Dealing with my gambling demon!

So after four years of fooling myself I was 'trading' and 'investing' on financial markets and yet another night of not going to bed trying

to save a bad trade its time to admit a few things and get help. I am pure and simple a gambler driven by a demon who feeds on raw emotion and makes me

feel stressed, anxious, angry and scared even on the rare times I win some money. I have gambled at work, in meetings, libraries, coffee shops, buses

anywhere really and it never works out for me and sitting here now thinking about it emotional impact on my mental health is horrific.

The demon will scream at the computer screen with his usual refrain 'I don't f***ing believe it, not again!' (god knows what the neighbours must think).

He gets violent against the nearest available inanimate object, countless computer mice, one laptop, an ipad and a phone; Currys must love the demon.

I have stopped him before, a year once but drifted back. The demon convinces me this time you have it controlled and I believe him. Endless hours on you tube

getting new strategies, reading books and podcasts. They all say manage the risk, small position sizes, don't use money you cant afford to lose all the while

the demon must be inside laughing at my pathetic attempts to 'educate' myself. Four times I have gone back a few weeks of control,

a bit of success then boom ramping it up and a grand blown in a day. Its not the money (well I know it is that as well) it is the emotional loss of control - I feel the

same if I lose £5 or £500 and I don't want to feel like this anymore but I don't understand myself or my demon. In my non gambling life I am a calm,

non violent, easy going person with pretty good professional risk management. As I sit here now, three days after closing my accounts down and starting a

recovery programme I cannot get in touch with that wild emotional crazy guy who lurks within - its obvious isn't it, trading makes me feel shit and lose money

so I just stop doing it right? But I know there is a crazy demon lurking within, what do I do with him? slay him, tame him, distract him - answers on a post card please!

Hi Marts

It sounds like your gambling is on automatic pilot right now - a thought comes and almost without realising it - you find yourself gambling wherever you are.

I would advise you to try slow this process down. You can do this by having barriers in place.

I will tell you some things that have helped me, although I have never traded.

1. I have a gambling blocker called Gamban on all my internet devices.

2. I cancelled and ordered new bank cards. I got my husband to open them and scratch the last three numbers off the back so now I can still use them in shops but not online.

3. I closed down any internet accounts I had like PayPal.

The idea is taking the time to think things through - he 7 T’s.

Or taking the time to think things through to the end.

Replay past trading / gambling reels in your head.

I hope you find some of this helpful.

There will be people on here who can give you specific advice about trading. In the meantime, well done for recognising that you have a problem and for seeking help.

Don’t let “demon” steal another second of your happiness - treat him like the most toxic friend -one who pretends to be there for you but who is always plotting behind your back and waiting for the slightest mistake or doubt, so he can hammer you.

Do you need a “friend” like this in your life?

It is interesting that you have externalised your behaviour as a demon outside of yourself. I don't think that is a bad thing. I communicated with the part of me that gambles and tried to understand what were the pluses of gambling that I couldn't see. Working with those through counselling helped a lot.

You said, "I have stopped him before, a year once but drifted back. The demon convinces me this time you have it controlled and I believe him."

A year is good going for someone with this problem - and if you can do that once you can do it again and more. But don't allow yourself to be convinced. I have been stopped for over a decade and part of that is knowing that I cannot control myself when I play. I have tried the "setting limits" and "when the fun stops stop." None of this works for me. My brain goes on overdrive and I can't think straight and I am convinced to gamble just to switch off. The only thing that works for me is not to start - EVER.

So live with the demon, maybe find out what he wants with you, but don't let him out to play. I wish you well.

Hello and thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy forums

Here at Gambling Therapy we pride ourselves on being a caring and diverse online community who can help and support you with the difficulties you’re currently facing. We understand that this might be a tough time for you, particularly if you’re new to recovery, so come here as often as you need to and participate in the forums, access online groups and connect to the live advice helpline if you need one to one support. We’re in this together!

Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment. The beauty of writing it all down is that you can take your time and you will be creating a record of your progress that you can look back on if it ever feels like you’re not moving forward. So, share as much or as little as you like but do try to stick to keeping just one thread in this forum so people know where to find you if they want to be updated on your progress or share something with you.

As well as the forums New Members are invited to join Charles in the New Members Practical Advice Group On Mondays at 21:00 (UK) and Thursday at 19:00(UK)

And on that note....

I’m going to hand you over to our community because I’m sure they will have some words of wisdom for you :-)

Take care

The Gambling Therapy Team

PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

Thank you both for your thoughtful messages of support, its great to hear from people who are working through this. Its funny I woke up this morning and thought the same thing about externalising this issue, I think I am still in disbelief that it is me who has been making this part of my life so painful. What I am convinced about is that I definitely cant control it and this is thing I want to understand about myself through the recovery process.