WOMEN, GAMBLING AND EMPOWERMENT
Self-help programs tell women they must admit powerlessness over their compulsion to gamble. Ironically, feeling powerless over the problems in their lives may have led them to gamble in the first place.
What they need is empowerment. The machines gave them a false sense of freedom from feeling powerless. When they are asked to leave the one thing in life that gave them some sense of freedom -- their machine -- they may believe they have nothing.
They must be encouraged to replace the illusion of freedom that the machine provided with other activities and coping skills. For those who seek it, the power of a 12-step program often fills the void.
Many escape gamblers identify underlying codependency issues with which they must deal as part of their recovery. Books by Melody Beattie or Pia Mellody are recommended and are available online through Hazelden or Amazon.com. Also visit www.coda.org to learn more about Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA), an organization that has helped countless people address their codependency issues.
Remember, compulsive gambling
is a diagnosable and treatable disease,
not a disgrace!