Need help with brothers gambling addiction

  • Hi all,

    i have been a reader of these forums for a few months now and really love the insights you all have when dealing with those in need. I am know one of those who would love some insight into my younger brothers gambling addiction.

    I guess what i'm asking for is some suggestions on how to approach him to help him deal and overcome this addiction he has. When i approach him i would like to have a better understanding on why he has the problem and the root cause of it.

    So any suggestions you might have is all welcome.

  • Well let me be completely honest with you and say that until your brother acknowledges himself that he is addicted you will not have a hope of helping him. So you have to show him he is addicted. He probably will deny it. You won't get anywhere till he stops denying it. Same as with alcoholics. You can't help them to they acknowledge they have a problem.

    Maybe someone else can give you better insight. i am just being realistic.

  • Thank you for your response.

    Honesty is the best policy 😉

    he has had the problem for a years know could be more than 5. we weren't aware at first so not sure how long, he has lied many times about it, there have been times when we have confonted him about it he has denied it or said he is getting help, i guess the usual story for most addicts. It's so hard seeing a close family member going through this and wanting to help but not knowing how to help.

    My younger sister is pretty close to him and they have talked about this many times and my sister says that he is depressed and that he is aware of what he is doing....

  • As an addict of many different forms...and I've talked with many people about all sorts of addictions...the number one advice is not to enable him to continue to gamble. As Paddi said...he has to want help. You cannot want the help for him. In order for him to want the help, he needs to hit rock bottom. Not just the bottom for today or tomorrow. He has to hit his final bottom. When people continue to bail him out financially, paying a bill, or buying food, etc., for him, it allows him to continue to gamble with little consequence to his actions.

    Also, he needs to look to see what it is that he is avoiding by gambling. There is usually a reason for the gambling. I gambled and for me I was avoiding my feelings of loneliness at the time. After I quit gambling...I discovered garage sale shopping and thrift store shopping. I am happy to say that I don't do either anymore. The gambling will create depression because know that what you are doing is bad but you can't stop. I read the book, "Losing your Shirt" and I think it had some good background on this particular addiction. You might look into reading it to see if you can see any patterns in your brother and what they suggest to do.

    Hope this helps....

    Love and blessings...AB

  • Hi AB,

    Thank you, that was really great advice and very helpful.

    I guess when you hit rock bottom the only way is up.

    A major problem has been that there has always been someone to bail him out whenever he gets into a sticky situation. There has also been many a time where he has resorted to stealing to feed his habit.

    I usually see him on the weekend and would love to have as much info and questions ready for him when i do. You and Paddi have given great advice.

  • Good lck it is really painful for those surrounding the addict. I hope you get help.

  • If he steals, he will eventually suffer the consequences of his actions. Unfortunate but as long as someone "takes care of it" for him...he won't. He will continue this pattern over and over. Hang in there and look on the internet if you get a chance on how to work with people who have gambling addictions. There is some very useful information about. Love and blessings..,.AB

  • What is his birthdate?

  • My gut feeling is that this is the only passion he has in life. It gets his heart racing and adrenalin pumping. If you want to wean him off this addiction, you must help him find some other more healthy passion in life to replace the gambling. What are his hobbies or talents, for example? He also need smor elove in his life.

  • Needs more love.

  • Thanks Paddi, i hope so too 🙂

    AB, it's very unfortunate that it has lead to him stealing and ofcoarse he initially denied it. the fact that someone always "takes cares of it" is a major problem. It always gets swept under the carpet, a few months go by and before you know it his stealing from family members.

    I had a quick look last night for information on the net and at the book you suggested, thanks for that. I will keep trying to understand as much as i can about what his going through.

  • Hi Capatin,

    He does have other interests such as fishing that he does on weekends, but i don't think that will get his blood pumping like gambling. We have suggested that he get a hobby to keep him busy and out of trouble, so he joined the gym, that didn't last.

    He definately needs more love in his life and we encourage him to seek that in a relationship, i think it's hard for him as he lacks confidence.

    His dob is 20th Nov 83.

  • Yeah, I'm thinking much more adventurous activities, something with an element of risk or danger, something that is a bit of a 'gamble' - skydiving or abseiling etc.

    What is his job like?

  • oops, year is 82

    i don't know how those sports will do, he isn't the most couragous person i know...

  • Your brother's astrological profile shows a confusing combination where he has a fear of being financially dependent and wants to be independently wealthy, and yet he feels like he would be risking his moral integrity to be a millionaire - so consciously he wants to win and subconsciously he makes himself lose. No wonder he's having a hard time of it.

    He also has a strong need to be accepted and likes being in the company of others like himself - in this case, gamblers - as if they are part of his peer group or gang. His public image and how others see him is very important to him but he may spend so much time trying to convince others of his worth that he comes across as sycophantic or a con man. He is attracted to those who can help him achieve his ambitions and may cut himself off from those who really love and care for him and whom he most needs. A faithful life partner is worth more than all the money in the world to him if he would only realize it.

    He has a unique way of thinking and some unusual ideas bordering on genius but may have trouble communicating them. This can make him feel very misunderstood a lot of the time. Excitability and sheer aggression can be his main stumbling blocks. His interactions with others likely include a lot of grandstanding, combativeness, and long-winded debate. He would be better off trying to get his ideas across to others through clarity or grace of presentation rather than force of will. He must not merely express himself but be understood. Once he learns this, many areas of language and communication will open up for him, such as writing, law, public speaking, and teaching, to name but a few. Even metaphorical languages like visual imagery can be used to reach out and touch others - photography, painting, sculpture or filmmaking etc. His prodigious and original energy needs to be focused in a proper and healthy direction.

    Yes, your brother wants a life of excitement and adventure - he craves action and change. He just has to refocus his efforts in a less dubious and destructive direction.

  • How strange that an innocent word like visua*l is censored.

  • Oh then if his date is 1982, it will be different.


    Your brother has an obsession with being validated and honoured by people he feels have betrayed him, to the point where he gets mixed up with individuals he should never have gotten involved with in the first place, especially if his career is involved. He has a fear of being taken advantage of and then dumped by people who won't listen to him.

    Your brother also has a fear of expressing his feelings, especially tenderness and love. He prefers to be in control of himself and his life and has an insatiable need to believe he has the power to succeed. In order to be successful however, he must find his inner sensitivity, to learn how to be gentle and get in touch with his feelings and insecurities. Though he certainly has empathy and compassion, his autocratic inclinations may combine with his innate executive ability in a rather dangerous fashion. He must learn to think before he speaks and to keep his opinions to himself at the appropriate time. He has a very conservative streak and may be very old-fashioned in his values, and he can often think he knows what's best for everyone else. He is attracted to abstracts rather than people which probably explains why he prefers gambling to other forms of socializing.

    It is often the case with people with this profile that they must undergo a cataclysmic event or experience to shake them from their retreat into escapist addictions and often debilitating depressions. In a sudden flash of realization or another type of epiphany, your brother may be hurled from his ivory tower of fantasy and high detachment into the real world. It can also be an experience of passionate love that draws him out and down. Yet once his feelings come out, he may flounder confused in a sea of mixed emotions, unable to cope. This is when he will really need the support of caring family and friends.

  • "Your brother has an obsession with being validated and honoured by people he feels have betrayed him"

    i think this statement reflects him to a great degree. He is probably just wanting that big win to feel worthy and ofcoarse validated, especially by an ex girlfriend.

  • When someone has this great need, they must find satisfaction inside, not outside from other people or situations. Gambling only makes him feel validated when he wins and then only temporarily. But if he can gain self-validation and self-love by doing things that make him feel he is a good and worthy person, then it will stay with him forever. The gambling ultimately just steals more and more of his self-esteem away and is the problem, not the solution at all.

Log in to reply