Gambling Addiction & Recovery Support Group

Compulsive gambling is an urge or addiction to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. A preferred term among many professionals is problem gambling, as few people described by the term experience true compulsions in the clinical sense of the word. Problem gambling often is defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others rather than by the gambler's behavior. Severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria. Extreme cases of problem gambling may cross over into the realm of mental disorders. Pathological gambling was recognized as a psychiatric disorder in the DSM-III, but the criteria were significantly reworked based on large-scale...

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The demons are back

After many years of regular gambling in my youth, I reached a point where I'd had enough, and became relatively gamble-free for several years...that is until recently!

I was previously able to turn myself off gambling by constantly reminding myself of the negative effects of gambling on my life. This empowered me to stay strong and I developed a natural defence that worked very effectively. I reached a point where I hardly ever thought about it, even when I was surrounded by the temptation, and friends who gambled.

Just recently, suddenly and to my surprise, I felt an overwhelming compulsion to gamble - something I hadn't felt in years. All the defences I had previously built were just a distant memory and no longer seemed effective. These defences were previously built by the countless gambling sessions I had endured and the associated anguish I felt at the time. Because that was so long ago, I no longer possess that 'armor' to deal with this seemingly new attraction to gambling.

I now feel like I have to go through that whole painful process again before I can get back to my old (strong) self again. I don't want to just force myself to abstain - I want to have my old mindset back and rid myself of this demon permanently.

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

A thought is a trigger that you don't have to act on. We have all been triggered out of the blue. When I've examined this trigger further, I discovered I was either too hungry, angry, lonely, tired or all of the above.

The following statement is your disease talking to you:

"I now feel like I have to go through that whole painful process again before I can get back to my old (strong) self again. I don't want to just force myself to abstain - I want to have my old mindset back and rid myself of this demon permanently."

Destroying yourself financially, emotionally, spiritually etc.. is not the answer. Forcing yourself to abstain is fighting the demon, and winning. My last trip to the Casino was seven months ago. I fight with the demons that places thoughts of gambling in my head everytime it rears it's ugly head.

Suicide has been described as: Using a permanent solution, to solve a temporary problem.

Don't commit financial, emotional, spiritual suicide to solve a temporary problem which is what a trigger is. Please don't play with the demons because you may not come out alive. Abstaining is fighting the GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH which you have done, and I pray that you continue to do so. As far as this demon is concerned, the best we can do is keep it in check. If we could only rid ourselves of this demon permanently, we'd all be cured. Abstinance is the closest tool that we have for a cure.

Make your voice louder than the devil. Say, "Hell to the NO, I won't go!" The quickest way to double your money is to fold it, and put it in your pocket. Don't punish yourself any further.
smokeygirl
smokeygirl

Just change your mindset back to where you used to be... fighting the fight all over again from A-Z won't be necessary, as yvegas mentioned. You are stronger than you think - you've stayed away and know all the negative effects of the addiction. You have the ammunition - I hope you get through these triggers and continue to stay strong. Triggers are always going to exist - just say NO.
Take care,
Smokeygirl
deleted_user
deleted_user

for me.I must find a new way of thinking and living.I have acheived this thru God,good sposonorship and my brothersd and sisters of GA.
afmann
afmann

Thanks guys for your inspirational words. I have gambled twice since starting this post and feel like crap because of it.

It drives me nuts that these poker machines can get the better of me - I just wanna beat them once so I don't feel so defeated but I know that's not the answer. It's true that gambling is always a choice.

I've been through a bit of a rough patch lately so I hope this is only a phase I'm going through!
deleted_user
deleted_user

I have spent so much of my life trying to beat those stupid video poker machines. I think the only way to beat them is to not play them.
stopat56
stopat56

that is exactly how we can finally be a winner: by NOT playing the machines. I don't know about anyone else, but even when I hit pretty good on a machine, it was only a matter of time before I gave all or most of it back to the same machine.......I wish the casino would show me a video of myself signing papers for a little jackpot, then another video of my stupid self putting it back $100.00 by $100.00........so, the real winners are the people who are not playing at all.