Specialists have the final say

Leliana Pârvulescu, Psychologist

Spring is just a few days away and I cannot wait to watch how nature comes back to life, trees blossom and the sun touches us warmly.

It is now the time for you to return to the things you long for, to enjoy all the beauty around you, everything that you think does well to you.

Last night, I was taking my usual promenade in a gaming room in a mall. It looks like something magic happens every time I walk in there. A thing young man greeted me at the door, gleefully. ‘Doctor Leli, I know that my friend has got rid of all harm in his life and now he is coming here for fun, playing along with his wife, and both are leaving smiling and happy. I want to become like that…’ I looked at him and told him firmly,’ It is sure that you can be just like that.’

And we sat down to tell stories over a cup of coffee….

He can turn exactly like that. So can you. And so anyone who really wants to make a change in life.

When you are ready to make those changes, the key is that you visualize your future, the place where you will be after the change.

To manage the addictive and compulsive behavior, you need to decide what is your destination. Do you really want to completely give up to the game or you just want to spend less time playing ? The importance of the goal is essential, as it gives you a clear image of the place where you want to go.

Therefore, start with writing your personal goals. Family should play a crucial role on your way to that goal. It is good to share with your family what you are going through and ask for help if you deem necessary.

A time of abstinence is a perfect beginning. As short as it can be. Even for one, two or three days.

It is crucial to understand your success, the fact that every step forward is the one that will settle into shape your path to changing. You will feel good, you will feel that you are important and that you value yourself. All these feelings and emotions will take you to a state of balance that everyone is looking for.

A study has been conducted to prove that you only need 30 days to build or to knock out a behavior that has turned into a habit. Thus, if you succeed to do something for the next 30 days, every day, with baby steps, you will reach the desired result at the end of this interval.

While using this technique, it is more than likely that you will end up playing for your pleasure in the future, to entertain yourself, to be a social player.

Another important step is to be patient and not to try to push your limits further, once you notice that you have reached your objective. Have patience to anchor yourself to that behavior first and then you go to the gaming room. The longer you take to get used to the new behavior, the higher the probability of a final success.

Another path you can take is to shorten the playing time. A good idea is to keep a diary about it, but this is something we will talk about at a later date.

Decrease the number of the playing days in a week.
I know it is hard but it is possible.
You can reach to a smaller and smaller number of days when you gamble and, in the end, you can be pleasantly surprised to see that everything has become amusement only.
It is an effort but it is worthy to fight for your cause.
Once you have set up the plan, stick to it!
So, mark a date in the future when you stop to spend all your money in the gambling room. You can call it ‘the liberation date’.

This will give you time to get ready. Your liberation date must be an exact one, do not leave it on a limb. You set the date and write it down in a notebook.

It is essential to set the date and never change it. You should have that date set within less than a month since reading this article. It would be good if you could fix that liberation date right after a vacation or after an important event in your life. To abandon the compulsive gambling is a change in your lifestyle. Should you combine it with another change, it will be easier to monitor the steps you have to take.

Read Elena’s story and you will understand that all is possible, as long as you really want it.

Elena was playing online and she could not wait to tuck her children in bed so that she could sit in front of the computer and play until morning. Her husband was gone most of the time with his job. She realized that she had a problem with the gambling addiction only when her husband asked her why she had so many debts to her relatives and friends who had called him to pay the money back.

With the support from her husband and the ‘Responsible Gambling’ Program, assisted by Romanian Bookmakers and Casino Life & Business Magazine, Elena made up a plan where she had a goal to decrease the number of the days of playing, the diary of the game, all the things that she could have done if not in front of the computer. In 7 months, she managed to reach the place we had agreed on and all her objectives.

It is very clear, as you can see, that it is possible to control your urge, to manage your life the way it fits you the best.
Until next time, live free!

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