The Urge Is Like A Fire Burning Inside
Many people describe gambling urges as a “fire” that burns inside them all the time.
The fire becomes a constant focus and difficult to control as it’s continually being triggered to keep burning. Triggers vary for each person, but all result in an urge increasing in strength and power.
Triggers include intense emotions like anger, sadness, stress, grief, and loneliness or even just being bored can be a powerful trigger. Other triggers include money, bills, peers and gambling opportunities and reminders.
When the fire burns, it is difficult for the person to think clearly about their rational choices. Gambling is fuelled by the desire to win money, often the reasoning behind this need to win money is to pay debts and make everything better or to gamble and escape longer in the gambling zone.
When in the zone, gamblers described feeling at peace or in a trance where they can have some temporary escape from emotional triggers.
To try not to gamble, some people talk about putting a lid on the fire, to try and control it.
They use strategies like avoiding venues, avoiding carrying money or even just white knuckling the urge, but under the lid, the coal still burns.
When the fire burns, the person must keep vigilant at all times of a lapse to gamble to keep the lid down tight.
Being vigilant and avoiding triggers is important because at any time the lid can come off and the fire ignites again. Once the fire takes over, it’s difficult to have rational thought as the total focus is on gambling.
When clients complete SAIGHS treatment, they feel a sense of relief because they describe the fire that burnt inside them has been put out completely.
The aim of the SAIGHS treatment program is to slowly help people to put out the fire one step at a time until the urge to gamble has completely gone. Once the urge has gone, the gambler’s rational thoughts return and money and time have value.
When the fire is completely out – when treatment is fully completed – the lid is no longer needed. Our clients say they leave the lid behind as it’s not needed anymore. These people are free of gambling and can return to a normal life.
We can help you put out that fire. Call us now to find out more.