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I recently read about a man who has gambled since he was 12 years old. He believed he needed to gamble in order to survive. He is now older and married with 2 children, yet he still gambles. His wife does not know that he gambles and if he loses a bet, he gets moody with her. However, he is not sure if he has a problem. Does this sound familiar?

The guy gambles with money he hides from his wife, so whether he wins or loses he cannot talk about it because he has hidden the addiction from his family Along with hiding the addiction, he also has to hide his frustration or his excitement if he wins. He says life is boring if he doesn’t gamble.

Initially when people start to gamble they do not expect it to turn into an addiction, however, it does happen. Before you know it, you are kidding yourself with excuses that you have it all under control, yet the truth is, you have lost control to the addiction.

People gamble for a number of reasons:

  • Survival
  • For the buzz and excitement
  • To socialise or to be part of the crowd
  • To escape from real life and situations

I’m sure there are more reasons that can be added to the list, but for whatever reason people turn to gambling, this can cause problems in real life.

People with a gambling addiction generally find themselves in a heap of debt and have no idea what to do about it. Gambling debt reveals two problems, firstly there is the addiction, and secondly there is the problem of getting out of the debt hole. Thankfully, there is a solution for both.

Free help is available for both gambling debt and gambling addiction. If you can accept that you have a problem then you already half way to finding the solution. The next step is to talk about it.

Online websites such as Gamcare offer advice on gambling addiction and include an online forum for people who are looking to find ways to deal with their issues. You can chat anonymously to others who have experienced, or experiencing similar problems to yourself without embarrassment.

Debt Questions also has an online forum where you can talk to other members who have also experienced debt issues due to gambling. You can talk to them and find out how they dealt with their debt and addiction.

Payplan offer free help and advice on gambling debt. No matter what your problem, there is always a solution, you just have to be ready and willing to allow people to help you. You have heard the saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”? Well, anyone can tell you what you need to do, but it’s up to you to do it.

Sometimes it is the hardest thing in the world to admit you have a problem and ask for help, but if you can bring yourself to do that, then you are on your way to not only resolving your financial situation, but regaining control of your life.

So if this is you, take action by taking control!

Are you spending more than you want to on gambling?

A financial crisis is often the spur for someone to address a problem with gambling. You may find that you are struggling to cover bills or other vital expenses, taking out loans to cover gambling debts, and hiding it all from those closest to you. It is not uncommon for family and friends of someone with a gambling problem to be completely unaware of gambling-related debt until a court summons arrives for non-payment, or in dire circumstances even repossession orders for the family home.

Financial problems can mount up very quickly. Bills don’t get paid, debts accumulate. If you have credit cards, you might max them out to pay your bills, or worse, to keep gambling.

At this point, payday loans may look like a solution – but their high interest rates and charges are likely to make the situation worse. A common dilemma for someone with a gambling problem is how to get out of debt. For many, the chance to continue gambling in order to win it back and make everything alright again can feel overwhelmingly tempting. It might also feel as though there is no chance of repaying debts accrued through gambling unless you carry on gambling – you feel completely trapped.

In the end, if you’re struggling to control your gambling, losing more money and making the situation worse is almost inevitable. Taking control of your debt problems and exploring your relationship with gambling can be very empowering. When you have a better understanding of why you find it difficult to control your gambling, you can begin to address other issues your gambling has created, and even move towards stopping gambling altogether.

Remember, be honest with yourself and share your problems with friends or family. Their support may help you to seek help for your gambling problem and advice about your debts. Get help The path to clearing your debts can take time and you may be faced with different pressures along the way.

There will be times when you may feel desperate to gamble. For expert information, advice and support about problem gambling, speak to specially trained Advisers on the National Gambling HelpLine on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or via web chat at www.gamcare.org.uk, available from 8am – Midnight, seven days a week.

GamCare also offer free online or face-to-face counselling for anyone affected by problem gambling, and their online Forum and Chatrooms are available daily. Visit www.gamcare.org.uk for more information.

A confidential support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, where people with gambling problems meet to support each other each week, may also be helpful.