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Even though the inheritance is gone-the family is still here
How should i start this ?

I'm 19; daughter of a 54 year old compulsive addicted gambling dad.

He's been at it for as long as i can remember as a child, but it has never got this bad.

My grandmother passed away leaving a alrge inheritance (they sold her bungalow). All of it went straight to my father, which we were unable to touch. We were all planning to save it for a new home (as we live in a 2 bedroom flat with 5 people) and to aid my brother's medicine course due to start next year - 7 yrs of uni!

One day my brother opened a bank statement thinking it was his. This was where all the grief started. It was all gone - the money went straight out the window within a month to a casino.

That was last November, and as i dont live at home, i couldn't do anything about it. My brother was still there and did the best he could.

He seemed to be doing ok until i went back home to visit and my mum told me he went out again - this time gambling money he doesn't have - on credit cards and overdraughts. He denied he had a problem before and he still denies he has a problem now.

Our whole family still loves him but i cant let it carry on since my 12 year old sister still needs supporting - WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?
Dear Chewy0901,

I am very sorry for the situation you find yourself in. The thing that hit me most about your story is that at 19 years old you should not have to be worrying about things like this, you should be enjoying your life.

I was a compulsive gambler and still am. I do not gambler anymore though as I know the effects it will have on myself and my loved ones. Unfortunately until I realised this for myself there was nothing anyone could do or say that would have changed the way I was behaving. I understand how your dad feels, it is an awful illness that some people may think is easy to control, however while I was gambling I was truly powerless to this unbelievable urge to gamble. I am not saying for one minute that what you father has done/is doing is ok, it is certainly not. I am trying to say that until he realises the mess that gambling is causing for himself and his family, he will not change.

I am by no means a gambling counsellor, I just have my own experience and my advice to you would be to try and enjoy YOUR life. I appreciate that you are worried for your sister and I would be the same. You have not mentioned your mother, is she not around to help care for your sister? Look for Gamanon, maybe someone else could tell you where to find them. This is for family members of compulsive gamblers I believe. They may be able to give you much better advice than me. I just wanted to write and say I am deeply sadened by your story and I truly hope that your father realises soon what mess he is causing.

Good Luck to you and your family

This is all too complicated to be honest ... it will just get even more depressing the more i elaborate it. My mother has bipolar schizophrenia which has been going on for about 15 years and because of her mental disorder she doesn't express / feel emotions much or non at all sometimes. This makes it even easier for my father to go and gamble and even easier for my sister to not get looked after properly.

This is the lining of the reason why i have to worry - my brothers becoming a doctor which is the best that could happen to him and my mother is too ill in the head to even come to understand how bad things can get with my father becoming more and more in debt. The fact im not at home just makes the whole situation worse.

I just need a little guidance i guess. I've never tried to deal with this gambling situation head on because of a levels and the fact he listens to no1 and as we've never been a rich family we've never really cared about money too much so long as we can get by.

If i know that problems are easier to be prevented than to leave and cause more pain - it's pretty hard to walk away and live my own life.

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