This topic contains 12 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Anonymous 1 year, 11 months ago.
June 29, 2017 at 5:56 am #4946
Lora, Lora, Lora. If I only knew now what I didn’t know then. First off, I live in LAS VEGAS. I have done a LOT of work on compulsive gambling, because my Mom got addicted, and I tend to overextend. Let me tell you a little bit about mental illness and gambling and the casinos.
First off, Las Vegas makes 60%, that’s 60% of all gambling revenue on compulsive gamblers. That’s right. Their MAIN agenda is to get you into that seat and keep you there. And, they do everything to do so. They have casino club cards, where they monitor your play and analyze your average expenditures. Then, they send you all KINDS of things to get you in the door, free buffets, free dinners, comped ROOMS, free play. They even have cameras looking at you from the eye in the sky and in the machines themselves, to see when you are starting to fade. THEN, they play on our compulsiveness by doing what it will take to keep you. For instance, giving you four to a royal consistently.
They KNOW darned well we have a disease, and they play INTO it! Oh sure, they seem like they are cooperating with the GA’s and Gamanons, by putting signs on the ATMS “If you have a problem, call xyz”. But, they will give you credit, they won’t stop you, when they see you spending pretty big money (like a bartender), they ENCOURAGE it.
People like me and you don’t stand a chance. I have PTSD, chronic major depressive syndrome, extreme anxiety, and maybe bipolar II. I am disabled. I am the person they want to grab hold of, and never let go. They send BUSES to elderly housing to pick up old people, so they can spend all their Social Security checks. THEY don’t care! The only thing you can do is go up to the cage, if you really want to quit, and sign a waiver that 86’s you from the property. Meaning, if any of the staff see you, they have to tell you to leave. Sometimes, they won’t even do THAT.
It’s such a racket. Depressives are sad, we’re lonely inside our own skin, we cry, we want to go out and not sit inside and isolate. So, we start this way. CG is a progressive disease. Before you know it, it’s how you spend most of your entertainment money, then your rent money, then you are in trouble. We have about 100 GA meetings a week here, 24/7. And, it will never go away, the cravings. There’s no cure but trying recovery. It is everywhere here. In the gas stations, supermarkets, bars, movies. You don’t even have to GO to a casino. There’s a Dotty’s on every corner, which is walking distance for anyone.
Therapy is the only way out. It might be meds, with one-on-one cognitive therapy, with group therapy, with online therapy with a sponsor all together that is the right combo for remission. All I know is that the house ALWAYS wins. 🙁
June 29, 2017 at 2:37 pm #4949
Hi Melaine & Sweetie,
Boy, lots to talk about right? Thank you both for your responses! I wanted to let you know that I have done my best to work with Government and the Lottery Corporation to make some important changes for those who are vulnerable to excessive gambling. This quest has led me to so many important reports and knowledge. (Hi Rob at GameSense who is probably reading this) I have taken the lot to the Human Rights Tribunal here in my province of BC. To look up more about it you can google “options needed for BC gamblers with mental health problems” the paper is the tyee. They wrote a story about it all. I am trying to get a mandatory play card put in place. The technology is already available but they do not want to put it in place because it will take too much money from disordered gamblers. If you want to speak further you can comment on the story and we can speak further. Hopefully they allow this comment to go through. My story is involved, first I went to the Problem Gambling Centre to speak to a counselor. She convinced me to self exclude which i didn’t want to do because it is flawed and many still go in and gamble. Once I was put on Bipolar medication I noticed for the most part cravings went away except when in Mania, then, most times when it gets bad i don’t remember exactly what happened, last time I spent all the money I saved in a few hours. I only knew this by seeing my bank account a few days later. My government, gambling enforcement branch, responsible gambling counseling and bclc all get money from the same coffers, 1 billion for my governments cooperation so it is difficult to make change. I do think there are some good people there but i don’t think they have much choice in the matter. The one big mistake they made was to put an action plan in place that was based on studies to incorporate a mandatory card, but didn’t enforce the mandated plan. What that would mean is you can put a no play or budget play option on the card and a card is needed in the machine, when the budget is gone the machines wouldn’t let you play anymore and never be able to breach it, protecting you where you can’t protect yourself. The process for the tribunal is I put the complaint in, which was accepted, then they respond, which is next week then we may go to mediation or may go to trial. If anyone wants to attend as a witness or send a letter of your experience that would be very helpful. I think there has to be many things put in place to get this under control, some done by the individual and some assistance from the casinos. Those with mental disorders are sitting ducks in casinos and we have no shot once we are taken in. To quiet me, the Government had me attend a meeting as an advisor for an online course, until I realized it was more light touch approach with little animals and cartoons I refused to be part of it. Nothing for suicide prevention. I have emailed my prime minister and he has referred me to an expert minister in human rights to help me. I also have help from the former CEO of the Canada’s problem gambling commission. My advice is the human rights angle as under the code is called an “accommodation” this allows those with mental disorders to participate in public and government services with an accommodation to help them enjoy the facility. I like going to comedy shows etc.. and when not in mania can spend $40 but when in mania look out. Time to stand up and do something, this happened with the tobacco industry, alcohol industry where there was shirked responsibility as to the dangers of it. It took years but it was changed. I am barely functional still, lots of chronic pain, migraines, panic attacks and most days can’t leave my bedroom, so really not functioning. Helping all I can is the only thing keeping me alive right now. Love you guys for your comments and thoughts and support. I hope to hear from you again if the moderator on here (Dr that didn’t answer my questions) who is also paid by the gambling industry has all scientific data and hope he doesn’t thwart this comment and stop these thoughts and ideas from coming out. Go watch the New Horizons conference on BCLC on youtube, there are tons of videos but you will see that they only call us “problem gamblers” but not address that this is a DSM diagnosed mental disorder and a disability. Best to you, Sincerely, Lora
July 9, 2017 at 12:28 am #5015
Booted me out few times so will keep it short. My plan is to do something about online gambling when I get strong in my own recovery. It has become an issue for people 18+ and for some reason legal in Canada regardless of the jurisdiction and laws internationally. WE should follow suit by banning online gambling like many places in the United States. Problem with online gaming, people really do not know the odds and how the machines online are being calibrating putting people more at risk to get hooked. Individuals with mental illness, older adults, individuals with disabilities, the youth are at risk of loosing their funds or savings isolated in their homes.
June 28, 2017 at 11:34 pm #4945
I can only reply on studies and what I have seen over the years. I also have family members that have been affected with Bipolar Disorder so it was an area of interest. Research does indicate when it is treated concurrently often prognosis is better. Some research found that individuals affected with Bipolar Disorder are twice more likely to have a gambling problem as someone in the general population and found that a mood disorder proceeded gambling addiction in a high number of women.
In the last decade, there has been more workshops and screening tools given to help Clinicians ‘flag it’ to ensure that the mood disorder is treated simultaneously with the gambling.
Concurrent education and modules are available to the public and to the professionals on the CAMH website in Ontario.
June 29, 2017 at 2:10 pm #4948
Hi Melanie, I posted a double reply to both you and sweetie. Wow no one commented for quite a while and suddenly two of you in one day. Thank you!
June 29, 2017 at 3:19 pm #4950
So much I can say and glad u are doing this such important work.
Can’t put everything on text
Just know some agencies have been addressing it when various disciplines are at the table. Yes mental health and addiction needs to be addressed concurrently
I have family members affected by bipolar disorder and even being on top of the medication(s) and or therapies can be frustrating for consumers and family members. I am so glad u are onsite talking about this such important issues as for some mental health conditions pharmacology is needed in addition to supports; and yes casino staff or gaming facilities need to see the signs and have some accountability to help.
June 29, 2017 at 3:25 pm #4951
Thanks Melaine, it was great to hear from you!
March 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm #4113
I am new here so not sure how it is appropriate we connect. There is something we can do and everything, I mean everything you said is exactly what I have gone through. I think there may be some other solutions to help and also need you and your ideas as well. Taking action to do something to protect others is not only empowering but it at least gives us a voice and a purpose. I have gone where you can’t get lower so don’t think you are alone there. If you are willing to chat with me we can maybe go from there. We need to form a little group so if you know anyone else in BC let them know I am looking ok? Can I connect through email then by phone? Can we create a private message on here?
March 9, 2017 at 11:53 pm #4145
There is no way to connect privatley on this site,but perhaps one day we can get together in chat.
March 4, 2017 at 11:35 am #4088
Hi Lora, wow! What courage it takes to share your situation. The one thing that my experience has taught me is that yes there is a common behaviour that many bi-polar disorder sufferers do have the behaviours that cg’ing is a symptom. I’m not medically or professionaly trained, all I know is “that thank God” I had a member of GA who was bipolar that guided me and confided in me and took my hand when I came in. He was so instrumental in my recovery and I thank God for having the purpose that he (Dave) had to show me how I can survive if I made some changes that we hear we need to make that we are mentally capable of making. For some, our mental state may require additional attention such as professional and medical help. I am not bipolar but I have been diagnosed as suffering from the mental state of depression. That too required A)- a desire to want to get control of what I could control, and B)- the desire to do the work I could do for myself. All of this I learned what part I was responsible for and how GA could help me become responsible to working towards ACCEPTANCE and help guide me in what “I” can do for myself. I also am Canadian and did begin recovery in one province and have relocated but one thing I do know is that It’s not up to me to be responsible for the actions of my political gov’t addiction to the revenue of the society they govern. First I need to be responsible for my own recovery and keep my political views seperate in my daily struggles of “carrying the message to the CG who still suffers”. Thank you Lora for bringing me back to my very dear friend who today I’m sure is guiding me through his purpose to me although his passing has been quite some time back in my journey through recovery. God Bless.
March 7, 2017 at 7:10 pm #4105
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I looks like my big mouth might be getting this somewhere. I called head office at responsible gambling to address the issue and they are interested in a task force to help educate who have been through their current protective measures but fell through the cracks.They need people who have been through the system and see the holes in protecting people who have mental illnesses. If I can do something about this, even if it is helping one person then all that I have been through would be worth it. I will keep you posted if there is some action that takes place. They will need more people who have been through gambling addiction and want to possibly be an advocate. I am in BC so let me know if you or anyone who lives in BC might be interested in the cause.
March 8, 2017 at 10:28 am #4112
Hi ,I live in BC
Ive fallen between the cracks?
But that blame has always been put back on me.
Reached my hand out, poured my heart out so many times.
Eventually a person just stops asking.
Was told well your not working the program?
Counsler once said to me I dont know how to help you?
She tried she did.
But we are broken people,mentally,physically,and finacially
We enter this addiction broken people,but we just dont know it.we were sick long before gambling.
Depression,pain,stressed,fear,social issues and the list goes on.
Learned that gambling made us feel better,and for 4 years it did kept me alive through some of the worst years of my life.
By the time addiction joined in wich was probably in the first few weeks,sneaky hid itself as a HIGH.
I belonged there,the hours,the people ,the machines,wow worked perfect with my schedule always made me feel welcomed,the staff all said Hello and smiled,the lady beside me greeted me,and for a brief moment she was my friend.In a casino i was a lady.ME just ME!
Now almost 10 years later my stories old.
Wrong addcition,wrong sex,wrong culture,wrong age,wrong budget.
And dont tell me im wrong there.
The above are ALL question you will be asked before you can get help.
Suicide is not a comfortable subject for anyone to hear or talk about it is taboo.
But for broken people ugly thoughts and waking up wishing they were dead every single morning and crying daily,going to bed knowing there dreams will quickly turn into yet another nightmare.
No rest for the wicked,its true.
I chose to go into a casino ,i choose to go into a casino,so does that mean im also choosing to be sick.
If i never gambled again it cant, ever undo what was done.
If I go gamble today will is make my life worse odds are yes.
I do hope your program works,good for you,they say the best way to get recovery is to give it away.
Good for you for getting invovled you go girl!
March 3, 2017 at 1:54 pm #4083
Hello, at 46 I was only recently diagnosed with Bipolar 1, this would explain much of my attraction to compulsive gambling. Frankly I am upset that casinos have others gambling that may have an diagnosed mood disorder and are becoming suicidal over their behavior. After being diagnosed and treated it lessened the guilt but not the destruction that has already happened. If I would have known that some medications could help with cravings and have more self awareness as to my own illness then much could have been prevented. How can I advocate for others who are in trouble gambling away without knowing that they need to be treated. When in mania its a lot like sending a 13 year old to drive in a race car without a license. There is no common sense and it is very dangerous and often life threatening due to high instances of suicide. There are other mental illnesses of course that have similar consequences. I have been through the entire system, GA,self exclusion, counseling sponsored by Casinos with various provinces in Canada and never have they mentioned I may need an psychological evaluation or referral to a doctor or psychiatrist to help with medication and treatment. Only through Workers Compensation sponsored Psychological Assessment after suicidal idealization was some medical reasoning found. I think there needs to be a different screening process to help put safety nets in place for mentally ill. Can you please tell me what is being done currently or comments.
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