Connect with others
Don't keep it to yourself
Gambling is so "in your face" and everyone loves a winner. No-one wants to admit to losing - habitually - and not being able to stop. So it is important that you do not face this problem alone. Secrecy has backed you into this corner, and friendship will lead you out of it.
Watch Dan's story, then we will give you some ideas of how you could connect with others.
Probably the best source of help is your own family and friends. They already know you better than anyone. You may be worried about telling them, but often family and friends are relieved that such problems are out in the open.
When you tell your family or friends, do get them to look at our advice specifically for them here.
MORE sources of help
There is help out there, and people to turn to. You could try some of the following options, or a mixture of them. There is no shame in trying several different things; in getting a lot of help or virtually none. The important thing is that you get better in the way that best fits you.
Often, people have a trusted friend who in fact may be in the best place to advise and help you. They don't need to know about gambling, they just need to be non-judgemental and want to help you. You could ask them to help you work through our practical steps.
We have our own course, which blends online and face-to-face coaching. This course changes lives. Here is a quote from Mr R from Salisbury: "I gained from the course more of an understanding of the problem I have faced throughout my life and have now got the belief to beat it". You can sign up for our course here.
The Recovery Course is run in a growing number of areas around the UK, and is open to anyone struggling with addiction of any kind or compulsive behaviour. It is a 15 session course, once a week, and often runs alongside a Family Recovery Programme. One participant summed it up by saying: "The Recovery Course has helped me realise I can't handle my addiction on my own". If you're thinking of this option then click here and we'll partner with the organisers to get back to you.
You could try Gamblers Anonymous (Eng, Wales, N Ireland) or Gamblers Anonymous Scotland, who have a combined total of more than 200 meetings across the UK and who use the 12 Steps made famous in treating alcohol and drug addiction.
GamCare is the national charity which is funded by the gambling industry, and which has a helpline at 0808 8020 133.
What will you do?
- Call a friend and tell them; and ask them to keep you encouraged and accountable
- Be open and honest with any professionals who are already working with you
- We can link you up with a befriender who is local to you and outside your situation - this is part of our more detailed course; you can sign up for the course here.
- Finally, if you feel like you are in crisis, call Samaritans on 116 123 (UK & ROI).