Posts tagged problem gambling
8 Lies you tell yourself to justify not not giving up gambling: and how to counteract them ..#3-5

#3. ‘ But I’ve ‘invested’ so much….no way can I quit now’

 

#4.  ‘It will take too long to repay my debts any other way…’ 

 

#5. ‘I just need to be more focused…….’   

 

#6 ‘if I can go back to how I used to gamble it might work’

 

#7 ‘No I am not addicted, it is not as if I wake up craving or anything….’

 

#8 ‘If I was addicted to gambling, surely I would have big debt. Since I don’t – it means I don’t have an issue’

 

 

Previously in this blog series I have posted individual ‘lies’ and responded to them. I have here decided to put an entire 5 lies together and address them together as they are slightly different but still arrive at the same issue. They are all in complete contradiction of REALITY and if you were to go with the statements you would be required to deny at least aspects of your current life situation to yourself.  Some of them you may wish to do your own breakdown with – if they are particularly relevant for you. 

Denial is a central topic in addiction – one of the hallmarks in fact, irrespective of if we are talking about alcohol, gambling, sex and pornography or anything else.  Denial is an also prevalent in our thinking day to day even when unrelated to addiction.   If you are someone who pays close attention to your thoughts, you won’t have to look far before you can detect times in the day when we are likely to go into momentary denial about something.

 

nooooo I didn’t just leave my keys and lock myself out, did I?’

 

I cannot believe I missed the train, I am going to be late for the interview now’

 

Clearly these moments of denial are slightly different from the often-prolonged state of denial seen in individuals with addiction.

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8 lies you tell yourself to justify not giving up gambling: and how to counteract them..#2.

#2. I WILL STOP, I’M JUST GAMBLING TIL’ I’VE RECOVERED MY LOSSES...

These are the words of many problem gamblers presenting in therapy. Many of whom have significant debts and devastation has been caused to many areas of life as a result of gambling.  Admittedly this ‘argument’ or rationalisation itself can be very convincing. There is a sincere acknowledgment that the gambling is no longer a desirable activity and that it does need to stop. Additionally, there is a sense of unease about debts that have been run during the process of chasing losses- and of course it’s not hard to see that this is not good.  Most problem gamblers will also at this point intellectually be able to realise that if the gambling was responsible for running up the debt in the first place: there is indeed an overwhelming risk that further gambling, as a way to recover the debt,  is not a great way to go forward.  So, while there is a sincere intention about quitting the gambling, the belief here is about having ‘just that final bet’ that will enable them to quit with a clean slate. Everyone will be happy again. This is of course a huge risk to take and  the trouble is that many gamblers don’t really mind taking that risk. If you are a gambler reading this – it is important to recognise what character features in yourself brought you to take such an interest in gambling to begin with. Not saying that it is always tied in with your personality – or that every gambler is a risk taker, but there is little doubt that risk-takers are over represented amongst problem gamblers. And even if you are not one of them, chances are that you have ‘numbed out’ to your fear of taking risks with money over time whilst putting bets on that are beyond what you can afford.  Coming back to the reasoning behind the idea of using gambling to recover from gambling problems-  if often goes something like this  'rather take that risk and might win than having a guarantee of long and boring payback plan...’  and/or ‘if I just concentrate better/focus on x stock/pick the 'right' machine it could work out and I might win’  

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