Humans of Scotland

Darren’s story – overcoming problem gambling

"I realised my gambling habit for what it was (an addictive and destructive habit)"

Photo of Darren
This story is about: Long Term ConditionsAddictionGambling

“Throughout most of my teenage years and continuing on into most of my twenties, I struggled on and off with gambling: mostly on sports betting, which manifested into Casino games – namely roulette and for a time, online slots. But at the height of my addiction, I was chaotically betting on pretty much everything. I tried giving up, but I always found myself back at square one.

I really needed help.

I was going through a tough time, and my lack of real awareness and attention to detail was affecting me privately and at work. This led to a diagnosis of ADHD and became the first big step in moving forward, as it led to me to taking an interest in how the brain works and how important self-care is. I recognised, that if I could just understand why it is I behave the way I do, then I would hold the power to tackle the problem thoroughly and through a fresh way of thinking.

A colleague at work was training to be a Life Coach and asked if I wanted free coaching, as part of her qualification. It was a process that would change my life: I felt fresh, clear, focused and empowered. I realised my gambling habit for what it was (an addictive and destructive habit) that needed positive, specific and tailored action.

I safe-guarded my finances; I put blocking software on all of my devices; I became healthier mentally and physically.

I gave up gambling and felt free.

As the days and months passed, I made a promise to myself that if I could go two years without gambling, I would help others who are struggling. Five years later, I’m well into that commitment:

I volunteered for Gambling Therapy, on their online chat: a charity that offers practical and emotional support to gamblers worldwide.

I have also been quite active on Instagram, where you will find short, one minute videos offering my own tips and advice on how to give up gambling.

And I have a blog: where I can dig deep and reflect honestly with limited distractions.”

 

 

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