28 February 2019 at 10:32 pm #663128 February 2019 at 10:36 pm #6632
How relieved I am to see you here.
I am still battling away trying to keep a group open just in case but I will support you here
Velvet28 February 2019 at 10:45 pm #6633
My 23 year old son has been gambling for over 5 years and has lost a significant amount of money. We have bailed him for rent and payment back to friends but we all know that the bailing cannot and must not go on. He lives and works in the City and gets a good salary, but now he has a debt repayment plan in place and owes us too. It would be manageable, but as soon as he gets his salary, he (usually) just about pays his rent and then blows the rest in days. Then he borrows from friends and then is disgusted with himself that he cannot pay them back (that is where we have come in). He is very self aware and has done all he can to seek help (National Gambling Clinic group therapy, self exclusion, telling friends not to lend him money because he is is in heavy debt, telling quite a few people that he is a compulsive gambler). He is talking about going to the Drs to try SRIs and also is on the list for NHS therapy of some sort. I can see that he is trying so hard – but the beast is still at his shoulder. I know I need to look after myself and am doing a mindfulness course atm which helps a bit. I keep imagining how he must be feeling and feel so desperately sorry for him.28 February 2019 at 11:04 pm #6634
He suffered from what we thought was mild OCD when younger – with some of the classic behaviour symptoms although they did not affect his daily life. He believes that this has woven itself into the addiction – so that the ‘compulsion’ part of the OCD is now gambling rather than checking the taps are not running etc. If so, surely he would need treatment for the OCD before/in conjuction with treatment for the addiction? Has anyone come across this before?28 February 2019 at 11:23 pm #6635
Many compulsive gamblers take time to learn how to use the tools of recovery. It would of course be wonderful if there was a magic pill that would immediately take away the triggers that stimulate the compulsive gambler’s mind but no such pill exists.
It is so important that you and your husband look after yourselves and keep your own lives under control. It is sadly too easy to get wrapped up in a child’s addiction and in doing so render yourself unable to support in the right way. Your son does not want to be a compulsive gambler, he never asked to be so. It is equally important that you realise that you are not to blame for your son’s addiction.
Unfortunately clearing the debts of a compulsive gambler only allows him to gamble again. Your son is doing well if he is telling his friends he has an addiction but maybe he needs to be telling them more clearly. If he borrows from friends and then you pay the friends back, that is enabling his addiction. In my opinion, his friends possibly have to learn the hard way – if they lend him money, they will not get it back from you. The addiction to gamble is not about money Poppy, the addiction is about ‘the gamble’. Your son’s relationship with his own and anybody else’s money is not healthy – money is his means to an end only and that end is ‘the gamble’.
I appreciate that you are trying to understand how he is feeling but he is not logical or rational like you – feeling sorry for him is leaving you vulnerable to his addiction and although he won’t want to hurt you his addiction will not hold back. For instance, you believe that your son is disgusted with himself when he cannot pay his friends back but it is far more likely that his feelings are more selfish – he is probably sickened that he is not able to gamble because he has lost all his money.
There is a lot to say Poppy and a lot to learn – it is hard but if your son could not control his gambling, I would not be here writing to you.
I will have to close this first reply to you here because it is late but I will write to you again asap. In the meantime if you have any questions or you don’t agree with anything I say, or you don’t understand what I mean, please come back to me.
Once again, I apologise for this evening’s group
Velvet2 March 2019 at 4:29 pm #6636
The best treatment for the addiction to gamble is a holistic approach which often resolves other issues that loved ones have been concerned about.
You mention that your son might see a GP with a view to trying SRIs. My experience of the regular family doctor’s understanding of the addiction to gamble has not been good. I believe that the addiction is best tackled by those who have dedicated themselves to the subject and /or those who have owned the addiction themselves and learned to control it.
Has your son considered the Gordon Moody programme? It is a brilliant project for those who want to take control of their gambling addiction and we can give you lots of information about it on this site if you so wish. There is a forum about it further down on the forum page and our Helpline would be happy to give you any more information. Many years ago, the compulsive gambler in my family did the programme and changed his life; nearly 13 years later he is living a wonderful, normal, gamble-free life as a result of the expertise offered on this project.
I appreciate that a lot of what I say is tough but I believe that it is better to know what it is that you are facing so that you can decide on the best way for you to cope. I cannot tell you what to do, I can only support you.
What makes a compulsive gambler decide to face his addiction and seek a true recovery is impossible to pigeon-hole – in my view offering good support in the form of withholding enablement but at the same time showing support by keeping communication open is invaluable – as is directing the addict to good treatment. I mentioned the Gordon Moody project once to the addict in my life and within three weeks he was on the programme ending 25 years of compulsive gambling.
I think that mindfulness if a wonderful way for you to cope and I wish you well.
Please keep posting. I have no idea whether or not the F&F groups will be ok next week but I will be opening them anyway. Please keep seeking support for yourself – your son can learn to control his addiction and live a fantastic life.
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