While gambling addiction is often incorrectly viewed as a 'male problem', many women develop addictions to gambling. We are proud to have had three inspirational women in recovery on The Problem Gambling Podcast, so far and would love to hear from more women who want to share their recovery stories.
This short clip from our interview with Stacey Goodwin, hits the nail on the head, regarding one of the most common fallacies which drives gambling addiction - the dream that a 'big win' will solve everything.
If you want to talk to someone in confidence, about your own issues with gambling, or a loved one's - or avail of our free counselling service, please fill out the Contact Form and we will arrange a call.
Listen to the full interview with Stacey (A.K.A. 'The Girl Gambler')
Nadine Ashworth is in recovery from a gambling addiction and is a Peer Mentor at the NHS Northern Gambling Clinic.
Jenna Makela is an Expert by Experience, working with a Finnish support service for people with gambling problems.
Claire Donegan is an Expert by Experience and the CEO of Thrive Recovery
Lisa Walker is an Expert by Experience and Outreach Worker with BetKnowMore
How to Stop Gambling
Most of the people who contact our service are interested in one thing: stopping gambling completely. The vast majority of people we work with have made numerous attempts to quit gambling and, unfortunately, relapsed. So, just like you, they have realised that they cannot gamble in a moderate or recreational way. Having an unhealthy/addictive relationship with gambling is not a problem - as long as you don't gamble. The real problem is repeatedly convincing yourself that you can gamble safely - when you have so much lived experience evidence to the contrary. Many people cannot have a healthy relationship with gambling - just as many people cannot have a healthy relationship with alcohol or other drugs. While the Government and Gambling Industry must take their fair share of responsibility for facilitating gambling addiction, they can't do your recovery for you (unfortunately). So, here are some tips for starting out on your recovery journey. While some of these are uncomfortable, I know from working with hundreds of people with gambling problems, that the people who do all of these are much less likely to relapse than the people who 'cherry-pick' the easier ones.
How Can Gambling Be Addictive?
One of the biggest issues with problem gambling (Gambling Disorder/Compulsive Gambling/Pathological Gambling/Gambling Addiction) - apart from the fact that it clearly has way too many names - is the lack of understanding that exists about how a person can become addicted to a behaviour in the first place. Because there is no addictive substance, like alcohol or nicotine, involved - most people believe that stopping gambling should be as easy as steering clear of the Betting Shop or deleting a gambling app from your phone. The reality is that it's far more challenging and complicated than that.
So, I've boiled down some of the reasons why so many people develop problems with gambling, in an effort to demystify and simplify things.
In this episode of the podcast, we look at the starting point for anyone wishing to stop gambling. We cover the key areas of Access (self-exclusion), Time (what to do with your free time and to distract yourself from thoughts about gambling) and Money management. We discuss the challenges that come up for our counselling clients, as well as the advantages to having this control measures in place. The podcast is also available on Spotify and Google Podcasts.