Pathological gambling is a progressive disease that not only affects compulsive gamblers but all those they come in contact with them on a regular basis A pathological gambler has a disorder that directly relates to impulse control. Those that are pathological gamblers continue to be negatively affected until they lose everything they worked so hard for. Once their resources are gone they will stop gambling because either they found a stop gambling recovery program, are in jail and or committed suicide. The end result is usually devastating. These individuals have it the toughest when it comes to beating their addiction. The good news is these individuals can beat their addiction and lead healthy productive lives. A pathological gambler knows that they have a problem but have the most difficult time when it comes to their conscious mind versus their subconscious mind. The following is examples of what two pathological gamblers remember while they were in recovery. They couldn’t believe their thought process when they were in the grips of this illness.
1) I woke up one morning, feeling good I hadn’t gambled in two days. I finally have a few dollars in my pocket. I want to do something positive today. Life’s great. I decided I was going to paint the deck out back. I jumped in my car put the top down and headed towards Home Depot. I stopped at the bank and decided to withdraw five hundred dollars. I knew I didn’t need that much, but I was testing myself. I failed. The second I got back in the car I was headed to the casino. I lost my money that day and the next day and the next day after that. I had no ability to stop.
2) I realized I had a problem with gambling. I knew if I stayed away I would be fine. Every Tuesday I had to do a pick and delivery at a client that was one mile from the casino. I finish my pick up and headed right to the casino without realizing I was in agreement with this decision. I was not in agreement, but my mind overruled all rational thought. I realized where I was going, I realized I was there gambling but I had no control from the time I entered the casino to the time I left. I was always forced to leave because I had no money left to gamble. My choice was to leave get money and come back as soon as possible. Once I left the casino all rational thought came back. My mind was so twisted at this time. I use to think the gambling establishments put something in the air that only affected seventeen percent of the people who gambled. These seventeen percent were doomed to lose everything they had ever worked for. We had no choice because we had no control.
As a pathological gambler continuous down their self-destructive course, their illness becomes chronic and progressive.