The Three Stages of Compulsive Gambling
You do not automatically become a compulsive gambler the first time you start gambling, the change happens over time. For some, it happens faster than others, but typically there are three stages that you will travel through before you become a compulsive gambler.
The first stage is the winning stage, this is where you are just discovering gambling and how it feels to gamble and WIN!! The feelings produced by winning are great. You feel wonderful! You are happy, and everything is right with the world. You are making money and feeling great at the same time, what could be better? This stage sometimes lasts a day or two, or sometimes it will last longer depending on your luck. During this stage, you might start feeling confidant about gambling, and you may think that you have the system beat, and therefore may place larger and larger bets.
The second stage of gambling is when reality hits and you begin losing your bets. This is where you will feel the ‘high’ of gambling less and less, until you rarely experience it at all. Typically, you will start to gamble alone, and may begin hiding your gambling habits from friends and family. As you lose more and more money, you may begin borrowing or stealing money to pay for your habit.
The third stage of gambling is the most serious. During the desperation stage, you increase the amount of time and money that you spend gambling until you are in serious trouble. During this stage, you will start to experience serious debt problems, your family life may begin to suffer leading to divorce or separation. You may lose your job and find yourself in a dangerous cycle without much hope to escape. It is in this phase that some compulsive gamblers will resort to desperate measures to fix their problems including illegal acts or even attempting suicide.
The progression through these stages of gambling will vary depending on the personality type of the individual and the type of gambling that they engage in. It has been found that people, who play instant gratification games such as the slot machines, video slots or video poker, including online gambling, will experience these three stages faster than other gamblers.
Jocelyn is the author of "Your Life Beyond Gambling" - a straight-to-the-point self-help guide that will tell you everything you need to know about "problem" gambling and how to get rid of it. If you or someone you care about is susceptible of having a gambling problem, visit Jocelyn's website at http://www.yourlifebeyondgambling.com for help and advice.
You will find motivation, inspiration and a step-by-step plan to follow.