Help for Problem Gamblers:|
What is a Gambling Problem look like?
Erik Bohlin, M.A.
How do you know if you have a gambling problem? When it becomes a
problem. This is not meant to be double talk, but it really is the simplest definition.
It is all about being in touch with reality. But let's look at
made promises that you would stop but have been unable to keep them?
Have you hurt someone you love by gambling and keep on doing it? Does
there seem to be a need or force "making" you do this? Compulsion is
there with any addiction. The compulsive feels so strong because of the
underlying needs beneath it. The stronger the "sense of unmet needs,"
the stronger the compulsion. The less strong the needs are, the weaker
the compulsion to act out sexually. We usually think we are in control
and making the choice, but are we. How much money have we spend on
our habit? Have we made promises to stop and then find that we
started again? Do we feel a compulsion to chase our losses, that
is to try to win back what we lost.Unmanageability
gambling caused you trouble? This takes time to discover.
Addicts fix things well enough to try to avoid in any way saying that
the trouble they are experiencing is caused by gambling.
They will say that their loved ones are upset because "they found out."
Can it be the acting out, lying and broken promise that cause the pain
The addiction might be causing you pain,
frustration and discomfort. It may conflict with you moral values or
religious beliefs, but you do it anyway. You may have gone down a path
where you have crossed legal lines and have gotten caught. You might at
this point admit that it is a problem.
Perhaps, you spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend is ready to leave you over
your looking at pornography or chatting with someone online. What do
you do? (to read more click
Breaking down could be the beginning of a break through.
No one wants to admit defeat. It seems to go against our natural
instinct to give up. This is a good thing if it is pointed in the right
direction. Giving up smoking. Giving up bickering and fighting.
Giving up anxiety, fear and panic. Giving up negative thinking.
Giving up gambling is perhaps the single most important thing
you will do. If you don't, consider the consequences. The problem is
we don't take account of what it does to us. We want to be in denial
and still use. "The truth shall set you free."
The truth maybe painful to face, but it will set us
free. Addiction is all about "not feeling." A simple thing it is to take
account of what something in our lives is doing for us - positive or
negative. But we can't do it. Sometimes we are forced to face the
truth. Maybe it is a loved one confronting us or we may find ourselves
in legal or financial trouble because of the addiction to gambling and
"I Slipped Again."
"It is human to fall down, but it is demonic to
not get back up again."
- Early Christian Saying
"If you don't want to get burned, don't go near the fire"
" Can a man take fire to his bosom,
And his clothes not be
Can one walk on hot coals,
And his feet
not be seared?"
What do you do when you have fallen for the 50th time? It
seems that the harder you try, the worse it gets. We tend to
be creatures of habit, if you haven't noticed. Just as we get
stuck in our addiction, we may get stuck in the process of recovery.
Compulsive gamblers, like other addicts tend to be stubborn, closed-minded and non compliant.
The problem is not with weak will. It is a stubborn and strong
will. We can't let go. We are like the child who is
"independent" our mother says and we will not let go and follow the
directions given to us. We are like the man who is caught in
the fire in his house, who can hear his neighbors outside yelling to
climb out the window. But "by gosh, we know our own house!"
"Why are they telling me what to do." "I know my own house."
"I know how to get to the front door." We don't heed the fact
that we are in danger, there is so much smoke we can't see clearly
and we are going to asphyxiate ourselves as we go the long way.
And the long way it is.
What should we do? We
should listen to those around us who have made it out of the house
alive. The are living proof that there is a recovery plan that
works. It will work for us if, . . if we follow it. The
early Christian church had a saying:
"If you have picked
yourself as a spiritual guide,. . . you have picked a fool."
There is also a 12 step saying that says, is that your
best thinking got you here. We need something vastly different
to move into recovery and to avoid slipping.
Steadfast. Stubbornness works if it is channeled into
surrender and consistency with the program. Humility is
If we are in a burning house, we must understand that
our life depends upon following directions and acting upon them.
This is not the time to make something up. That is why fire
departments for years have encouraged children and adults to learn
"fire drills." We learn where the nearest exit is, how to
proceed, staying calm and making an accounting of everyone.
We must humble ourselves, by getting on our knees, crawling and
listening for the voices calling outside. We are really in the
dark and can't see the path ahead, but listen for the directions.
Follow them immediately and we will get out.
are practical directions given by sponsors to their sponsees in
gambling recovery if they were followed we would surely get out.
1. Go to 12 step meetings.
2. Call your sponsor.
3. To avoid a slip, avoid slippery persons, places and
4. To not tempt yourself.
5. Pray. Pray. Pray.
6. Work the 12 steps.
7. Read recovery literature - Alcoholics Anonymous,
Sexaholics Anonymous, 12 steps and 12 traditions of Alcoholics
Anonymous (AKA "the 12 and 12."
8. Read the Bible.
9. Let go of resentments and fears.
10. Focus on your own recovery and not your spouses.
"Wired for Gambling"
How Understanding Neurophysiology can help you Recovery from
Do you feel like the no matter what you do, you still fail at keeping
sexually sober? There is some information that may be really important
for you to know. Consider the notion that there are times when you are
doing really well and others where you seem to have little control.
What made the difference? This question is not a rhetorical as it
sounds. That means for you to successfully recovery, you have to think
about what keeps you sober. . . and what doesn't.
Let us have
simple lesson in how our nervous systems work. There is something
called the Autonomic Nervous System. This system is always functioning
and helps us survive the stresses of live. There are three divisions
among the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS): Sympathetic Nervous
System (NS), Parasympathetic Nervous System
(PNS), and Enteric Nervous System (EN).
The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is activated when we experience
danger. It kicks in automatically to help us survive by increasing our
heartbeat, our breathing, and our adrenaline. It stops digestion, stops
our elimination, the blood leaves our extremities and goes to our core.
Hence, the term "break out into a cold sweat." Our pupils dilate, the
blood leaves our pre-frontal cortex (higher thinking) and goes to our
survival center, the limbic system which is pretty binary. It is
"this" or it is "that." It is "fight" or it is "flight." Our speech
stops, "we are speechless." I remember the term "sympathetic" and what
happens here by thinking I am sympathetic to someone running from a
bear. Parasympathetic Nervous System is like a "paramedic" to the
rescue. When we are rescued we calm down.
Nervous System (PNS( is the "rest and digest" systems. We are calm, our
blood goes to our extremities, arms and legs so that we can really relax
and enjoy the warm sensation. This is how mood rings measure
temperature to determine our mood, by how our circulation is in our body
and how warm we are. This is why we relax so well in a hot tub, a nice
bath or enjoying the warms of the sun. In the PNS, we can digest our
food properly, our sphincter muscles are relaxed we can eliminate
waste. Why is is so comforting to release urine. Is it not just the
emptying our our bladders or is our PNS activated. Our pupils constrict
and we have more blood flow go to our cortex. We can think better. Our
speech is engaged.
So how does this information help with sex
addiction recovery. Click here
to continue the rest of the article.
"This is not about achievement."
Understanding the pitfall of achievement, pride and trying to
control the outcome.