Mr. Hui witnessed his father’s gambling activity with his friends since young. He felt the happiness in gambling, and he could win some money in it. Therefore, a perception on gambling formed: gambling could bring him money and fun. Mr. Hui then started gambling since Secondary 1 by betting $10 on horseraces. His betting amount increased to a few hundred dollars per bet while studying university. Eventually, he became indebted when he started working.
At first, he was betting randomly. He then betted with reference to information gathered from friends, colleagues and on newspapers, together with his intuition. His wins affirmed his analyzing ability in races. Even though he had wins and losses, he selectively remembered his winning experience, but forgot how he lost. He thought he was very capable of analyzing horseraces, that he could win with reference to his experiences and analysis. And he blamed occasional carelessness and missing the details for his losses. However, he lost more money in gambling and developed a denial of losses. He only thought that he was not lucky enough.
Debts increased with his frequency of gambling, but he strongly believed that gambling was the only way to solve his financial problem. The thought of “gambling as the only way out” was like a voice encouraging him to keep gambling. Whether he got his gambling capitals from salary, relatives or financial companies, he strongly believed that by only winning once, he could win back his losses and repay for his debts.
Influence of gambling myths
Mr. Hui got very excited and thrilled after each win, because he had a sense of success and really won some money. Yet, after he had lost, he felt depressed and defeated. He had been painfully suffered from unstable emotions for more than 10 years. And because of his gambling behaviour, he was indebted for more than HK$1 million, that he always had to borrow money from family. He strongly believed that he could repay his debts by gambling, and insisted that gambling was the only way to resolve his financial problem. Also, he always felt regret about how his unstable emotions ruined his family relationship.
Treatment and Changes
Through expressive arts, he gradually understood his emotions and urges. When he realized his causes of gambling problem, he understood his real needs beneath his gambling behaviour, which was helpful to treat his problem. He then sought other ways to gain the sense of success and achievement.
During the change, he comprehended the wins and losses in gambling, and his misbelief in his analyzing ability as his winning cause and gambling as the only financial solution. He decided to seek the proper way to manage his debts and finally reduced his debts’ interest rates through DRP and worked hard to earn money to repay his debts. Furthermore, his emotional control was improved which also helped restore his relationship with family and friends.