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#1 Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 00:30

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

This just says it all with gambling.

So today I had urges, I got through them well though to begin with.

After my last gamble in July, i'm so close to clearing my overdraft and not being charge £1 a day anymore. In fact, as on Monday, I would have been fully out of my overdraft.

I needed to buy a few things in the week for myself, namely tobacco. The problem was, buying tobacco this week would put me right in my overdraft again incurring bank charges.

I am a member of many of these paid survey programes and on 1 of the accounts I was about 60p short of cashing out £10 (instantly paid, would have covered tobacco cost). I looked for surveys but weekends are slow days when many are not available. I did see another offer though.

It was sign up to a free trial on this website (not gambling related) through their link and be credited 92p within 10 minutes. Great!!! I signed up to the free trial and noticed money had gone out of my bank though (£3). Worse still I then read up about the company and they are notorious for not being easy to contact and cancel this "trial" meaning people have been charged over £100 when the trial ended. To top it off, an hour later I didn't get credited with that 92p (so it clearly didn't track).

You know what that meant? Feeling I had lost money and the temptation to gamble was extreme.

I slipped up to the sum of £40 loss.... Not much to many but it is a lot of money to me these days

 

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 17:59

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

Today..... £500 loss.... I wont type out what I posted on a mental health forum but instead will copy and paste.... First off I spoke about that incident yesterday with the survey website then put....

As with my mental health problems and situation (isolated, haven't got anyone). I find things like this very difficult to cope with. I don't adapt to change well and can't deal with situations like this how other people would deal with them.

All day today I have been in a massive panic about it. They haven't responded to my emails, they might not cancel my trial in time....

And so this sent me right over that edge. Some might break down in floods of tears, others might get angry and break things..... For me? 1 of my vices.... gambling or drink.

It turns out I had a drink a few days ago and so didn't feel like it again.... So it was gambling......... An hour later and £500 lost (putting me significantly overdrawn).

Which you know what? In a follow on cycle, that loss and being in so much debt now was another push over the edge and i'm drinking now anyway.

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 18:13

Phil72

Joined:
2016-10-07

Sam why not go to the 8pm chat room on this site? You will find a lot of common ground and good advice. Best wishes, Phil.

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 18:43

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

I might try that Phil but it's just difficult. I mean.... my situation and my triggers are pretty unique (there would be others in the same boat, but it's not like i'm an addict who needs to stop and has the tools around me to stop).

What gets to me is this cycle where i'm back and forth with things..... Everyone fails to see the link.

Mental health teams (who understand about mental health but not gambling) tell me that gambling must mean a straight forward addiction and so go to Gamcare or GA.

Gamcare or GA (who understand about gambling, but not mental health) know that this is quite complex, understand my triggers and say to go to mental health teams or services like MIND.

It's like both services do not correspond and combine treatment. It's either i'm mentally ill and thats that.... or i'm addicted to gambling and that's that. 

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 19:34

Phil72

Joined:
2016-10-07

I have had chronic OCD for most of my adult life which I'm only now sorting out, a 14-year dependency on tranquillisers which I've addressed over the last 14 months.

Often we feel alone and think nobody can relate to our history/story but believe me there is a lot of common ground here. I think you will be surprised if you maintain the diary and join the chat (when you feel comfortable) a lot of people will know where you are coming from. You don't need to be alone with this problem.

Best wishes, Phil.

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 19:50

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

But the key part is how to change or progress?

I cant get anyone to look after my money because I don't have anyone.
I cant self exclude at all casinos because new 1's open nearly every day.
I cant use blocking software as i'm pretty much an expert on computers and can (and have) reverse engineered and deactivated even the strongest of blockers like gamblock.

I want to never gamble again but then the slightest thing in my life can be too much to handle and so I turn to gambling as I dont have anything else.

The Gamcare advisor earlier was even quite surprised and said there isn't much else they can suggest

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 19:56

Phil72

Joined:
2016-10-07

chat starts in 5 minutes

 

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 21:05

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Hello Sam,

You might like to look at the National Problem Gambling Clinic, as you've mentioned that you're looking for a service that combines expertise in mental health and expertise in treatment for problem gambling:

http://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/cnwl-national-problem-gambling-clinic/refer/

Do feel welcome to call us on 0808 8020 133 if you need to talk some more.

Take care,

Forum Admin.

Posted on:
Sun, 24/09/2017 - 21:13

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

Thank you admin.

The only problem I have with that, is getting there. With anxiety I really do struggle to get out the house at the best of times. In the case of bereavement therapy, as I said to 1 of the advisors, they have classed it as an exceptional circumstances case where they are willing to offer a home visit service. 

I will certainly look at that though as I have had enough. Constantly losing out because gambling took advantage of my circumstances or mental health. It's frustrating more than upsetting

Posted on:
Mon, 25/09/2017 - 08:01

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Courage isn't about not being fearful/anxious etc. It's about doing what needs to be done despite the fear/anxiety/dread.

If you want to stop losing, there's little on this forum to help you. As you say above, there's every reason why you're terminally unique and the standard measures that apply to others don't apply in your case.

If you want to actually overcome your addiction, it's about you finding the courage to act for yourself, in small steps and with all support available. But to face your fears and act, rather than avoid.

CW

Posted on:
Sun, 01/10/2017 - 04:31

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

The problem isn't about me though, thats the whole thing. There's several factors which make it difficult and I can't personally change.....

- Circumstances. I can't undo isolation. As much as I would love to bring my family back, I can't. Equally I can't just magic up friends.

- Tools at my disposure. Day to day this is a question I ask myself.... What do I have? It's a legit 1. When times in life get tough, what do I have to get me through? No family or friends to chat to. 

As for the courage and acting for myself in small steps and with the help available.... What help?

For nigh on 8 years I have been pleading with mental health services for help. As of which, it's been refused or very minimal help has been given. 

I will say that after the weekend I ended up in hospital after trying to take my own life. The mental health teams I saw there were actually quite good. They couldn't apologise enough for the lack of help I have been given but they said to me all they can do is fight my case with the people who offer the help I badly need. However there are no promises and it could take a very long time to happen.

I don't know what else I can say with it though. I have a problem with gambling that is triggered by my own situation and circumstances. I have nobody to manage my money. I struggle to take care of myself.

Posted on:
Sun, 01/10/2017 - 07:59

AntAnt1

Joined:
2017-09-20

Hi Sam

I have severe thought based OCD, I have also suffered from anxiety and depression. They doc's now believe that I may be Bipolar 2 as well.

When something bad has happened in my life I have turned to gambling to escape. Crazy thing is I do not even enjoy a bet, I just get lost in it. A few years back I went downhill so fast that I lost a lot of money and had a breakdown. I was sent for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). I have to say bud that CBT has changed me so much. It helped me understand my condition and why I think the thoughts that I do. It gave me control over some of the smaller things that would make me anxious. I could live my life a lot better and I became a lot happier. I went 3 years 4 months not even thinking of gambling until my wife had a huge heart attack in June this year. Within a week the pressure of everything had led me to an online site and I was there again, trying to escape but making matters worse. Now I am have counselling and have signed up to another course of CBT. The Bipolar 2 suggestion has come up so that needs to be determined. If I am bipolar so be it, it can be controlled and I will control my mind and gambling in the end. I have even started a mindfulness course and the calming effect that has on me is pretty amazing.

 

I know with mental health conditions that things can seem hopeless, but there is a way around anything Sam. Look at the advice above. keep talking to people, ask your doc about CBT. Do not give up buddy, you can get through this.

Posted on:
Sun, 01/10/2017 - 12:18

ste_ven

Joined:
2012-05-11

Hi Sam

It seems to me you have thought a lot about your situation, both medically and from a gambling addiction perspective. Some of your posts point out what you do not have... can you turn that on its head and start to think about what you do have?

Friends - ok so from what you have said you may not have many face to friends from the sound of it but in the digital world you have people on this forum who are your friends and really want to help you. No one here will turn away from you, people are here to listen at almost any hour of the day. 

Circumstances - you are right, no one can change their past, so if family are not around then that is something that, however difficult it may be, has to be accepted. You are right, you cannot just magic up friends, but again neither can anyone else, building a friendship takes time. If you can reverse engineer software then you are a clever person, are there any groups locally, say volunteering groups that could use you computer skills? Something that you could do with your eyes shut e.g. A website could be something that would save them a lot of time and money.

There is no magic wand, no Alt+F4 out there that is going to do this for you and make things change in a mouse click. You know yourself that software design / programming doesn't happen overnight, it takes time and there will be bugs in v1.0, but over time they are ironed out. 

I wish you well mate and I hope you keep coming back here, others sharing past experiences might give you some guidance on where you can go with this.

Posted on:
Sun, 01/10/2017 - 17:40

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Hello Sam,

Well done for updating your diary. 

I'm concerned to read that you made an attempt on your life.  You commented that the mental health team you talked with have been keen to help you to access further support.   Please do use all the support available to help you to stay safe.

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswellbeing/mentalhealthin...

https://www.rethink.org/

https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us

Remember you can also call us on our freephone 0808 8020 133 if you'd like to talk about your gambling and your recovery.  We can look to see what services might be local or of interest to you, and we can listen supportively to your concerns.

Take care,

Forum admin.

Posted on:
Sun, 01/10/2017 - 19:45

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

Sorry to hear about your health too, glad there are steps that are being taken to help you though.

The 1 big cycle that is hard to get out of is everything is linked and the help offered doesn't change anything.

There's the Anxiety problems at the start which lead to depression, which lead to gambling and drinking. Included in that have been bereavement problems (enhances depression) and isolation (also enhances depression). It's a path where all of it started with Anxiety, and everything else has built around it. The help has been apalling (mental health workers and gp's) which has allowed me to fall further into a mess.

The bereavement issues I have are now classed as chronic. This in part is down to poor mental health services I have recieved, because if I had the right sort of help at the right time, it would never have become like that.

I have done CBT, telephone therapy, had several different types of meds, spoke to mental health workers, seen numerous GP's and family support therapists but the outcome is always the same. The key issue with all this help is it's mostly not tailored for me (but instead is generic) without taking my circumstances into consideration.

For example then. I saw several CBT therapists. That was for the anxiety. Typically anxiety is where thoughts of panic or dread overpowers the body and prevents people being able to do things any healthy person can do. Mine is somewhat different though. I have no fears or dread about going outside the house. However, when I do leave the house the symptoms start up for an unknown reason and make it very difficult for me to manage. There are no thoughts linked to this, no worries about being judged. They symptoms just happen. CBT is partly about challenging the thoughts to prevent the symptoms. That has never worked because I don't have thoughts (aside from "I want to go outside today and I will"..... Then when outside symptoms start).

As well as that, they don't take into consideration the depression and lowness. 1 step I was told was to walk down the road and back several times a week. After doing that anxiety levels reduce. What they dont consider even though they were told is a lot of days i'm really low and depressed with no energy to leave the house. 

Bereavement - General advice from bereavement therapists was to take time out and spend time with friends and family. Also to find new hobbies. They don't take depression into consideration or isolation. It's just that standard generic advice.

If the help services given are not working, which they haven't been.... I'm referred back to my GP once again to start the cycle over from the start. 

There isn't 1 type of service or therapy set up within the entire NHS system that can listen, understand, connect all issues together and assign a method of therapy that targets all problems. 

When it comes to gambling, as I do not recieve a service that connects all health problems and tailors the right therapy for me, many of these therapists I see do not understand at all.... GP's, CBT therpists, mental health workers..... You know what they all say?? "Go to GA or Gamcare, they are there to help".

Then what do GA or Gamcare say? "Sorry we can't do anything to help you" or, to try and go back to my GP and explain that to him. Yes that was what happened the other night when I spoke to 3 different Gamcare workers. I don't blame them though as they are not mental health experts, but are there to focus on just gambling related problems.

The Samaritans - Absolutely useless and i'm sure anyone else who has contacted them will agree. I contacted them around 11 times in the past year alone. You pour your heart out to them, explain everything and all they say is "yeah, yeah, ok" and after you have finished they said "well i'm sorry you are having a tough time of it. Hopefully things get better soon. Thanks for calling us".

What needs to happen is targetting of multiple health problems in 1 go. The only way I can see that happening is through a support worker. Even for them to see me for 2 hours once a week. It will reduce the isolation. Also it would reduce the depression (something to look forward to each week, going out somewhere I want to go with someone) and quite simply it will help me get out to places with anxiety problems (They would have a car, if the anxiety got too much I would be able to get back in their car and go home).

But you know what? Because I don't have a physical disability and my mental health problems are not extremely psychotic, I don't qualify for 1. 

Posted on:
Sun, 01/10/2017 - 20:18

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

Just some other quick pointers....

Friends in the digital age online - They are not the same as real life friends in any way. On Facebook I had about 60 "friends" until recently. None of them I knew in person. I didn't end up in hospital because of making a cry for help. It was a genuine attempt to end things. Before that, I was having a low night of it. I posted something saying I was feeling really really down and it wasn't a great evening. Not 1 person bothered commenting or asking if I was ok.

In hospital when everything was sorted, I just wanted to confirm that nobody gave a stuff. I posted up a picture while leaving hospital. Again, not 1 person bothered asking if I was ok or anything. So I have now removed and blocked every single person on my FB page. 

Posted on:
Sun, 01/10/2017 - 22:26

ste_ven

Joined:
2012-05-11

It's clear you have tried and continue to try to seek support from others. 

What are you doing to help yourself? 

Posted on:
Sun, 01/10/2017 - 23:40

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

What can I do? I tried for 10 years to get outside regular to try and make new friends. It didn't succeed.

I feel low every single day to a point where it drains all energy from me. Which then is difficult to do things.

I can't help myself these days if I'm honest. Thus the point why I try and go for help to change that. I put my hands up, admit I'm struggling, tell people I can't cope and need the help but it falls on deaf ears.

In my head day to day I struggle through the circumstances and depression to see what I actually have left to live for. I sit down, try to think in my head about things to live for and I struggle.

Change without help is near enough impossible to achieve. I have mental illnesses that drag me down so much there is nothing else I can do to change it.

Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 09:47

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Hillel , Ethics of the Fathers:

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am just for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

Recovery involves personal responsibility - it’s your job and no one else’s to do what is needed to get well. Put another way, no one can recover for you.

What are you going to do to help yourself? Try a meeting, even though it’s scary? Order some literature on line? Use the Helpline or Netline here?

Or find excellent reasons not to?

You can claim your life back, but you have to do it for you.

CW

Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 14:39

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

As I said. First off I have used both helpline and netline here.

Staff on helpline listened to me and told me they are sorry that based on my circumstances and situation there is nothing left for them to suggest. There is nobody to manage my money, blocking software doesn't work because I am a computer expert who can reverse engineer even gamblock (which I have done before when gambling cravings kicked in). Those are not any excuses, they are facts. The first lady I spoke to said they couldn't suggest anything else and to call back another time because someone else might be able to suggest something. I phoned and spoke to 2 other people yet the outcome was the same.

On netline it was suggested I do webcam therapy which I was entirely up for giving a go. Until I got the email saying it's going to be group therapy (because it's found to be more successful that way). Even mental health experts I have seen agreed before that any therapy I have should be a 1 on 1 therapy. So that's no good for me.

Nobody can do those steps of recovery for me, I agree. But as I said, I cannot do it on my own. All I can do is ask for th help I need, which I have done and it's been refused.

That's the problem with mental health though isn't it. I know you mean well but someone wouldn't say to someone in a wheelchair who can't move that much that they can help themselves. They would need and be given help to cater for their disability. .

Mental health is no different. I can't just switch it off or change the thoughts and feelings in my head. I need people in my life, I need that help day to day. Even at hospital as said, the mental health team were so concerned about me and my mental health. They suggested I need an occupational therapist but due to funding and everything, it could take months if not longer for that to happen.

I gathered that's what the whole system is meant to be. Someone with mental health problems can't manage anymore, they reach out for help, they get the help to help themselves get back on track.

If I was making excuses why would I be on a waiting list again for both intensive mental health therapy (6 month waiting list, estimated therapy in Feb/march next year) and chronic bereavement therapy (home visit. 4 month waiting list with estimated therapy in December/January).

Football for example was a huge interest of mine. I wanted to try and get involved in a 5 a side football team for nearly 8 years now. I tried contacting the places where these games take place and the bottom line is, I would have needed 4 other people to take part with me. I kept the hope trying to meet new people to join and in fact I even posted on the local towns Facebook group but lo and behold, I'm here now with 0 people to take part in it with me.

I was into watching the local town's team play football. I try going on my own, well before the game everyone waits around the bar area. My anxiety symptoms are that severe that I was getting half drunk lads laughing at me. Saying I look as though I have been on drugs. You can only imagine how hurtful and horrible that is.

Even so, I used to love listening to the game on the radio. Because of depression getting so severe I just get no pleasure from it anymore and have no interest in it.

I used to really be into computer games and this month should be like heaven for me. The new assassins creed, call of duty, south park and evil within games are out. I loved those series of games. Now though..... Due to the depression... I have no interest. I don't feel any excitement and I don't mind if I don't get to play them.

A meeting? Where? Mental health is the key issue here and I have been for meetings galore, saw gp's, mental health teams, therapists.

Honestly, none of it is excuses. It's steps I have taken, it's things I have done.

Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 20:47

ste_ven

Joined:
2012-05-11

If you are a computer expert, why not create your own version of gamblock that cannot be reversed engineered? Or reach out to the creators of gamblock and show them your work and that their software is not 100% watertight. That could lead to interaction with people who are interested in your skill set and you would be helping a hell of a lot of people out there.

There seems to be a bit of a contradiction in your recent post - say you wanted to do 5 a side football, a team activity, but that a group therapy session wasn't for you because you were told that any therapy should be strictly 1-2-1? 

Do not assume you are the only person on here with an understanding of mental health issues (ref: the wheelchair/physical disability reference), I assure you that is not the case. 

I am trying to find something in what you have said so far to help you, to try and trigger another train of thought in you and perhaps consider doing something different or revisiting something that you previously considered not viable. 

The fact that you are here and posting shows that you want help to stop. I really hope you find the assistance you are looking.

Take care and stay GF.

Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 21:46

Sam301

Joined:
2017-07-11

Ste_ven there's a huge misunderstanding here.

Firstly there was no contradiction. I wanted to do 5 a side football because I loved football, what alternative is there? Kicking a ball in a back garden? Hardly the same setting up goalposts either side of a tree in the garden and pretending the tree is the goalkeeper. If I ever gained the close friends to do this 5 a side football, which was what I wanted, they would understand anxiety (my symptoms) and wouldn't attempt to make me feel worse while doing this activity. 

As for group therapy, thats a whole different thing. In a room with complete strangers and also how these sorts of therapy are very specalised. For example.... If I had group anxiety therapy, it wouldn't be productive in the group talking about beaervement issues because it's not the same health problem. It would also not benefit the vast majority of the group because sessions are only an hour long and talking about bereavement problems for 15 minutes (when it isn't relevant for anyone else) digs into that time.

1 2 1 therapy was suggested (and i'm waiting for) to cater for this. 

I don't assume i'm the only person on here who understands mental health problems. However, I do assume (and know) my own thoughts, what I have tried and how I personally feel. It was more to the comments of me finding "excellent reasons not to" help myself. When I had already revealed I have tried going for various types of help, and with mental health problems, it often isn't as easy as just snapping out of it and trying harder. There comes a point where serious help is needed that cannot be treated alone (thus the wheelchair reference).

As for the software. I have sent emails previously to Gamblock about the way round their blocking software and got an email back saying thanks for my email and it has been passed onto the technical team for investigation. I meant expert in terms of knowing about hardware and operating systems like the back of my hand. Unfortunately this knowlege doesn't quite expand into programming.

I guess it may seem like i'm making excuses or having an answer to everything, but really, i'm not. These mental health problems have been going on now for so long. I have done so much to try and resolve things. I can't just say "ok, I will try that then" when it's something I have either already tried or it's something I am not able to do because of circumstances or my health.

I can only be honest really. 

Posted on:
Tue, 03/10/2017 - 22:17

ste_ven

Joined:
2012-05-11

Your English suggested it was a group webcam therapy, I have Misinterpreted that, apologies.

I think your mental health comes first and the help you need to address that (in isolation, not at the same time as gambling) and I do not think the help you need for that is here.

All I can do is wish you good luck.