The addicted compulsive gambler is quite literally emotionally & chemically in love with Gambling.
In Love with Gambling?
The effect of this loving feeling starts when the first thoughts of gambling begin, even before the first bet is placed:
- The body becomes stressed by the risks involved, and releases Adrenaline and Cortisol (the body’s stress hormone)
- The pulse quickens
- The brain starts to release Dopamine & Serotonin (the body’s feel good drugs) in anticipation of the first bet
- The mind starts to focus on all the ecstatic feelings of a win
- The core body temperature goes up as the gambler anticipates the pleasure ahead
This is the exciting phase for the gambler.
They are quite literally having an affair with gambling, and look forward to the excitement ahead.
Gamblers often describe their gambling as a “Mistress.”
She is totally incompatible with normal relationships and family life. If anyone knew that they had been spending an enormous amount of time & money with her, their ‘normal’ life would be over instantly.
They would literally do anything for her – lie, cheat, steal… or worse.
Consequentially in order that their mistress won’t get found out, the gambler has no alternative but to:
- Tell lie after lie about where they have been
- Create stories and false alibis about what they were doing & who they were with
- Try to maintain their cover by making unusual gestures in order to pretend things are fine
(eg. bring home flowers etc)
Confronting a Gambler
If challenged about their activities, the gambler has a number of tried & tested strategies to get out of the spotlight:
- Manipulation – turn the questions back onto the questioner by making their absence somehow the fault of the other person
- Misdirection – in their explanations reference people that are not present
- More Lies – introducing some new (false) information, creating a multi-layered lie or further fabrication of the truth
Therefore you should not attempt to confront a person over their love for gambling until you have all the facts at your disposal.