Gambling and other Compulsive Behaviors
Do you find yourself in any of these situations?
Spending increasing amounts of time and money to gamble?
Do you find yourself gambling alone?
Are you borrowing money from family and friends to cover your losses?
Are you skipping work in order to gamble?
Are you in constant financial jeopardy?
Gambling can be an alluring addiction, especially since it is usually seen (and disguised) as adult entertainment. For nearly 20 million people, it is an obsessive-compulsive lifestyle that leads to devastating results, just like addictions to drugs and alcohol.
When your gambling is out of control, it can affect all aspects of your life in a negative way. Compulsive gambling is an impulse control disorder and the term compulsive gambling is used to describe the actions of a person whose gambling is having destructive consequences. While it is a difficult compulsion to live with, it is certainly one that can be helped through hypnotherapy.
Compulsive gambling is a serious habit. It can lead you to risk your financial security, your personal relationships, and anything else that you value. Very often compulsive gamblers are people who are easily bored and are always looking for action and excitement. It’s not surprising that gambling is such an attractive activity.
Symptoms of compulsive gambling are:
• Preoccupation with gambling
• Hiding gambling
• Chasing losses (gambling even more to try and recoup what was lost)
• Lying to family and friends about the extent of gambling
• Unable to stop gambling even if it means risking job, relationships or other opportunities
• Committing fraud, theft or using other illegal means to get money to gamble.
• In extreme cases, gambling leads to financial disaster, legal troubles, and loss of family and employment.
For some, a gambling habit may start out as an occasional entertainment activity, but quickly turns into a compulsion that is difficult to control. For others, it represents obsessive thoughts and emotions that are associated or attached to actions of negative gambling behavior. “People with impulse-control disorders usually feel a sense of emotional arousal or excitement before engaging in the behavior, followed by pleasure and gratification, and then guilt or remorse.”***
If you feel trapped in the gambling cycle, hypnotherapy can effectively treat this compulsion. Hypnosis will control your habit to gamble, so you can begin your road to recovery.
***Compulsive Gambling/ Mayo Clinic January 20, 2009
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) takes many different forms. The common factor is a pattern of thought that causes you to repeat something over and over again. It is an anxiety disorder, in which people feel they must perform certain actions for fear of a horrible consequence.
OCD ranges from repeatedly checking that the faucets are turned off, the doors and windows are locked or one more look that there is ‘nothing under the bed’ to someone who washes their hands over and over until they are raw and bleeding because they are afraid of germs.
Most people fall into one of the following categories:
• Hoarders: can’t throw anything away for fear something horrible will happen.
• Washers: must repetitively clean for fear of contamination.
• Checkers: obsessively check things for fear some danger will occur if they don’t.
• Counters and arrangers: must arrange things in a systematic order. Their compulsion may include colors, numbers and symmetry.
• Sinners and doubters: feel that they must do everything perfectly for fear of punishment.
There is also an OCD category of ‘obsessive thoughts’, where a person cannot seem to get the ‘bad’ thoughts out of their mind. Some people worry constantly about danger, both real and imagined. Then there are those who obsessively engage in some physical activity, such as picking at their face, pulling their hair or biting their nails.
However, just having obsessive thoughts or behaviors is not a sign of OCD. It becomes OCD when your obsessions, actions and compulsions create overwhelming chaos, take up huge parts of your day and interfere with your daily life, job, or personal relationships.
Your thoughts create the feelings, which lead to the problematic behavior. It feels as if you’re out of control, and your mind is not doing what you tell it to do. You may realize your thoughts are not logical, but you can’t stop or turn them off.
When OCD is in control, there are automatic and unconscious responses to events. Stressful situations often increase the intensity of symptoms. If you want to make it stop, you have to change the automatic response to something more constructive. Relaxation techniques and hypnotherapy are effective treatments for OCD.
If irrational thoughts and actions are controlling your life, please contact Advanced Hypnosis of America for information on hypnosis and OCD. We can help you take charge of your life again.
If you want to make it stop you have to change the automatic response to something more constructive. Regardless of how OCD appears in your life, hypnotherapy can help change the pattern of thoughts that lead to the out of control behavior.