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    I’m not sure where to begin. This has been going on for years but only recently have I realised how big the problem is.
    First I want to provide a little background. I’m 31 my mother is 65. We live together. I pay our rent, food, bills, etc.
    She’s got a tiny little pension so it never occurred to me to ask her to pitch in in any way bigger than an occasional small utility bill or groceries. Whatever she has left she uses on slot machines. Basically she loses 85% of her pension. Anytime I mention she has a problem it turns into a huge argument. I’ve begged her to stop, threatened she’d end of on her own but she doesn’t care. She makes up lies and yet I have access to her accounts so can see every single withdrawal. She’s been able to stop for a few days max yet lies to me saying she hasn’t played but yet all the money disappears. She calls me controlling and says it’s her “hobby”. I don’t know, is it me? I’m angry because I can’t make her stop, I’m angry because the responsibility of taking care of the entire household lies with me. I think I should just go and leave her with nothing, this sound cruel and it’s the last thing I’d ever want to do. However I find myself following her to the slot place every time she lies she’s somewhere else just to prove to her that I know exactly what she’s doing. Again, all that does is create arguments – she doesn’t get it, she says she doesn’t have a problem, that I’m the bad guy. I don’t know what to do. I keep thinking as a grown up she should be able to take care of herself and I shouldn’t feel responsible for her. I’m losing my mind. How do you deal with a situation like this?




    Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.

    Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂

    If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.

    You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your
    situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂

    We look forward to hearing all about 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!


    I think you are going through the sorts of feelings and questionings that are very normal when you live with someone with a gambling problem/addiction. You are no doubt feeling extremely stressed by this situation, but it does not mean that you are losing your mind.
    Indeed your mother ‘should’ be able to take care of herself; sadly an addiction changes things and people lose that sense of adult responsibility. Your mother did not intend to become an addict, but it looks like she is now in the grips of this particular addiction. She will need help from outside to get into recovery. She will also need to come to a recognition that she has a problem and to reach a place within herself where she wants to change.
    Meanwhile, it is important that you concentrate more on looking after yourself. Most partners, parents, siblings and adult children of addicts reach a place where they become focussed on the needs of the one they love, who has the addiction. It probably seems counter-intuitive to take that focus away from the ‘other’ and over to yourself. But it is the way to begin making a better life for YOU. You will hold on to hope for your mother’s recovery, but that is a choice in her gift, not yours. Your active choice can be to look after your own needs, draw safe boundaries around your own physical, mental and emotional well-being and protect your finances.
    There is a lot in there to work on. Here at GT, there is support to help you get to a better place within yourself. Please make use of all the services that can provide that support – there is a live advice line, there is this Forum (read and post as much as you like, you should receive suggestions, concern, emotional and practical support)) and use the Support Groups. There are groups specifically for Family and Friends (F&F), as well as mixed groups.
    Share as much as you feel able and we hope to offer you something beneficial.
    Looking forward to hearing more of your story.
    Best wishes,


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