You probably read that title thinking what does that mean?
Let’s just get a few points out there first yes gambling can be addictive and yes it can destroy lives and even kill people! Women are becoming addicted more and more and the gap between men and women are closing fast. Why? Because its easier now for women to gamble. Companies now promote their gambling websites on TV, Social media, in magazines and most show women playing!
I have spoken to a lot of women since I did my first live on facebook admitting that I have an addiction these women all basically said the same not about their addiction but how they felt!
A few things they have said and concerns they have expressed to me.
The biggest ones are they feel that because they are a women with a gambling addiction people won’t take them serious or not as serious as they would a man having one. You hear it a lot about men having a gambling addiction but not often women. Films, tv series show the men with gambling addictions and not women. Most felt like if they open up people will laugh or miss judge them!
Several women have openly said they are ashamed to tell friends and family, while this is common in all addictions it is not common for them to think they won’t get support because they don’t think their family see it as a real addiction which is so worrying!
You see I know how they feel I felt the same! To many times I was ready to open up and then decided not to because of what people would think! But what we need to remember is no one can make us feel worse than we already do! As far as addictions go you feel crap, worthless like we are weak minded all those and more. The thing to remember is we already feel at our lowest which is why we are crying out for help not to be judged or insulted. Plus more then likely no one can make us feel worse than we already do anyway.
So what is my point? You see alcohol addiction? Drug addiction? You go into hospitals, doctors etc and they often have flyers up about them. You will see flyers up about quitting smoking, local alcohol anonymous meetings, numbers for drug advice.
Yet gambling? You see the warnings and help signs where yo go to gamble! On the toilet doors in local bingo halls, on machines in betting shops, on posters in betting shops and casinos, on the bottom of gambling websites. But you rarely see flyers or leaflets in doctors or hospitals why is that?
It is the same for schools they do alcohol and drug awareness classes no nothing about gambling? Why is gambling the forgotten addiction? Why is there always so much out there for other addictions? Other then on the websites I gambled on I had never once seen a sign or a leaflet about how gambling can affect you and help if you feel like your out of control with gambling why is that? I see it daily with other addictions.
People need to start seeing it more the signs are there more women are becoming addicted at one point women could not gamble bookies were only for men meaning 100% gambling addictions where men now gambling addictions in women is coming to 50% of all gambling addictions. The % of how many people become addicted to gambling is rising every year yet there is never more leaflets or flyers on show. You see adverts on drink awareness and drug awareness but again nothing for gambling?
It is now recongnised as a illness just like alcohol and drug addictions yet it is still hidden away and very much like a taboo subject! Maybe if there was more support, more stories, more help shown publically it would make it easier for people to step up and say they have an addiction.