Yesterday in part one of CasinoBeats’ two-part mini-series, we took a deeper look into the struggles some individuals face regarding problem gambling, as Sean told of his journey and recovery.
From building up the courage to open up to close friends and family, the realisation that gambling was no longer the entertaining hobby it had been and protocols that could’ve been in-place as preventative measures and to raise awareness, attention now turns towards support received and advice to people in similar positions.
After opening up to say “it was a very difficult time,” Sean speaks about support procedures he found integral, what was most useful, what more could be done or should be place and exactly how crucial GamCare treatment was in ensuring he is here to tell his story: “The best support process for me was definitely participating in group therapy sessions provided by the team at GamCare. I honestly believe without that treatment I would not be here today to speak about my problems with gambling addiction.
“The support given by GamCare practitioners, and the other participants in my group, was amazing. The people you meet along the way are vital to the recovery process in my opinion. I am still in contact with the people from my sessions today and believe this a great motivation and support pillar,” he stated.
“There needs to be a bigger recognition that it is a major problem for many, and that there is a shared responsibility to reduce this”
“I think more needs to be done by the Gambling Commission and gambling companies themselves to highlight the seriousness of problem gambling, and the many ways that a gambling problem or addiction can impact not just on individuals, but families and communities. There needs to be a bigger recognition that it is a major problem for many, and that there is a shared responsibility to reduce this.
“I believe that organisations like GamCare and GambleAware should be heavily promoted and advertised by all UK gambling companies, as well as thinking more about the steps that can be taken to properly assess how their games and environments make an impact for vulnerable people.”
Many will be able to relate to this story, while some could well find themselves in a similar situation, and should he be able to address those in question, Sean has the following guidance: “I would tell the individuals to ensure that they embrace the help that is out there. I’d let them know that the situation will not improve overnight, and it does take commitment, but if you take help from every avenue you can know it will get better gradually.
“What works for one person doesn’t necessarily for another, so there may be some trial and error, but you will find something that works for you.
“Be open and honest with your family, partners, friends about your problem”
“I would also tell them to have an open mind about the recovery process, and take on board everything that’s presented to you. Take every day as it comes, as there will be plenty of amazing days where you hit milestones, but the road to recovery will also have its bad days and that’s where your support network is a must.
“Be open and honest with your family, partners, friends about your problem – this includes your emotions and feelings, money problems you may face, everything – and this will help you to start rebuilding some of the trust you may have damaged.”
Support networks were crucial for Sean in his healing process, and he is keen to address those that could well find themselves in a similar situation, stressing the integral role that they play: “For family and friends, I would say to be very open minded about the problem at hand, as you will likely never truly understand what’s going on in the mind of a problem gambler unless you are one. It may sound like an excuse, but it’s not.
“My partner had no idea about the extent of my gambling or the problems it was causing until I was open and honest with her. While I tried to explain my actions or how I was feeling, my partner didn’t necessarily understand from my point of view, but she remained open-minded and tried her best to support me. This was enough for me.
“I would also advise family and friends to take every day as it comes – look after yourselves too, but try to help or assist when and where you can because every little piece of support means more than you think.”
To read part one of Sean’s story, click here.