Gambling Addiction & Recovery Support Group

Compulsive gambling is an urge or addiction to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. A preferred term among many professionals is problem gambling, as few people described by the term experience true compulsions in the clinical sense of the word. Problem gambling often is defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others rather than by the gambler's behavior. Severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria. Extreme cases of problem gambling may cross over into the realm of mental disorders. Pathological gambling was recognized as a psychiatric disorder in the DSM-III, but the criteria were significantly reworked based on large-scale...

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I can't stop gambling!

I'm not sure where to begin, My gambling has destroyed my life. I declared bankruptcy several years ago after taking several thousand dollars in cash out of credit cards to gamble with. My parents died 5 years ago and left me about 80,000 now its gone. I went to the casino last night at 7PM and left this morning at 7:30 AM lost another 1000. I feel sick! But in a day or two I will feel better and find myself at the casino again. Im wondering if I will be able to pay my house payment this month. I hate myself after a night of gambling but can't stop. I always say "that was the last time" but it never is. I really don't have anyone to turn to. It is effecting my work and my health. I sort of just curl up for a day and hide for awhile untill I feel better. I wish casinos were never allowed here. I know it's my fault and my responsibility, I just want my life back. This is hard for me, I never ask for help. I honestly don't know what to do. I have shut most people out of my life and have hidden this problem from everyone. Please tell me how to start stopping, where to begin. Thank You



Hi Arlene, welcome to DS. You will find a lot of support here. Everyone's walk may be different, but the monster (as a DS friend calls it) is still the same and the way out is the same. One day at a time.

Those in recovery from gambling (or any addiction) start with these three:

1. Admitted we were powerless over gambling - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Power of our own understanding.

Come here daily. Read others journals. Journal here. DS site is full of people who are walking a Gamble Free life today because of the above three steps. It can be done. No doubt. It is worth doing. You are worth it.

Check out the meeting directory for Gamblers Anonymous meetings in your area:

In numbers strength and support can be found.

Life is not meant to be destructive, it is meant to live. The monster can be shaken.

Be well... One day at a time, debs

Hi Arlen,
Coming here and asking for help is a good. The first step is admitting you are POWERLESS over gambling. I've done everything you have and much more. I'm 49 and started gambling with my father when I was about 8...betting horses. From there it was playing cards, sports betting, daily numbers, scratch tickets, Atlantic City. My demise came when they opened the casinos in CT. They destroyed me...financially, emotionally, morally. I've done bankcruptcy, re-financed our home, loans, cash advances, bad checks. After 17 years married, my husband finally left in 2007. I continued to gamble. Lost my home, jobs, family, friends.
I continued to gamble. I finally began committing crimes, was arrested. I continued to gamble. I bounced in and out of G.A. for many years. Usually only going to make everyone else happy. FINALLY, on Jan. 31, 2010, I decided "FOR ME"...I no longer wanted to live this way. I immediately returned to the G.A. rooms and have been going 6 days week since. They are what has been saving me from this baffling, insidious disease.
I could share a lot more with you but for now I just want you to NEED to get to a G.A. meeting. (if there available near you) If not, there are gambling hotlines and many good websites. Just Google, Compulsive Gambling/Gambling Addiction. I'm available to help any way I can. Feel free to email me at:

"A Day at a Time" is how you do it. Many times it'sminute by minute. Hugs and prayers for you. Debbie

Hi Arlen, mine is a very long story but, let me assure, friends and family will come back into your life when you are ready. Sometimes, they even come back too often and for too long. As for myself, i changed my friends and my idea of family was redifined. My G.A. group, aside from my son who I'll love always, is my family. I used to gamble for days and nights without eating. Stomach acid was so bad, I threw-up in the lounges hallways every hour or so and then I returned to gambling as always. I commited six armed robberies and ended up in jail. While I waited in jail for my sentence, I finally decided to surrender to my higher power. It had worked for others so, I thought it might work for me. And it did. I made my peace with God while reading the story of someone who had been in the same position as me. My Ego, which had been huge, had finally taken a good beating. I was released into house arrest and realized that when I asked for help, there were plenty of people ready and capable to do so. But, people help would'nt have been enough had I not felt that God loved me, and that He had forgiven me. At that point, His love for me made me realize that it really didn't matter who had loved me before and who hadn't. I also realized, that, when I was ready, God sent people for me. These were my psychologist and the G.A people. Many people told me that they would never go as far down as me, but everyone, if they gambled long enough. If you want to know, let me know. Recovery has been a lot of work, but now I have self-esteem and confidence that I can deal with life without resorting to gambling. Thanks to my Higher Power and my G. A., the last day I gambled was more than seven and a half years ago. I sincerely wish you all the best.

Hello Arlene. Quitting is something that came to me seven years ago, now I have struggled the last 2 years once again but am now almost a month free without the urge (praise God!) and just need to take everything one day at a time.
A few things that have helped me though is number one, I have to remember that when I gamble God is angry with me. I'm hurting myself, my family, and the people around me at the casino, encouraging them through my play, my wins, trying to win their losses. God is the most important thing to me, so knowing that it angers Him helps me to rethink. I don't want to anger someone I love so much. Yes, He forgives me, but we can't fool ourselves and think we can continue the cycle of disobedience and forgiveness. There has to be a breaking point.
Pray, Pray, Pray... God is there for us. I've prayed through the last 2 years for Him to help me stop. He gave me the will, the tools, the ability to turn away, I just wasn't ready. That's the first most important thing we have to admit to ourselves, are we REALLY ready to give it up 100%. Until that answer is yes, everything we try ends up being in vain.
My prayers for your insanity to stop, your common sense to kick in and take over, and peace in your heart that you can let the past go and become a new creation. You can do it! We're here rooting for you! God Bless!
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