According to Australian Department of Social Services https://www.dss.gov.au/communities-and-vulnerable-people/programmes-services/gambling there is 15% growth each year with $1.4 billion gambled per annum. Australians are losing between $64 million and $400 million every year betting in illegal offshore sites. Sadly, what is true for Australia is true for Sydney.

Gambling is one of the strongest suggestible states, which is deeply rooted in the early stages of life. Gambling or Gamblers per say, could easily be compared with small children, who are very naive and could easily be consumed with the idea of “getting even”.

Reflecting on our society’s make up, competition has become one of the fundamental pillars in its construct. The winners of the competition are not only richly rewarded. Very young children are often forced to compete to win, but when they lose the competition, they are treated with compassion and gentleness. It is noticed that, ‘so called good losers’ are encouraged to be a part of competition, because they are non-threatening and can be counted on to lose graciously.

A young mind is often trained to value competition and the importance of winning. Soon the child learns that losing has its own perks, they may lose certain competitions either to punish their parents or themselves for any real or imagined faults.

The emphasis on winning, and gaining a trophy to proudly display, can lead to envy by peers. The peers may not actually be less valuable players, but in their mind's eye, they perceive themselves to be poorer players when they compare themselves to the ‘winner’.
People are taught that they can achieve wealth and financial security through hard work, yet a small minority achieve fame and wealth through luck and chance. Some people rationalise in their own minds, that luck could as easily fall to them as it did to their friends, and they decide to gamble away their money to try to become wealthy. Our society, which sees competition and winning as a good thing (in which even losers are often rewarded), and being able to acquire material wealth as an achievement, creates a climate where compulsive gamblers can rise.

These could be one, or all, of the following:

  • Losing: encourages them to take risks to win what they have already lost
  • Winning: is to punish themselves for real or imagined fault than in winning, in which they take risk to lose it all.

In both cases the gambler displays self-defeating behaviour, using gambling as means to:

  • Win money to pay debts
  • Borrow money
  • Sell personal belongings
  • Not go to work
  • Not meet family requirements
  • Think or commit illegal activities to finance gambling

Therapy for Gambling is challenging, as it is psychologically rewarding, and we are asking them to analyse themselves to question whether they have done anything heinous, in their own eyes. Gamblers succumb to the very Australian dream of prosperity and victory, and find it difficult to accept themselves as weak, humble, or as low wage earners, where much was expected from their gambling activities.

Hypnotherapy is wonderful tool to help treat Gambling Addiction; the following means, can be adopted to help treating it:

  • Anxiety towards compulsive gambling is addressed first.

If the Gambler has:

(NOTE: Unsure about these 2 Fear of winning sections. Are they both meant to be there?)

Fear of winning:
  • He could be nervous, in distress, feel dejected and unworthy when he wins. Because losing the game sets him free. While, if the Gambler has:
Fear of winning:
  • Nervousness, distress, dejection and unworthiness will be experienced when he loses, and he feels he would reclaim his worth only, after winning.
  • Circle therapy helps in treating anxiety, by having them self-see win and lose, until they understand that winning and losing as being equivalent. This treats their anxiety and hastiness to winning or losing, by causing both to have equal strength. This helps them to gamble less because the belief of being awarded no longer exists.
  • Upon breaking the habit partially, hypnotic suggestions are implanted against gambling, which is harmful for gamblers’ well-being.
  • Negative therapy can be used by visualizing all the losses, which includes monetary, emotional, property etc. It is important because gamblers lack conscious memory of the losses and only register their wins, reviving the memory, brings into their consciousness the amount of losses suffered is far greater than the winnings, which helps in breaking the pattern of gambling.
  • Once this is achieved, we need to find the core desire to win or lose, which is usually a part of childhood belief. In my experience, it is usually connected to feelings of self-unworthiness and/or lack of confidence.
  • The lack of self-worth and/or confidence can easily be treated by Hypnotherapy through positive suggestions.

Seek help…talk to someone you trust. Consult a Hypnotherapist if you find the need to.

To know more about Hypnotherapy and how can it help you deal with Gambling addiction, write to me at [email protected]