Dealing With the Shame of a Gambling Addiction

by Oct 12, 2015Opinion Pieces

The shame that accompanies a gambling addiction is unlike most other diseases. To explain, let me share a recent story.


For years, I had considered sharing my story as a compulsive gambler. Now, the thoughts were becoming actions and I was ready to take the plunge.

Before starting, I wanted to do a little research to see what was already out there. What were people talking about? What were they sharing?

I opened a browser and instinctively put it into private browsing mode. The “You’ve gone incognito” assured me my tracks would be covered.

The unconscious click into the incognito world led to equal feelings of embarrassment and curiosity rushing into me.

Why was it necessary? Why do I have to hide?

I thought, “If I had cancer, would I go incognito to find other cancer blogs?”

The answer is I don’t think that I would.

So why, over five years later, do I still feel the need to lurk around in the shadows?


When I’m dining out and the first three people order the double cheeseburger, fries and milkshake, it’s much easier for me to pull the trigger as well.

There is no shame ordering an unhealthy meal when everyone else is doing it.

I used this psychology frequently when I was gambling to avoid feeling the shame of losing.

I wouldn’t call up my good friends to go gambling with me. I feared that they might see me drop $1k in a few hours. Instead, I mostly gambled alone or with the few degenerates that would “understand.”