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    • #52356

      I am 50 years old and developed a serious gambling addiction to slot machines. I am living in a big European City and the
      closest casino is ten minutes to where I live.

      I always liked gambling for as long as I can remember and played roulette and black jack. I also hit the slots now and then when
      we visited Las Vegas, however absolutely nothing to worry about.

      It all started to get troublesome in 2016, when I went to the casino more often and played the slots with 1-2 Euro bets. I lost, but I
      could manage. I own my own very small business, which I run alone. It pays me an ok salary and I have to work for about 20 hours a
      Sounds like paradise. Instead of being happy about this, I am so bored that I seek excitement at the slots.

      In 2017 my bets got higher and I played for 5 Euro per bet. My losses in 2017 were about 30,000 Euros.
      In 2018 my bets were rising, and I lost more than 50,000 Euros.
      In 2019 I am up to 20 Euro bets, sometimes even 50 Euro per spin. I lost around 80,000 Euro this year alone and I am completely devastated.

      This money were my lifelong savings. I was always feeling so happy to have this money and would not have
      to worry about finances. I could go on wonderful vacations with my fiancé and life was wonderful.

      Unfortunately I suffer under a so called Restless-Legs-Syndrome and have to take medication which is actually designed for Parkinson Treatment.
      This medication is known to have serious side effects, such as compulsive gambling. This might also worsen the situation. I have tried
      other treatment, but nothing helps.

      I really want my old life back! I was happy. I tell myself every minute, not to go to the casino ever again. This lasts for 2-3 days maximum and
      suddenly I feel this completely uncontrollable urge and then I go again. Sometimes I went into the casino, put 50 Euro in the slot an won 3,000 Euro
      on the first spin! I won 6,000 & 10,000 Euro two and three weeks ago. The thrill & excitement was unbelievable, it was such a fantastic feeling.
      Guess what, I have lost all of it one week later and much more of my own money. I lost another 3,000 yesterday, 5,000 3 days ago. I cannot go
      on like this.

      I was thinking about self excluding me from the casino, which sounds to be an obvious choice. Where I live, you can ban yourself for one year
      minimum. In order to lift this exclusion, you need a lot of documentation. Not only about your financial status but also from a psychiatrist, who
      is certified in treating compulsive gambling. This doctor needs to confirm, that you can gamble responsibly. You will have a very hard time
      to go back to the casino, since you will hardly find anyone willing to state that you can gamble again. This is why I am a little reluctant to do this.
      I am really afraid to take this step. Our Gambler´s Brain associates so many good feelings we had, when we won.

      I have read a lot about my addiction. The advice always seems to be to look for a hobby, which excites you. I have never had any hobbies.
      I never did any sports for the last 30 years, since I just don´t like it. I just cannot imagine anything, which can replace the fun I had at the casino.

      My savings are almost depleted. I feel totally miserable and hardly have energy to do anything any more. I used to be a really social guy,
      but now I prefer to stay home and watch TV.

    • #52357

      Hi this is terrible

      What a rollercoaster ride you are on. Thank you for sharing your story.

      The gambling is getting worse and worse. I lost £4000 when I first gambled In 2012 dec to jan 2013

      I stopped for seven years and then this year gambling somehow crept back into my life

      I lost close to £30, 000 in just 8 weeks

      I have decided to say no more. Gambling has ruined my life, my peace my finances

      I am not in debt but I know I will be if the gambling continues.

      I hope you can begin focusing on each day and staying gamble free

      Just think that if it continues you can predict what 2020’s losses will be for you

    • #52358

      Hi Meghna83, fortunately I am not in debt either and there is still money left. But I know, if I do not stop now, everything will be gone. I just cannot control the urge! I am not a stupid person, I have a university degree, my own business. I KNOW that gambling is stupid. I know, I cannot win in the long run. I know that all this is terribly wrong. But I keep on gambling. 

      Maybe it is the medication (Ropinirole, Pramipexole) which also adds to the addiction. 

      I wish this nighmare would just end. 

    • #52359

      This is terrible 

      gambling is a choice. You can make the right choice to not act on the urges

      you can lead a gamble free life. You just have to believe it 

    • #52360

      I have heard before that there are some medications that can give people gambling urges. (Makes me wonder if there are some that could take them away!) I would be speaking to my medic about this and getting them to change the medication. As I understand it there are alternatives – but most medications have side effects.

      What I see is a reluctance to stop – hence not taking the step of banning yourself. YOU need to decide if the cost of gambling is more than what you receive from it. I would say that compulsive gambling is progressive illness and the end results are enough for people to take drastic action.

      You say you don’t have any other hobbies and yet earlier you mention going on vacations with your fiancee – I would consider travelling as a hobby and there is nothing to stop you doing more of it – if you can stop giving your money to casino operators and using it to benefit your fiancee and yourself. I wish you well.

    • #52361

      Hi Steve, thank you for your comment. I was speaking to 3 different neurologists / psychiatrists. They are either smiling about this addiction and not take it serious or they offered different medication, that does not work (such as opioids or medication against epilepsia). I was given an anti-depressant last year and felt pretty good. The losses somehow did not feel so painful, I hardly doubt, that the the anti-depressants were a wise choice for a Gambling Addict. I love travelling! We went to all five continents and I always loved the planning and booking and everything connected with it. I also love frequent flyer miles & hotel points. Since I lost so much money, I am reluctant to travel anywhere. I am trying to save money I guess. I will need to pick this hobby back up. I am glad that you say, one can consider this a hobby. I told myself now: if I go one more time in my home city I will ban myself. I hate to loose control about where I can go when I want and I hate myself for not having this under my own control. Where I live, this is also a lifetime decision. 

      What I did do is put myself “On Pause” on the Online Casino I have visited for one week. They have a feature, where you can look up your net winnings or better losses. I thought this must have been pretty even, maybe 1,000 Euro loss. It turned out to be 10,000 Euro lost from November 2018-August 2019. I managed to overcome the urge, since I was blocked. As soon as the pause was lifted, I gambled again. After 200 Euro lost, I put this pause in effect again and I am extremely happy that they offer this. 

    • #52362

      I agree with steev,

      if you want to take your addiction seriously and quit seriously, you really do need to ban for as long as possible.

      pausing means -“I’ll come back to you when I’m ready” so basically what you are saying through that action of pausing is: “I do wish to gamble again when I am ready”

      take your recovery seriously if you wish to not lose over 80,000€ This year and the next. ban yourself. Saying “if I go one more time…” Really is leaving the door open. you will gamble again and again as you have created no obstacles 

      take your recovery seriously and ban yourself from all casinos you have resigtered with. It’s the only way to shut that door for good 

    • #52363

      Hi Stephen
      Well done on seeking support with your addiction.
      It is so hard to quit gambling once we become addicted . I have read much about Parkinson’s medication and how it can cause compulsive gambling. It must make it hugely more difficult to stop. Yet you clearly want to stop and have your old life back.

      I too use the pause button on online casinos when I can’t quite bring myself to stop but know I can’t control myself not to run out of money. I guess many of us follow the same thought patterns .

      I’m not sure if you can take this but there is actually a supplement which is proven to help with urges to gamble – it is called NAC- perhaps you could ask your doctor if you could take it with your other drugs.

      Stephen , our tendency is to deprive ourselves when we have lost money but I think you should perhaps consider going back to the things you loved and leave saving until later on. Once you have your old life back you will be more motivated not to gamble .

      Lastly i cannot I understand why your doctors would not take a serious view of a well documented side effect of current medication .
      I think maybe you should research until you find a doctor who is prepared to give you the help you need .

      Hope this helps – remember you are not alone and you can get past this .

    • #52364

      Dear I Did It, 

      thank you so much for your post. I will definately get these NAC tomorrow and see how this works out. I have not heard of this, but the studies sound quite promising. 

      The doctors I went to were not really great. They knew that this coud be a side effect and told me about other patients suffering mostly from other kinds of Impulse Control Disorders. Unfortunately only the Dopaminagonists work for me. If I do not take them, I shake all the time. 

      I like the idea to stop worry about the savings, and pick that up when the gambling nitghtmare has ended. I always liked saving money and never threw money out of the window, such as I am doing now. 

      Thank you so much for your advice. 

      This forum is really good. It is a good feeling, that I am not alone and that there are others who went through similar experiences. 

    • #52370

      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!

    • #52365

      Hey IDI, 

      Have you tried the NAC? I didn’t know about it, and just found that in my country you can buy 60 capsules of 600 mg NAC for 9€ without prescription. They recommend taking one a day.

      Do you think I can buy it and use it without seeing my doctor or asking a doctor is always best?



    • #52366

      Hey Stephen,
      Block yourself from the casino. It’s really the best option. What pleasure do you really take from gambling, if you look around you ll see just zombies pressing the spin button. You will not lose anything if you don’t go to that terrible place again in your life. You are doing yourself a favor.
      I wish you all the best.

    • #52367

      Hi Kolberg,

      yes I am considering this option very, very seriously. Obviously it is the best choice.

      I don´t know, what is actually keeping me from doing this. It would be much better, if our state-owned casinos here would offer the possibility of self banning for 3/6 or 12 months. But the way they handle it here is practically a ban for life.

      What if my urges become so strong, that I start online gambling instead or take trips to other countries or to Las Vegas.

      It is so strange. I know, that I cannot win back these massive losses. But when I go, I tell myself how great it would be to have 1,000 oder 2,000 Euros more in order to pay for this or that.

    • #52368

      If you go the casino will make 1,000 or 2,000 Euros, not you. If you have an urge, just do something else and it will go away in half hour. As days, months pass the urges come less frequently until they disappear.

      I don’t know if you read my journal, but my problem was mainly with online gambling. In my country one can block himself from all legal online casinos in one government site. I didn’t do it at first because I thought I could manage it, blablabla, well 2 weeks ago I relapsed… I found an online casino where I didn’t have limits and spent a lot of money. After that I finally realised I had to block myself. Best decision I’ve made, I feel so bad and stupid for not having made that decision 2/3 years ago. If you are here it’s because you want to stop gambling, so you should put all the barriers you possibly can.

    • #52369

      Hi I am replying to the question about NAC.
      Yes I have tried it. It was strange – I would have a thought about gambling but it would go nowhere – it was like that pathway was blocked – like I had been logged out of that screen.
      I found it very difficult to take after the first week or so – it gave me a strange and horrible feeling in my abdomen which worried me but not everyone suffers these side effects .

      I have no medical training so I cannot advise whether someone should take it- I just bought it in one of those health shops and took it – it also was good to stop me day dreaming instead of taking action.
      I would be careful of mixing it with prescription meds.
      Bottom line is it works and often I have been glad of it to break the really crazy cycles of destruction.
      Hope this helps .

    • #52371

      Day 3 and no gambling!

      I have not had any serious urges. I am so sad, that I lost so much money in the past, which saddens my mood extremely. All this money, which I saved for when I am old. I can hardly think of anything else.

      I also contacted the local casino and they want to invite me for a talk. I am still reluctant to take this step and hope I can manage it myself without giving the control completely away.

      I have tried the NAC (which is cough medicine), I cannot really say anything yet however.

      Thanks to everyone here in the forum, it is a great place!

    • #52372

      Hi Stephen
      Well done on day 3 – it is not easy to stop but you have made that break.
      One of the uses of NAC is indeed for lung conditions – it seems like a bit of a miracle supplement – it has so many uses!

      Keep strong Stephen and try to not look back. Perhaps if you made a plan as to how you could earn or save money to replace what is lost it might help you focus on the future .

      Onwards and upwards !

    • #52373

      Thank you for the kind words.

      I think, if I was busy doing something else that I would really like, I would not have any of these gambling issues.

      I am just so bored and interested in virtually nothing. I really hope, that I can rewire my brain and find joy in my daily life without the constant need of a dopamine rush, when pressing the spin button for 10, 20 or 50 Euro per bet. Horrible!

    • #52374

      Day 4.

      I had quite a sum of cash in my hands today and the thought came in my mind to try my luck.
      This feeling went away after 10 seconds and I put all this money in my account. I do not have serious urges, maybe it is because of the NACs. I am happy, that there are no urges but the grievance about the losses is still strong. When I think about the slots, I see myself putting in the money, just like feeding an animal. (with 50 and 100 Euro bills). It gives me goose bumps and I think this is a good sign.

    • #68312

      Hi, this is a really sad story, in fact, I’m sorry that it happened to you. Have you tried to just take gambling not as a disease or entertainment or something like that, but as an ordinary vacation? Perhaps try playing somewhere in a new place, for example this is a great option, and there is even a great start. There you will find the best online casino sign up bonus and you will calmly win, I manage to do this several times a week. Easy money!

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