I have a gambling problem


October 06, 2015

I have a gambling problem

Dear Pastor,

I want to share a problem I have with you. I have a gambling problem that has been with me since the 1980s due to being a loner. Because I don't have many friends I tend to go to the amusement arcades and to the casinos. I sometime go to the betting shop. I obviously lose more than I win and I lost around about PS30,000 through my gambling experience. My family knows that I have a gambling problem but they are not too helpful when it comes to trying to help me. They just tell me to pay my mortgage or rent and my other bills first and make sure I always have food in the house before I go to the gambling house. My brother is presently on vacation in Jamaica with his wife, but when he gets back he will sell the house that I am presently living in because I didn't pay the rent money for about eight times out of my direct debit account. I work as a clerk in the West End of London and have been there for over 28 years. In the past, they provided me with a counsellor and I faithfully attended the sessions once a week for a period of four weeks. However, it was not realistic and it did not prevent me from gambling. Your advice is welcomed.


Dear N,

You claim that you gamble because you are a loner. I am putting it to you that you are lying. If you wanted to have a companion you could have had one. You could find a personal woman or lots of social female friends. You could also associate yourself with men and play games etc. So it is nonsense to blame your gambling on not having friends. I hope that by now you have come to realise that you are suffering from a disorder but it is the type of disorder that you can receive help only if you desire the help. Some counsellors say that, "Compulsive gambling, also called gambling disorder, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling means that you re willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value. Gambling can stimulate the brain's reward system much like drugs such as alcohol can, leading to addiction. If you're prone to compulsive gambling, you may continually chase bets, hide your behaviour, deplete savings, accumulate debt, or even resort to theft or fraud to support your addiction. Compulsive gambling is a serious condition that can destroy lives. Although treating compulsive gambling can be challenging, many compulsive gamblers have found help through professional treatment." People who do not have control over their gambling are often suffering from other conditions such as depression and stress and use gambling as a way of dealing with their depression or stress. It is a means of trying to fight the condition from which they are suffering.

Please do not blame the therapists. They would have done their best to help you but it does not appear to me that you were not willing to listen and to accept their suggestions and put them into practice. So you need to make another appointment with another therapist and try to get some help. If you don't, you will totally ruin your life and perhaps bring shame and disgrace on your family.


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