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Is Gambling an Illness?

Posted: Friday, June 11, 2010

It looks a bit like one, doesn't it? It is often called an "addiction" along with problem alcohol use, although gambling involves no drug.

Actually it is neither. Gambling is a complex compulsive habit that has more similarities to OCD than to alcohol or drug use, and fortunately it can be shut down with effective hypnotherapy.

Central to the gambler's behaviour is the notion that winning is possible - that they can play the system and win. Non-gamblers tend to assume that they are most likely to lose their money, so the invitation to play doesn't seem appealing. If they decide to give it a go anyway, and lose, then that impression is confirmed and they feel even less inclined to do it again.

It stands to reason, though, that even though 'the house has the edge' (i.e. the odds are against you), blind chance will ensure that a small minority of people will not lose immediately, though most will. Think about it: which does the house hope you will be? The apparent "loser" who will probably not feel much inclined to try that again?  Or the apparent "lucky winner", who now feels pretty good about this whole business and has the impression that you CAN beat the system after all!

Folks, that's not really good luck. That is the gravest misfortune, and the house doesn't mind handing over those "winnings" one little bit, because they know you'll be back.  So it is in fact a loan, and they won't be loaning it to you for long.  In most compulsive gambling habits I have encountered professionally, that person won either the first time they played or very soon after.

Question: Who was the most "successful" gambler of all time? Well, a good contender would have to be "The Man That Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo", Charles deVille Wells. A few years later he was penniless and in jail. He didn't really "win" that money, he just played with it for a while. Even in that spectacular example, the casino's money just went on a brief vacation with Wells, before returning right back home again. In fact the only way to truly benefit financially from gambling is to own the gaming establishment.

What gamblers certainly don't realise is that all such games and gaming organisations have developed sophisticated ways to manipulate the normal operations of the gambler's Subconscious mind, and anyone who plays at all is immediately at risk of being drawn in without understanding any of that. If they win immediately or very early on, they are bound to be drawn in. Their perception that they are "playing a game" is delusional: the game is playing them. Should they "win", they haven't really won anything because even if they walk away at that point - as deVille Wells did - they will be back for sure and the "winnings" will be transferred back to the real winners.

Distraction techniques play a very big role in all of this, and to maintain the gamblers' delusions a great deal of mythology and complexity is built into the gambling world, and sometimes the gambler's conscious mind can see through it, but even that doesn't save them because compulsive habits are run by the Subconscious mind, which has virtually NO CHANCE of perceiving the truth and escaping.

That's where I come in.

In the hypnotherapy session I have an opportunity to explain to the client's Subconscious mind - AND the conscious mind - exactly how their perceptions and reactions are being manipulated - which 'breaks the spell', resulting in the immediate elimination of the compulsive urge to play. Willpower is NOT required.

Cut Your Losses

Habitual gamblers are caught up in what we call a "double bind": if they are winning, their perception is that they are "on a winning streak", therefore they must continue playing. But if they are losing, they feel that they must win their losses back... therefore they must keep playing! Surely their luck will turn at some point, they can't keep losing forever! See how it works?

It is no use just telling the gambler this in ordinary conversation by the way, because the Subconscious mind pays no heed to ordinary conversations, so that changes nothing - as the loved ones of any gambler will tell you. However, I know exactly how to plead that case to the Subconscious mind, and makes sure it is properly understood and acted upon, which will shut down a gambling habit immediately, proving that it is NOT an illness OR an addiction... and I guarantee you, the people who will try to tell you otherwise simply don't know how to do that.

An Important Note

Please do not imagine that if you can manage to drag a gambler here, I can 'fix' them! I only work with clients who choose to take this route of their own free will, and those are the only ones who would respond positively anyway. But for those people hypnotherapy is a liberation, and it is an enormous relief to get their freedom back. It is even more of a relief to discover that it's not their fault - anyone could accidentally develop a compulsive gambling habit. And as long as they would rather be free of it, anyone can get rid of it too, here at Central Hypnotherapy.

If you would like to get your freedom back just give me a call and leave the rest to me! Don’t be nervous about hypnotherapy either if you’re new to it, because it’s a doddle. Read around the site for more info, or just call and ask. I’ll be happy to help!

0161-474-8120 or call/text 07748 838 644 any day, any time.

Consultant Hypnotherapist Chris Holmes BA(Hons) HPD DipCAH MNCH is a Senior Registered Hypnotherapy Practitioner (General Hypnotherapy Register) and has been providing effective and confidential hypnosis and hypnotherapy services at Central Hypnotherapy for Stockport, Manchester, Tameside and Cheshire since August 2000.

Categories for this article

  • Gambling