Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Should I tell My Son That I know?

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  • #6124
    UserNameTaken
    Participant
    #6125
    UserNameTaken
    Participant

    Please help.

    My 29 year old son has an extremely stressful job and has recently been suffering from anxiety and depression.

    He has decided to hand his notice in at work and have a fresh start in a new job.

    To cut a long story short he told me that his doctor is arranging for him to have CBT and although I am very happy about that I did wonder why. I presumed that once he had got rid of his main stressor he would start to relax more and therefore feel better.

    Last night he was at our house and needed to use my PC to send an email. When I went to my email account this morning it was still logged onto his account, with all his emails showing – there was correspondence from The Self-exclusion people. At first I was just going to sign out of his account and into my own but something stopped me and I Googled ‘self exclusion’ – because I had no idea what it was. And then I was very nosey and read the email. He has signed up to it and agreed not to go into any amount of betting places.

    This is the first I have known anything about the fact he has a gambling problem. We have talked in length about his anxiety and depression and his father and I are fully supportive and will do anything to help him feel better. He obviously doesn’t want us to know as he has had ample opportunity to let us help him.

    My question is: should I tell him that I now know – that I have seen the email? Or should I keep quiet and let him deal with it seeing that he has made a start to help himself?

    I do know that many of you will think I have done very wrong by reading the email.

    Please help!

    Thank you in advance.

    #6126
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Username
    Well done on writing a difficult post. The first one is always the hardest.
    It would appear from what you have said that your son has an addiction to gamble but it also appears that he is trying to control it and that is fantastic news.
    I have to go out now but I wanted you to know, when you returned to the forum, that you had been heard. I will write to you asap but I want to give my reply to you the consideration it deserves.
    Speak soon
    Velvet

    #6127
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hello Username

    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

    Read about the friends and Family Online Groups

    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!

    #6128
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Username
    Please don’t take it personally that your son feels he cannot share his worry with you, this is quite common.
    It is very likely that your son’s depression and anxiety have stemmed from his worry about his gambling and not the other way round. A compulsive gambler suffers with feelings of worthlessness and failure and I suspect your son wants to try and redeem himself in ‘his own eyes’ first. Owning a gambling addiction is something he will almost definitely feel deeply ashamed about and that is a different ball game from admitting to anxiety and depression.
    A gambling addiction is not something that a person should be ashamed to own but ignorance plays a major part in keeping this addiction secret. Your son probably placed a bet some time ago, either with friends or on his own just for fun, he could not possibly have known that he could not gamble responsibly. Having crossed the line he will now have to have great courage and determination to control his problem and your understanding can greatly support him while he fights his demons.
    You ‘know’ his guilty secret but he is unaware that you know and in my opinion this is the best way to go on. In the meantime I suggest you learn as much as you can about the addiction to gamble so that you can support him in the right way. It is so important that your son trusts you and I suspect he would struggle with the fact you have read his email, although it is completely understandable that you did so. I don’t think you were nosey at all; I think you were caring and worried. Many F&F become detectives when this problem has appeared in their lives but generally it is the only way to know the truth as a gambler will use lies and deception because it is the only way they know to cope.
    It would be great if you could pop in to an F&F group on either Tuesday evening 22.00 – 23.00 hours UK time or Thursday 20 .00 – 21.00 hours UK time so that we can communicate in real time. Nothing said in the group appears on the forum. You will be very welcome.
    I hope it will help you to know that I would not be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and fantastic lives lived as a result.
    Velvet

    #6129
    UserNameTaken
    Participant

    Thank you so much for replying. Your post has given me a lot of hope.

    I wonder if this addiction could be related to a ‘win’ he had about 5 years ago? A group of about 8 of us went to a snooker hall to watch a big game of football on the sports screen, after the game we stayed to play snooker and have a drink – there were a few fruit machines (is that what they are called?) there and most of us had a go. All of a sudden there were loud bells ringing, music going off and lots of money in pound coins spilling out of the machine – my son had won £100, of course we were all delighted for him, he was buzzing! I never thought another thing about it until this week. Is that where it could have all begun? 🙁

    We were with our son last night and he seemed cheerful and more upbeat than he had in the previous couple of days. Unfortunately I found myself wondering if handing his notice in at work had finally lifted his spirits…or if he had been successful at gambling *blush*. I hope I don’t always feel and think this way.

    I will do my absolute best to be at the live chat tonight and look forward to ‘talking’ with you.

    Thank you again for your help
    xx

    #6130
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi UN
    It would be great to get an update. Once you come on the radar here your posts do not get forgotten.
    I am hoping you pop in to another group or update your thread.
    Thinking of you
    Velvet

    #6131
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi UN
    One of my colleagues has made a different suggestion regarding your son’s behaviour, from the one I put forward to you so I hope you will pop in to the group again so that we can mull different ideas over.
    It would be great to get an update anyway as I have been thinking about you
    Velvet

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