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Why am I unable to quit gambling??


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Sorry I do not know which sub-section to put this so please move my topic to appropriate sub-section.

I started to smoke and gamble since I was 20, and now I'm 35+. I liked smoking a lot and it was like

one pack a day and I quit smoking totally on one day when I was 29, thinking that smoking is hazardous

to health and I felt worried, then I quit it totally without any rebounce. Not at all.

However, I also started to gamble, and in fact, exclusively on soccer gambling. I do not go to casino (and no casino nearby) , I do not play jockey. I have never won a large sum of cash, the best I have won was $5000 and I lost all of them quickly. Although I do NEVER, ever have debt because of gambling, I believe

I am very much emotionally affected by gambling, I know that gambling is a game of luck and probability,

but I often believe that it can be analyzed, it can be guessed, even after I have lost a lot of money, I still

have this belief NOW. Every time I lost, I give myself reason, I give myself excuse, it never stops....

 

 

 

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I've been told I have an addictive personality. I was definitely addicted to booze for many years but finally gave it up, just as you did tobacco.

Now I am addicted to social media. I think it's like the rat who wears an implant that stimulates the "good feeling" part of the brain every time it presses a lever. Needless to say, the rat kept pressing the lever over and over again, until it finally died because it didn't eat or drink.

For me, interacting on social media is just like pushing that lever and stimulating the pleasure center (not the official name, but that's what I call it).

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The human brain is so mysterious and paradoxically seems to have a mind of its own.  JD has a great deal of insight.  

I like to drink diet sodas that contain caffeine and phenylalanine [which is a kind of antidepressant].  I have only one per week because I know diet sodas are not healthy.  One night I even dreamed about waking up and having a Diet Pepsi.  Some people can't seem to live without a cup of coffee or tea every day.  Some habits, it seems, are more harmful or dangerous than others.

I am ever amazed at the human brain.  It seems like from the moment one is born, one's mind is flooded with thoughts.  It is almost as though the mind is like a lake at the bottom of a waterfall.  Thoughts just keep pouring in.  Why?  Why these thoughts rather than others?  Why are my thoughts different than yours?  Do I "have" thoughts or do the thoughts "have" me?

I am not a denier of free will, but I think free will is quite limited.  It certainly isn't infinite.  It is very definitely finite in us, in my opinion.  But the thoughts that plague us to put it pejoratively can be quite powerful influencers of our behavior. 

For example, upon reading your post and the reply of JD, I have noticed a cascade of thoughts about gambling, about habits, about thoughts and human behavior.  How much of all that did I will?  And of that which I willed, how much did I will with full freedom and without impediment?  I mean, how much did I will with all, my heart, mind, soul and strength?

 How often do we humans sort of run on "autopilot" so to speak almost as unknowing victims of our thought stream?  How often do we think that just because a thought pops into our mind that it must be important?

Sadly, I have more questions than answers. 

The philosopher and mathematician Leibniz once posed a thought experiment.  Suppose one could become small enough to walk around inside the human brain.  One would never find a single thought there no matter how small one became, he conjectured. 

Perhaps that is why Leibniz believed there is more than matter in the universe.  I don't know.  In this thought experiment one would be walking around in the brain as though one were in a kind of library.  There would be walls, floors, ceilings, light and bookshelves, but one would never find a single book.

This reminds me of cellular biologists who keep going deeper and deeper into the  architecture of brain cells.  They keep finding more and more little parts but no "thoughts." 

In a way, it is kind of analogous to a book.  A book is a material thing.  Everything in a book is matter; the cardboard, the paper, the ink, the glue and all their molecular, atomic and subatomic particles.  The words printed in the book are also matter, just ink.  And yet the words "mean" something.  And is "meaning" material or matter?

A long time ago, the philosopher Aristotle was puzzling over something.  He asked an odd question.  "If everything is material . . . if something called "matter" is what every single thing in the universe has in common, then what is it that differentiates things?  What principle accounts for differences?  It cannot be matter, he said, because then matter would do contradictory things, making things the same but making them different.  He thought there would need to be a second principle.  He called it form.  I think it is interesting that the physicist Werner Heisenberg thought Physics would profit from some of the questions posed by Aristotle.  Who knows?

I guess all of this is to say that I do not know why you might like to gamble.  JD has offered the best explanation I can think of.  I'm sorry I could not be helpful to you.

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It's all fantasy that any of us have any real control.  Like @JD4010I have an addictive personality.  It will be this way until the end.  It will always be something.  How can you quit?  Your mind will eventually get sick of it and move onto something else.  How did I quit drinking and doing drugs?  My mind didn't want to do it anymore.  It's that simple.  I think we're on the "ride" for as long as our minds want us to go on that "ride".

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On 1/5/2021 at 10:25 AM, sober4life said:

It's all fantasy that any of us have any real control.  Like @JD4010I have an addictive personality.  It will be this way until the end.  It will always be something.  How can you quit?  Your mind will eventually get sick of it and move onto something else.  How did I quit drinking and doing drugs?  My mind didn't want to do it anymore.  It's that simple.  I think we're on the "ride" for as long as our minds want us to go on that "ride".

 

But the point is - I smoked for 8 years and I was able to quit it immediately and now I am free from smoking. However, I have been gambling for 16 years and of course gambling is having negative impact towards my life, both directly and indirectly. I am not tired of it, but I am not happy about it.

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7 hours ago, louis2008 said:

 

But the point is - I smoked for 8 years and I was able to quit it immediately and now I am free from smoking. However, I have been gambling for 16 years and of course gambling is having negative impact towards my life, both directly and indirectly. I am not tired of it, but I am not happy about it.

It's a very hard situation.  You say you've been doing this for 16 years and you've never been in debt from it.   I had a friend that lost everything from a gambling addiction.  He quit drinking the day he won 35 thousand on a scratch off ticket and he continued that addiction until the end.   I think what really saved me is the diet and exercise addiction.  I forced myself to fake it until I made it with that life.  It's just another addiction though.

Edited by sober4life
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  • 2 weeks later...

Congrstulations on quitting smoking it takes a lot of willpower so you are very strong!

Theres a saying that goes "Vegas is built on losers" For every winner there are scores of losers and it is funny how the house always wins isnt it?

To avoid gambling you have to learn to control emotions and think logically. Those who own gambling companies or other addicting things want people to think with feelings in place of logic. This is because they can first evoke feelings and then use those recently evoked feelings to make a sale.

Feelings can be very hard to escape from. For example a mans wife dies in a car accident and then turns to drinking because the depression is unescapable.

When my ex left me I had a lot of rage and anger all the time. I would hit punching bags until my hands would bleed over time they got stronger and my hands would not bleed anymore. I also found bodybuilding helped with my anger and it was an outlet.

Your emotions of gambling wont go away but you will need to replace it with a more healthy escape that will not financially impact. For example, maybe you like fantasy draft or community spccer leagues. If it is bad you could also just have wife or spouse take your card or block the gambling website.

 

 

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I don't mean to sound judgmental or what because I understand that every individual is different. I also have things that pacify my frustrations, uncertainties, and all. Not that they're also you're reason, but what do you think you get from gambling? What part of your life grows and prospers by gambling?

BTW, great job on quitting smoking. It surely is a difficult thing to do as I know people who just couldn't stop because they say they've been smoking their whole like so it's quite impossible.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/17/2021 at 4:50 AM, Evergreenforst4 said:

Congrstulations on quitting smoking it takes a lot of willpower so you are very strong!

Theres a saying that goes "Vegas is built on losers" For every winner there are scores of losers and it is funny how the house always wins isnt it?

To avoid gambling you have to learn to control emotions and think logically. Those who own gambling companies or other addicting things want people to think with feelings in place of logic. This is because they can first evoke feelings and then use those recently evoked feelings to make a sale.

Feelings can be very hard to escape from. For example a mans wife dies in a car accident and then turns to drinking because the depression is unescapable.

When my ex left me I had a lot of rage and anger all the time. I would hit punching bags until my hands would bleed over time they got stronger and my hands would not bleed anymore. I also found bodybuilding helped with my anger and it was an outlet.

Your emotions of gambling wont go away but you will need to replace it with a more healthy escape that will not financially impact. For example, maybe you like fantasy draft or community spccer leagues. If it is bad you could also just have wife or spouse take your card or block the gambling website.

 

 

Hi.

Why my emotions of gambling won't go away but the fact is I have little or even no 

emotion of smoking after quitting it for 7 years? 

I find it so marvelous, that I almost always felt so joyful and relaxed when I was smoking but I could quit it so easily, without any return. However, most of time

I am unhappy, frustrated or even mad when I gamble because most of the time I  lose money, but I am not unable to quit it... I have tried a lot of time, but when I 

have saved up some money after hard working, I cannot control myself from 

gambling....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/3/2021 at 9:25 AM, louis2008 said:

Sorry I do not know which sub-section to put this so please move my topic to appropriate sub-section.

I started to smoke and gamble since I was 20, and now I'm 35+. I liked smoking a lot and it was like

one pack a day and I quit smoking totally on one day when I was 29, thinking that smoking is hazardous

to health and I felt worried, then I quit it totally without any rebounce. Not at all.

However, I also started to gamble, and in fact, exclusively on soccer gambling. I do not go to casino (and no casino nearby) , I do not play jockey. I have never won a large sum of cash, the best I have won was $5000 and I lost all of them quickly. Although I do NEVER, ever have debt because of gambling, I believe

I am very much emotionally affected by gambling, I know that gambling is a game of luck and probability,

but I often believe that it can be analyzed, it can be guessed, even after I have lost a lot of money, I still

have this belief NOW. Every time I lost, I give myself reason, I give myself excuse, it never stops....

 

 

 

Have you tried those gambling support groups?? I think it's a decision..you have to make , kind of like how you decided to stop smoking.. 

in my personal belief, it's addiction, and they thrive on people imagining that they might win a large sum of money so people continue to play and play, and it gets worse and worse for them.

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  • 5 months later...
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