Gambling: A Reality Distortion System, Part 2



Types of Reality Distortion Systems

Gambling, Part 2

Gambling is a behavioral addiction.  It is also a physiological addiction.  For the compulsive gambler, the adrenaline produced from the excitement of the possibility of a win, can be addictive.  Adrenaline gives one a rush.  Many people become addicted to their own adrenaline.

Like all addictions, taken to the extreme, gambling can ruin lives.  It can become the organizing principle of one’s life leaving everything else for others to deal with: financial responsibility, hobbies, social get-togethers,  family, children, job, all fall by the wayside.  The belief that the next bet will render that huge win serves to drag us under its spell.  It convinces us that however our life has been negatively effected by our gambling, it will all be fixed with a giant win.  Gamblers succumb to this illusion.

How to Implement New Behavior:  Whatever triggers us to seek out the bet, must be identified and avoided.  For example, if an argument with one’s wife ques one to avoid conflict and seek refuge at the casino, we need to learn how to find resolutions with our spouse, and we need to find another place to seek solace. We must replace the automatic, well practiced behavior of splitting from conflict and going to the casino, with another behavior such as going to the gym, or jogging.  We must also learn how approach conflict resolution.

Many gambling addicts belong to betting pools.  Many gambling addicts bet on golf shots, tennis games, sporting events, horse races, etc.  You name it, a gambler can find a way to place a bet.  Abstinence from betting has to become part of the method of moving out of this RDS into a Reality Clarity System wherein the addict clearly sees how his/her addiction has effected him/herself and others.

Join Gamblers Anonymous.  It is a 12 Step self help organization, devoted to helping gambling addicts overcome their obsessions and compulsions that lead them to gamble.

What to Resist:  Stay away from situations that invite waging.  Stay away from casinos.  Withstand the temptation to run away from uncomfortable situations and seek diversion through gambling.

Beliefs in this RDS:

  1. This next bet will give me the big win, and all my problems will be solved.
  2. This slot machine has been cold for so long, it will pay off any minute.
  3. Gambling is an art.  It requires study.  I can learn to beat the odds.
  4. Betting makes all sporting events more exciting.
  5. What’s a little wager among friends?
  6. I need some excitement in my life and gaming is a great way to provide that.

Gamblers put family economics in chaos.  Their lives revolve around the hope that the next bet will render the win.  To stop the roller coaster ride and have some serenity in one’s life,  one must work to be on the path to a new organizing principle that seeds one’s life.  Taking the steps necessary to begin to embrace a Reality Clarity System wherein the gambler sees the destruction caused by their waging addiction, will bring comfort, self respect, and appreciation from all who have been effected by their reckless behavior.

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