The Problem Gambler’s Thought Processes

The Problem Gambler’s Thought Processes

The Problem Gambler’s Thought Processes

A gambler has many thoughts throughout the day.  Where can I gamble today?  Who can I borrow money from so I can gamble today?  How will I hide my gambling from my spouse or my boss?  These are just some of the questions that the gambler will have.  There are certainly more questions that a gambler will ask but regardless of the question, the gambler will find a way to make it work—to gamble no matter what.

If a gambler visits a particular casino, they may have favorite games they play or a specific machine they will play.  If they played on this machine on Tuesday, they will likely select a different machine on Wednesday.  This is done to increase their chances of winning.  If a gambler visits a casino with any degree of regularity, they may say to themselves, I have not won here in awhile so maybe I should try a different casino.  Some gamblers will stay on one particular machine because that machine has not paid out in a while; therefore, it is bound to be a winner.  Some gamblers even go so far as to name their machines.  There are many thoughts that a gambler has and often these thoughts are simply to keep them in the game.

All of these thoughts and questions are part of the gambler’s distorted thought processes.  Some of these distorted thoughts are related to an idea that gamblers have special talents that will enable them to win.  They also think that “lady luck” is a real person and they possess an exceptional amount of luck that will enable them to win.  Some gamblers think that machines have human qualities and if they talk nicely to it, they will win.  Other gamblers will sit at a blackjack table or a poker machine and have a thought that if they keep putting more money into the game, it will pay off.  That is, according to the gambler, the laws of probability.

The fact is gamblers do not possess special talents and thoughts of luck are only delusions.  Machines, tables, and wheels will simply pay out when they pay out and no amount of asking for a win will change that.

Many of these thought processes are called a gambler’s fallacy and are not based in reality.  Gambler’s fallacy is a rationalization of sorts that simply allow them to keep gambling.  Even if the gambler wins, they will say that they are now on a winning streak and should play more.  What ultimately happens is the gambler loses everything and is right back where they started that morning with the same questions.  Where can I go today so I can win?  Who can I borrow money from and what will I tell my spouse or boss about where I was today?  It is a vicious cycle and the only true “winner” is the person that seeks help and enters a program of recovery.

Cottonwood Tucson offers a place of understanding, healing, and hope. Our residential treatment programs have gained international renown for an integrative approach to co-occurring disorders. If you or a loved one are struggling, know that treatment is available. Recovery is possible.
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