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I’m fully Cosmos Mentis.
Sound mind, memory and understanding. True, I like a gamble. But I’m not a problem gambler and not addicted.
However, it is known that many problem gamblers actually believe they are social or professional gamblers.
Could this be you?
It is often considered that problems gamblers have mental health issues such as substance misuse, personality disorders, depression and anxiety.
Other risk factors include sex, age, family or friend influence and medication.
From a race point of view there is research to indicate that black people represent some of the most significant rates of gambling disorders. In fact, black people have over twice the rate of gambling addiction compared to white people.
It’s something to think about.
The definition of a professional gambler: is someone who makes a living off their gambling winnings.
The definition of a social gambler: is someone who bets for fun.
It’s interesting to consider the possibility that social and professional gamblers may be deluding themselves that they are not problems gamblers in the sense of compulsivity or addiction.
It made me stop for a moment to consider my character, motivation and mental health. Could it be possible I am a problem gambler without realising? For those who gamble on a continuous basis it could be something to assess. How would you feel if you had to stop gambling for a day, week, month or year? What if you had to stop gambling for the rest of your life.
Would it be a problem?
I guess the only way we can assess the implications of such abstinence is if we take part in such an experiment.
Could you stop gambling for a month?
I have dedicated much of my life to gambling. My niche is two-year-old horse racing which I consider myself to be a professional. These skills and knowledge have taken decades to learn.
Have I been motivated by an addiction I don’t realise I have?
If someone said I was a gambling addict, I would be quite abrasive about it. I’d take it personal.
‘What a ridiculous thought.’
‘I’m not an addict!’
But am I even qualified to have an opinion. Should I book an appointment to see a psychiatrist?
Perhaps we all need a little bit of ‘help’ or ‘assessment’ or ‘something’.
Personally, I don’t think I have a problem. I don’t feel that I need to gamble. However, there in lies the problem. I have to work within the gambling world because that’s what I do. How do I analyse my motivation to gamble? Is it something I do without addiction or is it part or wholly the reason why I bet?
I view my gambling as work. How would you assess your job? You work 36-hours a week and it’s your job. Are you addicted to your job? I guess not, hey. Because that’s what you do to make a living.
It kind of indicates that if you make a living from being a gambler that you aren’t an addict. But that doesn’t mean you’re not. To some extent I would suggest that being addicted to your profession isn’t all bad, because it keeps you dedicated and working hard.
Could I stop gambling for a month?
I have and do most years. Perhaps this details I’m not a gambling addict or a problem gambler.
Assessing how we gamble and the motivations behind this are worthy of thought because I’m sure there are many social and professional gamblers who really cannot stop gambling. I guess if it doesn’t impact negatively on your life that isn’t a problem. But by the very nature of addiction it is a problem. If you find your gambling is creating chaos in your life then you may have a big problem.
Abstain from gambling for a month and see if you can do it or not.
It may be an indicator for further self reflection.