Belfast Telegraph

My son is addicted to gambling

Northern Ireland's number one agony aunt Fiona answers your problems

Dear Fiona, My son has an addictive personality and he's sending my husband and I into an early grave. If it's not alcohol or drugs he's abusing, he's on the internet gambling for hours on end.

He's in terrible debt, even though he lives with us and doesn't have any bills to pay. How can someone with an addictive personality be helped?

Distraught Parents

Dear Distraught Parents,

The term ‘addictive personality' is commonly used but it's not exactly correct.

Individuals don't have an ‘addictive personality' as such but due to underlying chronic anxiety, they tend to swap one addiction for another because this anxiety isn't resolved. It's obvious that your son is in distress and these maladaptive behaviours are the outward indicators of this. Please recommend that he speaks to an addictions counsellor or his GP who will be able to refer him to one.

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