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  1. #1
    Junior Member Iron fist's Avatar
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    Default Gambling Addicts

    How can one heal from gambling addiction, if it is not a physical entity, rather a psychological epidemic? Further more, would gambling be leaked to cell phone usage, video games, TV, and etc...? If this new age epidemic is truly a mental state of illness, then how can it be cured?
    -"I am the Iron Fist... I hold back the storm when nothing else can."

  2. #2
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    G.A, if you are looking for suggestions

    Gamblers Anonymous
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  3. #3
    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    I think one of the best defenses is simply to understand your average losses. Instead of thinking about it in terms of "I might win, I might lose" think more in terms of "I'm expected to lose" and then determine what that expected loss is.

    For example, say you're playing slot machines. A rough estimate of your expected loss is something like this:

    - RTP is approximately 90% which means a 10% loss on all bets
    - there might say, 10 bets placed per minute on average (could be higher)
    - so you lose 10% ten times per minute, which is a loss of one bet

    So for $1 bets you lose $1 a minute which is $60 an hour. For $5 bets you lose $5 a minute which is $300 an hour.

    So, while you may be way higher or lower than the predicted amount by the end of the session, that's the average, and you can consider that as being: how much you're paying to play.

    I think most people aren't aware of how much they're paying to play, so they're surprised when their losses get really high and think they had a losing streak, when they may well have been on a winning streak technically speaking.


    Games like poker are different, because there's skill involved. You can calculate average losses by considering number of hands played, average pot size and rake amount; but a good player will still make a profit, and a bad player will lose a higher amount.


    You can look at it empirically too and simply tally up your losses and divide by the number of sessions/time played to get an estimate on how much you're likely to lose.


    In general, just be aware of what you're doing.


    (There are many other things to take into account when considering an addiction such as this, but I haven't given the matter due contemplation)

  4. #4
    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    Here's an analysis in terms of the Jungian hierarchy of the unconscious that I've thought about previously.

    I'll start be outlining what I mean by the archetypes. I consider them as stages of consciousness, states of mind, that tend to move up and down from stage to stage.

    Stage 1: the ego. This is basically being focused on one's own identity, as separate from the world.
    Stage 2: the shadow. This is basically things which cause stress, and critique the ego.
    Stage 3: the anima/animus. This is basically things that inspire you, things you're passionate about. A romantic partner is just a key example.
    Stage 4: the wise old man/woman. This is basically things that give you a sense of greatness and master. Acknowledgment for a job well done.


    Now, this will differ from person to person because people relate to the stages differently due to development etc. but this set-up may be typical.


    Entrance point: Stage 3. You have a longing to play the pokies, and when arriving to play feel inspired, with a sense of "let's have a good time and get a win!"

    Good outcome: Stage 4. Perhaps you get a good win pretty quickly. You're way ahead. You feel confident. Maybe you play a little bit longer to wrap things up, but you leave with a win. You get your winnings and leave feeling like a boss.

    Bad outcome: Stage 2. Perhaps you've been playing, but you're not getting the win. Frustration kicks in. You're getting angry, "why won't you give me the feature?!", fearful, "oh no I'm losing it all!". This is the time to call it quits and cut your losses, because if you keep playing...

    Stage 1: the ego kicks in. The ego feels prideful. It doesn't want to lose, it wants to win. It will feed more and more into the machine until it gets that win. It won't consider the bigger picture, because it's a low form. You'll be stubbornly trying to beat a losing game. Not good.


    Better to leave at Stage 2 and do the walk of shame, than to leave at Stage 1 once your cash has gone up in flames.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron fist View Post
    How can one heal from gambling addiction, if it is not a physical entity, rather a psychological epidemic? Further more, would gambling be leaked to cell phone usage, video games, TV, and etc...? If this new age epidemic is truly a mental state of illness, then how can it be cured?
    I don't think it's any of the above. It appears to almost always be a psychological problem that requires treatment.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

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    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    I honestly think that a lot of gambling problems (slot machines) would be solved if people just kept in mind this:

    You lose your bet size every minute (on average).


    e.g. $5 bets means an average loss of $300 an hour.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    I don't think it's any of the above. It appears to almost always be a psychological problem that requires treatment.
    Gambling is somewhat unique in that its psychological problem that needs to be treated physically. Therapy alone won't always cut it particularly if it's well rooted or the individual has a genetic predispositon towards it. Behavioral addictions are shockingly sticky. I'm massively simplifying, but it has a very strong root in the dopamine pathways in the brain, particularly the D3 receptor. Some individuals can acquire a severe gambling addiction when provided dopaminergic drugs to treat parkinsons for example, many of which are agonists to D3 (in addition to other D receptors). It's actually pretty remarkable that such a specific complex and seemingly modern behavior pattern can be triggered in an individual simply from hitting a receptor.
    It is our duty to create meaning.

    If only it were that simple.

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