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My Decision to Have My Gambling Addict Son Arrested

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Going through life I’ve always heard of people suffering from various addictions, and how these addictions completely take over a person’s life and leaves them completely powerless. But one addiction in particular that unexpectedly drew major attention in my own life was a gambling addiction. Also known as compulsive gambling, it is an impulse control disorder, where a person can’t control their decisions to gamble frequently.

A lot of people with this disorder believe that they don’t have it because they reside in the notion that, in order to have an addiction, it has to be something that you need to do every single day. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. All it takes to be considered an addict is to gamble frequently enough to a point where it affects your personal life; relationship with your loved ones, interferes with work and has priority spending over food and your basic living needs. Even worse than that is when you have to turn to stealing from people around you to feed your habit. This is exactly how I realized I had been affected by a gambling problem.

The reason I realized this so soon was that the problem wasn’t coming from me, it was my son. So, I could see it from the outside before he could see it in himself.

He had just turned 18 years old and it was his graduation day when we got the call that his father had suffered a heart attack on his way to the ceremony. His father and I had been separated for some time, but they were still so close. They spent every single weekend together and loved each other dearly, like father and son should. We rushed to the hospital but we were too late, and my son didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to his best friend.

Ever since that day, he’s suffered from deep depression and anxiety. I didn’t know how else to help him other than to comfort him when he needed it, but otherwise, just leave him be. That may have been my biggest mistake, because he started to give his attention to things that would distract him from his depression, like drinking and gambling- both illegally. It first started with just a few games online when he got home from work. But then he began to leave for work in the morning, and not come home till late at night. I knew he only had a couple of friends, and his girlfriend was often times at our house. So, I questioned her all the time of where he goes after work. She covered up for him but after a few months, she told me the truth. And suddenly it all started to make sense to me why I was missing money from my purse, why he kept asking me for cash even though he had a job. I confronted him about it, but he was in denial, and he ignored my wishes to stop. About a year passed and our relationship had become dry and brittle, and instead of him stealing my cash I was now giving him a separate weekly allowance just for him to gamble. Since he had lost his job and I didn’t want him getting into any more illegal activities to feed his addiction.

Eventually, I confided in my close friend about what we were going through as a family. She told me that I had to put an end to this, and so that is exactly what I did. I called the police and gave them directions to the gambling spot, while my son was out, and he got arrested.

It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but it was so much better than allowing him to ruin our lives while I aided him. That was not the end though. I decided to get him professional psychological help immediately after he did his time. And now I can proudly say that he is a better person because I took that first step, and I am a better mother because of that.

Gambling addiction is a serious psychological disorder that ruins lives and so it should be taken seriously. It can be triggered by things like stress, anxiety, depression, or even ADHD. So, if you or anyone you know suffers from any of these. Be sure to keep an eye out for any coping mechanisms being formed like an addiction. And put a stop to it straight away.

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