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Junior Member

United Kingdom
267 Posts

Posted - 23 March 2007 :  18:14:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This post is for those of you who were made bankrupt through suffering with a gambling addiction. I thought this important to post as a gambling addiction is not just your problem. Your gambling behaviour effects those who love and care about you. There is help available.

Gam-ANON Helpline: 08700 50 88 80

What is Gam-Anon?

Gam-Anon is a fellowship of men and women who are husbands, wives, relatives or close friends who have been affected by the gambling problem. If you are seeking a solution for living with this problem, we like to feel that we understand, as perhaps few can. We too are familiar with worry and sleepless nights and promises made only to be broken. Our thinking had become confused and unreasonable.
Gam-Anon can offer you a new way of life.
Our Purpose

* To welcome and give assistance and comfort to those affected by the gambling problem
* To learn to understand the gambling problem and its impact on our lives
* To give encouragement and understanding to the gambler when they join Gamblers Anonymous
* To use the programme and its problem-solving suggestions as aids in rebuilding our lives

What is compulsive gambling and a compulsive gambler?

Compulsive gambling is not as well recognised as other addictions such as drugs, alcohol and smoking, yet gambling opportunities continue to grow. With the rapid development of new media, such as the Internet and interactive TV, the addiction is likely to become more widespread and affect many more individuals than it does so already. The compulsive gambler suffers with an uncontrollable urge to gamble and when the bills pile up they look back and ask themselves what they have done with their life. Yet they continue to hide the problem, with fear that others will discover how much they have lost on a game of chance.

Often the compulsive gambler will begin to panic and see no way out, but then the slightest amount of good news will bring the individual back their optimism, so the gambling begins again. The struggle to control the addiction becomes harder each day and emotional outbursts are common with sufferers. However the gambling will continue as it involves escaping from reality and living in a fantasy world where the addiction is not an issue. The gambler begins to feel they are more comfortable when gambling and inevitably the addiction will become more severe; the compulsive gambler uses their addiction as a method of escaping from the effects of their addiction.

Ultimately, the addiction brings the individual despair and humiliation and causes deterioration in almost all areas of their life. However this does not prevent the person from dreaming of a life filled with money, friends, an expensive car and house. In reality though, no amount of money will ever be enough as the individual has the irresistible urge to gamble any winnings they do ever make. Enormous amounts of debt are accumulated but there is the common delusion amongst compulsive gamblers that the next risk will be the one that wins them big money and will put everything right. When the gambler finally realises they have a problem, help is available but the addiction is usually severe by this time, as the individual will have done their best to hide it for so long. Depression, drinking and taking drugs often accompany compulsive gambling. Nevertheless, treatment is highly effective and sufferers can be restored back to normal functioning and happiness.
Signs of compulsive gambling:
# Spending an excessive amount of time gambling
# Increasing the frequency of gambling
# Continuing to gamble despite negative outcomes
# Borrowing money to gamble
# Increasing the amount of money spent gambling
# Frequent mood swings
# Secretive behaviour
# Absence from work or family problems due to gambling
# The irresistible urge to gamble and take larger risks


Some research has suggested the cause of gambling addictions to be partly due to physical or hereditary predispositions, however this has never been proven. Many experts also believe a person's experiences and personality type play a large part in the addiction.


The compulsive gambler must admit to their addiction before any treatment can be successful. Gamblers Anonymous is a self-help group available for addicts and Gam-Anon is a group available for family and friends of the addict. A counsellor may also be effective, which involves talking about and understanding the gambling urges and how to handle them. Treatment may also be required for depression or substance abuse if necessary.

All I have left is my sense of humour.
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