Relief and Escape Gamblers are one of the six types of gambler originally classified by pioneer Dr. Robert L. Curtis.
According to Dr. Curtis and his extensive studies on the topic, this category includes people that resort to gambling to escape bad feelings.
When their personal or professional life is filled with anxiety, depression, boredom, anger or loneliness, gambling acts as a temporary relief for the underling emotional wounds. As matter of fact, these gamblers tend to be highly vulnerable.
All the negative elements in their social or work life are overwhelming, and they don’t know how to deal with their feelings. This leads them to search for a fast sense of peace or, sometimes, even a payback. As they chase this relief, they have the sensation to be in control. For once, they feel they have the power to make all the important decisions.
The roller coster of emotions and the sense of control is obviously temporary, for as long as the gambling sessions last. The risk for this type of gamblers is to be caught in an inevitable vicious circle. As they tend to seek these gratifying feelings more and more often, their actual situation will typically get worse. Their personal relationships diminish, they become evasive of their partners and they might even start lying to avoid confrontations. Their job performances decrease, the gambling will demand increasing portions of their focus and their work abilities weaken. Finally, even their finances will likely take a hit.
If you are a gambler and you realize you cannot control such feelings – if even 5 minutes of boredom are unbearable for you; if you don’t know how to deal with anxiety or depression – there are indications that you may have a ‘Relief and Escape’ personality.
If that is the case, it is mandatory to invest time in improving your emotional intelligence (EI), learning how to understand and control your feelings, before you can develop a damaging behaviour or a more serious compulsive addiction.