Gambling addiction is a condition that keeps the person gambling because it is pleasurable but they continue to gamble despite the great cost to their finances, relationship, family and work.
I define an addiction as being something of lower value for which we are willing to sacrifice something of greater value for it. Anytime we do things compulsively at the expense of something of greater value we have behaved in an addictive fashion.
Gambling gives us a pleasurable feeling while we are winning and during the suspense of gambling. The only problem is that it can override any STOP button that tells us when we have had enough or even too much.
Why is that, you may ask yourself. Well, one of the primary reasons is that most gamblers felt a relief of some stress in their life or some other pleasant experience when they started to gamble. They may have had a loved one who they could spend time with gambling. Or they may have been escaping other problems, ironically even poverty. Gambling became both an entertainment and a possible way out of some difficulty.
Unfortunately, I have never heard of anyone who was able to escape poverty, and stay there, through gambling. Most commonly the gambler will go back again and again until they have ‘given back’ all of their winnings and more.
The drives to gamble are from emotions and based in the unconscious part of the mind. That is why trying to will ourselves to stop something to which we are addicted is rarely successful, in the longer term.
The good news is that the subconscious mind can be re-trained to stop wanting to gamble, through some hypnotherapy sessions with a qualified and capable therapist.
Combining hypnotherapy with some stress management techniques and Life Coaching can be extremely effective in less than 5 sessions, in most cases.