Saturday, September 15, 2012

E-30: Pathological Gambling

Understanding your own mind and what drives you to gamble will help protect you from yourself.

Pathological Gambling is characterised by the following 5 factors:
  1. Preoccupation with gambling
  2. Difficulty controlling gambling and unsuccessful attempts to stop
  3. Negative consequences in life, such as family, job disruption and lying about the extent of your gambling
  4. Financial problems due to gambling
  5. Chasing your losses

Pathological gamblers often distort the truth in their own minds to further support their problem. Gambling addicts can suffer from some, if not all of the following:
  • Attribution- believing your winnings occur as a result of your efforts and not randomly
  • Magical Thinking- believing that thinking or hoping in a certain way will bring about a win or that random outcomes can be predicted. Also believing that because of previous results you are due a win from the gambling gods.
  • Superstitions- lucky charms, articles of clothing, ways of throwing the dice or cutting the cards may cause a win.
  • Systems- believing that you have worked out a betting system that will overcome the house edge.
  • Selective Memory- remembering your wins, but failing to remember your losses or altering the truth of the result.
  • Personification of gambling- attaching human characteristics to a machine or deck of cards etc. Thinking that the deck is punishing or rewarding you.
  • Near miss beliefs- reducing the number of losing experiences in your mind by thinking you almost won.
  • Chasing losses- believing the money isn't lost, it can be won back by gambling further to win it back.
Always keep your gambling controlled and keep a sound mathematical mind. Always use logic and keep emotions at the door when you enter the casino. Don't be a robot, but stay in control. 

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