. When it is accessible, the facilitator, in this case the therapist who is guiding the meditation, may use positive suggestions to convince the subconscious to accept new behavior. When the subconscious becomes convinced that non-gambling is in the best interest it has a strong urge to stop gambling and the urge to gamble begins to abate. New neural pathways begin to form and non-gambling actually begins to become a habit. With continued exposure to the guided meditation and suggestions the new behavior is reinforced and becomes stronger.The use of guided meditations for relaxation and to control compulsive gambling is becoming more widespread. Because guided meditations are so easy to use, there is no way to fail, they are widely accepted and appreciated and easily adapt to any lifestyle or user.
One of the nice side effects of guided meditations is that they relax the users, and that, in itself, helps the affected person to deal more successfully with the gambling problems. With the availability of computer downloads of MP3 sound files for gambling problems, a user may download a guided meditation for a specific purpose and then listen to it whenever he or she pleases.Part of the effectiveness of the treatment lies in its flexibility and availability. Gambling problems are still difficult to treat, but using guided relaxation meditations as adjunctive therapy is helping many people to manage their illness and regain control of their lives.
Why gamble and why don’t?Most people are unhappy about being labeled as gamblers since the disgrace would forever harass them. People have several reasons regarding the sport of gambling. Few gamble for fun, some to forget problems, another few to just pass the time. There are people who gamble seriously and there are others who are simply addicted to gambling.Gambling is not all that downbeat, if you realize that there certain untapped benefits from gambling which are not very visible and are beyond the race track or the walls of casino or even bingo social hall.EmploymentThe employment ratio attributed to the existence of casinos in Las Vegas is around 60 percent. One would not be able to perceive the situation if the casinos suddenly stopped functioning.EntertainmentGambling is no doubt the essence of entertainment provided people limit themselves and sprinkle discipline within them. Some people are too optimistic about recovering all their lost cards in the next game and hence continue the game. These constitute hardly a quarter of the gambling population who are not responsible enough and get into indecent gambling.However there is the other 75 percent of population who gamble responsibly. They are those who know the entertainment value of gambling and never get into opinions where they are blinded to make huge money the very first time they hit the card!It is a sad fact that only a very minor portion of gamblers realize how destructive gambling can ever get. It is true that friends, families, jobs, properties, crime etc saturate the destruction brought by gambling when there is no application of self discipline.Charity WorkThe winnings coming from gambling tricks and activities have donated the much required financial resource for every worthy cause. Lotteries and Bingos are being utilized in many cases in a way that every win contributes a percentage of jackpot reward to various charity institutions.At times celebrities manifest their competence in different games such as the card game of poker in a way that the audience is entertained and the winnings go towards the charitable organizations they represent.Health benefitsStudies have revealed that population which is 65 years or older who gamble have considerably fewer reports of health issues be it depression, alcoholism or bankruptcy. They find gambling very therapeutic as in a way it keeps them alert by exercising their mind.Retiree gamblers are most often recreational gamblers who value the entertainment quotient of gambling. It was concluded that they stay healthy because they begin by being healthy and not because of gambling.To conclude, it is not just the act of gambling that develops as harmful or beneficial to any individual. It is but the resolution of the individual which would help him rule excessive gambling rather than excessive gambling ruling up on him.