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Chameleon Strategy - Looking for players who have been winning and then mimicking their betting patterns in the hope that they will continue to be lucky, have found biased wheels, or are visual wheel trackers.

Gambling Addiction

If you have come to this page

with an awareness of a possible gambling addiction, you have made the first positive step in overcoming your addiction: admitting that you have a problem. If you don't believe you're addicted to gambling at this point, it's a good idea to read this page anyway, as no one ever intends to become addicted, and anyone can become addicted.

There is no shame in being addicted to something. Nature has given us all the ability to become addicted to things, and everyone engages in addictive behavior to some degree. We were given the ability to become addicted to things because the brain and the body was required to evolve a reward system so that we could become “addicted” to water, food and sex for our continued survival as individuals and as a species. The problem is, this useful function has been high jacked by many human-made stimuli, and the result has been catastrophic.

Fortunately, specialists in the brain, mind, and human behavior are now discovering many useful things about addiction that can help the average person, including those with a gambling addiction. With help from molecular biology, psychology, neuroscience, genetics and even ancient wisdom traditions, we are able to gain a deeper insight into the workings of addiction in the human being.

Is gambling addiction similar to chemical dependency?

There are many similarities between pathological gambling and chemical dependency, including an inability to stop or control the addiction, denial, severe depression, and mood swings. Gambling addiction and chemical dependency are both progressive diseases and they both have similar stages: "Chasing" the first win/high, experiencing blackouts where one cannot remember anything in a given time period (too busy gambling) and using the addiction to escape pain, problems, or just reality in general. Both pathological gamblers and those addicted to drugs are preoccupied with their addiction, generally have a low self-esteem, use rituals, and they seek immediate gratification.

It is extremely important that pathological gamblers receive crisis stabilization at the beginning of their treatment, because pathological gamblers actually have a much higher suicide rate than people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Despite this, gambling addiction is not taken as seriously by society. Probably the most surprising thing about gambling addiction, however, is that it is, in a way, a chemical dependency in its own right.

Indeed, gambling addiction, like any addiction, is the result of demonstrated physiological occurrences. There is a certain feeling that one gets while gambling and one’s brain and body can become addicted to this feeling, which may cover up other feelings usually present in one’s system. The cells in the human body have receptors to certain chemicals that are known as peptides (produced in the human body). Each time you participate in an activity that creates certain emotions and patterns within you, much of your experience of those emotions is created by your cells receiving certain types of peptides. Therefore, just as with drugs, your real addiction is a chemical addiction.

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Fortunately, no matter what feelings you are feeling, it is always your choice to act upon them or not. In time, if you choose to control your urges instead of allowing them to control you, your cells will abandon their receptors that have become accustomed to the patterns and feelings of gambling. This is a rather simplistic view of a complex physiological process, however, and there are countless other factors at work inside one’s psyche and body.

A study conducted by Alec Roy, M.D., a psychiatrist formerly at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, for example, showed that some pathological gamblers have lower levels of norepinephrine than most people. This chemical, found in the brain, is secreted during times of stress, arousal, thrill and excitement. People who suffer from a gambling addiction may therefore engage in gambling because of the feeling of balance that may come with an increased level of norepinephrine. But the fact is, we do have the choice of moving away from our identification with our urges, regardless of where they come from. They are not us, and we do not have to listen to them. We can instead choose to observe them, become aware of them, and resolve to not let them control our actions. We can then make the conscious decision to look elsewhere for thrills - eventually being able to see excitement in the very act of living. When we become more aware and more sensitive to the outside world, as well as our inside world, we can achieve a permanent balance that far exceeds any pleasures gained from gambling.

It may be hard to imagine being truly aware of your emotions or actually feeling happy, but the first step is to want to feel this way. Overcoming an addiction can lead to intense personal growth of an individual. When you make the choice to overcome your addiction, an important opportunity for a growth of self awareness occurs. The key is to have the unbending intent and to never give up. One can think of their urges to gamble throughout the day as a wake up call to become aware and to stop identifying with the urge, and thus, develop a more conscious attitude toward life that will lead toward a much higher degree of fulfillment. The road may be difficult, but with perseverance, this weakness can become a strength. Never give up, no matter how many times you fall. At the same time, however, be sure not to get caught in the trap of thinking "Just one more time... Just one more time... I'll quit soon."

It is also critically important to seek help if you suffer from a gambling addiction. Please consider seeing a therapist or joining Gamblers Anonymous. Their strategy isn't for everyone, but don't be afraid to check it out. There are a lot of people there going through the same thing that can give you crucial support in your efforts to quit gambling.