Thousands will flock to their local racecourses to indulge in the spectacle of ostentation at its finest. Some however will be drawn their in order to drown in an addiction – gambling.
Previous research has considered gambling as a form of addiction but according to a new study by the University of Sydney, it may not be the case.
A lot of people believe that gambling is a form of addiction. This condition is also known as compulsive gambling. Compulsive gamblers cannot control their urges even if they know that it’s already hurting them and the people they love.
When they don’t gamble, they experience unwanted psychological symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and sometimes – depression. Because of the similarities in the effect, problem gambling is grouped together with alcohol and drug addiction.
But the researchers from the University of Sydney, headed by Dr Fadi Anjoul of the Gambling Treatment Clinic, suggest that this may not be true. ‘The idea of gambling addiction is widespread, but inaccurate’, said Dr Anjoul. He explained that withdrawal which is the main indication of addiction is rarely observed among gamblers.
Dr Anjoul who has been helping gamblers for the past 15 years suggests that problem gambling is better thought of as a misguided obsession. This means that problem gamblers are simply dealing with incorrect choices that became habitual instead of going through the biological symptoms of withdrawal – things which are beyond a person’s control.
Identifying gambling as a misguided obsession rather than a form of addiction has important implications on the course of treatment. Since the problem mainly lies on the gambler’s inability to make informed choices and behaviours, a better treatment option would be something that deals with changing one’s perception, such as cognitive hypnotherapy.
Cognitive hypnotherapy can be used to help people understand how they ended up as problem gamblers and then help them change the way they think and behave about this particular kind of obsession.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy as a Better Treatment
Poorly informed choices and behaviours can be treated with what is known as hypno-analysis, which helps people understand the back-story of their gambling, of how they ended up where they are, and to change how they think about their involvement in gambling.
Dr Anjoul pointed out that traditional therapies tend to focus on helping people deal with their urges as they come. The problem with this is – the symptoms tend to setback once the therapy ends or have been stopped. During the study, the researchers used cognitive therapy to treat problem gamblers and found that those who went through the treatment experienced fewer urges.
Here at Mynd.Works Therapy, I have devised a new approach using a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and modern-day hypnotherapy which often produces better outcomes than individual traditional therapies.
If you want to learn more about how to overcome a gambling addiction or compulsion, please complete the confidential form below and I will personally respond with any advice, hints or tips.
All the best – Happy Melbourne Cup Day,