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Not sure if I have a problem

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#1 Posted on:
Thu, 23/11/2017 - 00:00



Hello, I feel a bit silly coming on here as im not sure if my gambling would be classed as a problem or not.
I've always been into my scratch cards and online bingo but the last year I discovered online slots, the 1st time I did it i put a £10 on and won £500 since then I've been hooked. I have to gamble every day it's like I can't think about anything else untill I do. The reason I say I dont know if it's a problem is I don't spend thousands etc. Some days it might just be £20 but other days I can keep depositing hundreds at a time- the more I lose the more I keep putting in to try and win some back. I keep blocking the sites I'm on but will just open a different one the next day. I hide my gambling from friends and family, I do want to stop but each time I just think just one more go I can spend hours and hours online and also do when I'm at work sometimes .I'm ashamed to say I did once 'borrow' £300 from my young daughters savings as I had no money in my account for bills to come out due to spending it on gambling.
Would love any advise about how to stop as really don't want it to get to out of control. Today is the 1st day in a year I haven't deposited money onto any sites and to be honest it's all I can think about.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, sorry it's such a long post.

Posted on:
Thu, 23/11/2017 - 07:13

Merry go round


Hi kbel 'do you have a problem?' Well you're here so you obviously think you do. That's a good start. Borrowing money? That's a red flag. Call gamcare, talk to an advisor, get some advice and support. Addiction is progressive and you may not think you haven't lost a lot of money, but it's not the money that counts. It's the compulsion to keep playing. The time you're wasting, the lying, hiding, ignoring. If you recognise the problem you can start dealing with it. It will get worse unless you take steps today. Keep posting and make that call. Good luck!

Posted on:
Thu, 23/11/2017 - 09:15



Hi kbel

Our stories are very similar. I too have been gambling for one year. Nearly every day. After winning 500 pound the first time depositing . All I could think about was gambling. At first it was fun then I became anxious and depressed which only made me gamble more . Chasing lost money. That is forever gone not just that but the time spent and the mental exhaustion. If you feel an impulse to gamble everyday and are chasing money you have won and then lost and find yourself asking for help. You have already acknowledged you have a problem. But your in the right place and have taken a big step to stopping. Call gamcare or talk through the netline for help they are fantastic. It's great you have recognised this now before you find yourself in any debt.

Posted on:
Thu, 23/11/2017 - 10:13



If you think your behaviour is a problem, it is but you could try the GA questionnaire which will help confirm it:

Wanting to stop is great but once the line into compulsion is crossed it takes more than willpower. Get your blocks into place then look into counselling (free through Gamcare) and your nearest GA meeting.

Posted on:
Thu, 23/11/2017 - 11:34



Please take the advice given. You may not have damaged yourself badly financially yet but all the signs of complusive gambling are there and it is extremely likely that without help you will continue to gamble.

Continuing to gamble will lead to escalating losses of money and when you do eventually hit rock bottom and decide to do something about it you will have to deal both with the emotional pain for you and your loved ones relating to the lying and deceit together with the loss of money and/or debts. Depends whether you want to stop now or when you are £5,000, £10,000, £20,000 in debt. It is almost inevitable if you carry on gambling.

Deciding you want to stop gambling (and really meaning it) will mean some emotional pain now because (based on own experience and the reading of many diaries on here) you will almost undoubtedly go through some periods of despair/shame/self loathing when you actually confront what you have done - even though you have not got into debt you may feel these emotions relating to the lost opportunities of the money and time you have lost.

Sounds like you are really early on and not done too much damage so get those blocks in place so you can't gamble again, get some counselling/GA help and decide today that you will never gamble again.  

Good luck and keep posting on here because you are not alone in getting sucked into this evil industry. We all make mistakes but it is how we decide to learn from them and act differently in the future that really matters.

Posted on:
Thu, 23/11/2017 - 11:57



The golden rule of gambling is 'only bet with money you can afford to lose', for compulsive gambler we could never have a budget of say £100 a month, no chance we could stick to something like that as we cant stop. The fact that you gambled  money that was meant for bills is a major alarm bell right there. Dont feel too down though you are a compulsive gambker so thats actually normal enough behaviour for us. All that really matters is feeding our addiction. 

The amounts each person gambles are actually not the point, its wheather or not we can stop. I tried using will power and was successful on an off, but I enjoyed gamling, I loved the buzz of it but this made admitting I had a problem much more difficult as I knew that this would mean I could no longer bet. 

Recovery is not easy adn you will still get urges but you will be in a much better way finacially and mentally if you put all your effort into it. I recommend going to your nearest GA meeting asap, there you will hear from fellow CGs and if you give it a chance it will really help you. Best of luck with it

Posted on:
Thu, 23/11/2017 - 21:50



Thankyou so much for all your helpful replies. I have accepted I do have a problem and I will be going to my 1st GA meeting on Tuesday. I have a very addictive personality and before I had my daughter it was drink and drugs but I think iv just replaced that with gambling thinking it wasn't hurting anyone but I feel so helpless that I just can't stop, i suffer with severe anxiety and depression too so beat myself up more when i mess up which is all the time! I haven't been on any sites today, though have come close a number of times, as someone else said I don't think I can do it with will power alone as one minuit i feel so sure I wont and later in the day I keep arguing in my head thinking one go won't hurt if I just give up tomoro. I can honestly say this has been harder to deal with than when I gave up the drink. I feel like such a bad mum right now that I put my needs before hers all the time

Posted on:
Fri, 24/11/2017 - 04:01



Kbel, the 12 step program practiced in GA may be just what you need to find a healthier path.  Switching addictions is incredibly common without a healthy change of mindset & gambling will definitely exacerbated your depression/anxiety...There may be temporary respite on any rare occasions when you ‘win’ but since we are compulsive gamblers & we cannot win because we cannot stop, those highs will be short lived & in true addict fashion, will be followed by crashing lows because not only have you lost financially but your mind compounds this with a kicking because you have ‘messed up’ (it’s irrelevant that it was an inevitable outcome). 

I’m not the same person I came to these diaries as (although I do still have residual anger @ my mother who is also a CG) & can say that it’s not you putting your needs before your daughter’s, it’s addiction controlling you...Getting yourself into recovery puts the ball back in your court & enables you to make informed decisions not keep reaching for wildly desperate dreams.  

Recovery is a rollercoaster ride & you have done really well to be here & ride out the urges today.  Keep fighting - ODAAT   

Posted on:
Fri, 24/11/2017 - 20:20



You absolutely DO have a problem.

The first red flag is that you are here, on a site specifically for problem gamblers.


The second is that you feel you HAVE to gamble.


It dosen't really matter how much money you put into gambling or how much you loose, the fact that you feel you have to gamble means psychologically you have issues with it, just like everyone else here.

Please don't mistake me for being brash or rude in this post, I am simply stating the facts and I would hate for you to delude yourself into thinking you don't have gambling issues (like I managed to do with myself for well over six months)

Keep posting and reading, it is amazing the strength and resilience you can learn on these forums (I have only been here a few days but they have had a really positive impact for me)


Wishing you all the best.