Would you be surprised to find that there is a link between obsessive compulsive behaviours and gambling problems? Apparently the two share quite a symmetry in psychological terms according to a recent press release from the American University of Harvard.
Gambling is one of the most destructive behaviours. This is an impulse and obsession disorder that’s primarily about control and responding to a near hypnotic impulse. Any kind of addiction is primarily about entering into a trance state, which is similar to the obsessive kind of action that accompanies obsessive washing of one’s hands or repeated checking of locks.
With obsessive behaviours these are generally aligned to alleviating some kind of social anxiety, where the obsession is used to create a distraction from the real problem. Gambling problems often come into play when a person is lacking a rewarding or what they consider to be a pleasurable life. This means that they are using the behaviour to trigger their opiate based reward system – and just like when an obsessive behaviour can exacerbate a problem, gambling can give people an unrealistic view of how much enjoyment they should receive from life.
Did you know that sometimes slot machine players have been known to hit the jackpot on their game at the beginning of a playing session and have come away disappointed? This is because they were not actually looking to win a big money prize. The object of their gambling disorder is simply to burn through time and avoid dealing with the responsibilities of life. Even when they are losing many gamblers still feel comfortable hiding behind this behaviour.
There are so many different variations on obsessive compulsive disorder, it is difficult to help an individual cease a single habit and then watch for an alternative anxiety and behaviour to take its place. We cannot strictly police the way the mind works in simply hammering down these coping strategies in the hope they might go away.
Alternatively, by empowering an individual through mindfulness to give them the ability to recognise certain behaviours, whilst also giving them the ability to let go of any negative self-image issues this might create, they can transcend such behaviours. For instance, an individual might notice that social activity with friends such as sport or simply taking a walk on a sunny day could alleviate the need for them to play slot machines or log on to many of the casino sites that now populate the internet.
To find out more about how mindfulness and meditation can help you with an addictive problem, please call and book a free consultation session. This will give us the opportunity to go through your current situation and suggest a course of action that good give you some solace from compulsive behaviours such as alcoholism, drug use and gambling.
As a registered hypnotherapist and mental health professional, all information and details about your situation will be kept strictly confidential.