Really need some advice,please.
I'm a single parent and on jsa. I have depression/anxiety/panic disorder and have applied for esa and been turned down.
I started playing online slots a few years ago and it's taken over my life. The only time I could ever have disposable income is if I won, and I did win at first. You know how it goes from here..
A few weeks ago I had enough to cover my rent and have a few hundred spare, so I don't know why I kept playing and spent it all. I'm now late with my rent and £350 down, which might not be much to some people but to me it will be difficult to get back. I owe my son money from his premium bonds I have previously cashed in and feel so awful about it. My mam used to help me out with money , a lot but she passed away a few months ago. I have borrowed from my brother too and still don't have enough for my rent. As I'm writing this I actually can't believe I've done all this. I just want to get my rent paid and get past this. I keep thinking yo myself I'll just start work but I haven't worked in around 4 years now due to depression and panic attacks. I find it a massive ordeal just getting to the job centre to sign on as it gives me so much anxiety. I think the usual trigger for me is not having enough money, trying to win some and then getting past a certain point of loss that I just keep going until it's all gone. I think this is my rock bottom now. My son has been talking about Christmas already and I'm sh*thing myself how I will afford it. And I still keep thinking, maybe I will win some back 🙄
As someone who has had difficulties with anxiety and panic I also use gambling as a way of escape. What I have discovered is that gambling masks the problem - it wont go away until you face it and start to work on it.
Have you looked into any mechanisms of support? There are many free support groups out there that I've found to be really useful in helping with mental health as well as my gambling difficulties. I highly recommend Gamblers Anonymous which I've just started attending- it's been really useful in giving me a program and guidance, and also in being able to start to understand some of the character defects that have led me towards being a compulsive gambler.
We are glad that you getting support from our forum. Feel free to also get help on our helpline 0808 8020 133 or via our Netline. You can restrict your access to online gambling by registering for free with GAMSTOP www.gamstop.co.uk multiple self exclusion scheme . GamBan are offering our callers a free 12 month license for free gambling specific blocking software on up to 3 devices www.gamban.com/ngh. If you can, involve someone you trust to hold back some of your money e.g. a few pounds a week towards Christmas. Monzo, Starling and Barclays can block gambling transactions so you could use one of these to keep your money. Perhaps volunteering in charity shop for a couple of hours a week could build your confidence ? It would give you some structure to your week too. You could consider talking to your brother for more support (not financial - we advise against bailing out) perhaps he could be involved in helping you with your money so your rent and other priorities get paid.
We offer free treatment if you feel you need it.
Best wishes, take care,
Hi Julie. I can completely understand your situation. Im a single mum of two,on esa for my mental health. I suffer major depression,psychosis and anxiety.
My mental health has taken a big hit from my addiction,Some days the simplest of things are hard to over come.
My children have also been speaking about christmas and im dreading it! Last year I spent all my benefits before I could even get out to the shops. I felt awful as I had to ask my ex,ex mother in law for help! Thankfully we still have that good relationship.
The winning feels amazing,until its all put back in 🙁 🙁 🙁 and foolishy thats what usually ends up happening in my case. I need to stop chasing!
I dont quite know how me replying to you will help,but I just want ypu to know youre not alone
Free treatment support is available in person, on the telephone or online to look in more depth at the cycle of gambling addiction, allowing you to address in more depth any underlying reasons for your gambling, identify your triggers and so on, while teaching you management strategies to support you in to recovery and stay gamble free.
If this is something that you feel you would be interested in we can help refer you to a local service in your area. If you'd like to get in touch via the helpline or on our netline one of the advisers will be able to organise this for you.
Wishing you all the very best,