In order to fully grasp how best we can avoid a gambling problem it is important to understand the motivations behind problem gambling. Research has shown that there are many motivational factors that cause problem gambling. If you have a gambling problem, please think about which of these factors applies to you.
- Control – Control is a factor that involves the problem gambler falsely believing that he or she has designed a system to consistently win.
- Prophecy – Prophecy is a factor involving the gambler believing that luck will see him or her through a winning streak at the time he or she gambles.
- Uninformed – Being uninformed is when the gambler has a false belief that he or she can consistently make money from gambling.
- Good feelings – This is when the gambler goes to the casino or gambling venue to escape from his depression and leave his or her problems at home. Good feelings can also arise at the very moment a bet is made due to the thrill and adrenaline rush that comes with the associated possibility of winning albeit low that it is.
- Relaxation – This involves the gambler feeling that he or she is relaxed at the gaming venue, thereby alleviating his or her anxieties and worries.
- Boredom – This is a very common motivating factor for gambling. The gambler is short of things to do and will go to the gambling venue to pass the time. Given that casino and betting outlets are often windowless; full of flashing lights; have constant winning noises; and are commonly without wall clocks, the room set up is designed to enable the gambler to lose track of time which is a palatable recipe to entertain boredom.
- Numbness – Some people resort to gambling to disconnect from emotion thereby letting the slot machines and the like, absorb their thoughts and feelings. It is as though this gambler does not want to confront his or her problems and gambling assists in escaping every-day problems and difficulties of life.
- Oasis – This involves gambling as a means of escaping the demands of others. For example, many gambling addicts believe that time spent at the casino is a great way to forget about difficult people at work.
- Transition – Uncertainty about future changes is a common motivation for problem gambling as we forget about our transition anxieties whilst we are at the gambling venue.
- Desperation – This involves the gambler who is either trying to win back losses or is desperately trying to accumulate some winnings in order to pay for a debt or bill.
- Mischief – This involves gambling in an attempt to rebel against incidents which are unrelated to the gambling itself. For instance, if the boss at work was mean to the employee, the employee will indirectly rebel through self-harm practices at the gambling table.
- Winner – Some believe that gambling activity increases their reputation as a winner when in reality the odds of winning do not stake that claim.
- Entrenchment – There are those gamblers who have become so accustomed to problem gambling that they believe they are a lost cause that is beyond help. There form of entrenchment can be so high that they will say things like ‘Anti-gambling adds are only targeted towards non-gamblers.’
- Harm to self – Some problem gamblers will gamble out of a desire to do self-harm. Such gamblers are often lacking in self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Shyness – Some problem gamblers are shy during social interactions and therefore they feel satisfied being exposed to people with little or no interaction in a gambling venue.
- Friendship – Some problem gamblers go to the gambling venues to have a social interaction with their fellow problem gamblers or people they know at the casino. There are so many other ways to secure friendships with-out subjecting oneself to lose money at a gambling venue.
If you are a problem gambler and wish to have therapy with me, I will explore and unpack the motivating factors which cause you to gamble, with a view towards helping you understand and take control of your gambling problem. Should you wish to make an appointment with me I can be contacted on 0418 122 932 or you may send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org