It's probably no surprise that online gaming and gambling has been on the rise, with all the lockdowns and uncertainty all around us. So it follows suit that the associated problems with online activity is also on the rise.
When your time online begins to result in things like debt, relationship issues, work conflict or health concerns, there is free help available in BC. Free support from myself to get started (in Northern BC) and free counselling in person (where available), by video (if possible), or by phone.
We assist people struggling with gambling or gaming as well as those affected by someone else's online activity. Call (leave a voicemail) or text with how and when to get back to you. I respond within 24 hours. Or visit the website's online intake form to get started.
Lately I have been looking for ways to combat all the negativity, fear and sometimes hatred bombarding my news streams and social conversations. Everyday life and work stress is exemplified by COVID, regular ways of decompressing and restoring my balance has become a challenge like no other. I was looking to find actions I could safely take to resist the fear mongering, as it was beginning to take a toll on my mental health.
Acts of Resistance include making meaningful connections with others who can share their hope for humanity or by helping others in small ways. I like to hang out with caring, kind and non-judgemental people to soak up positive human vibes whenever I can. Others attend church or join a dog walking club. Actively fighting back against the negativity and hopefully inspiring others to do the same helps us all to restore hope, reduce fear and restore our balance. So in March, I found a group on Facebook, I liked their message and thought about helping out. Then an opportunity presented itself and the rest is in the pictures and article below:
Thanks Gerry for creating a platform for people to come together to express their own small acts of resistance and to work together toward kindness and compassion for all people in our community. I had fun getting to know people and sharing food with them.
TOGETHER WE STAND!! founder Gerry Healy (right) and Dustin (left). Check out their story by clicking the links below.
When people think about the warning signs of addiction, they may not consider the class of Behavioural Addictions that similarily affect our brain. These addictive behaviours include online activity, sex, gaming or gambling. In these cases, the 'substance' is the behaviour (gambling) that becomes the rewarding 'substance' to our brains.
Jenn Gregg, (M.A., C.C.C.) from Groundwork Counselling states "Among the signs of gambling addiction are unexplained finances or debt; emotional volatility; being preoccupied; lying; distorted or irrational thinking that makes someone believe they can control or beat the system; and prioritizing gambling over relationships, career or personal health". Read more about what Jenn has to say here: https://vancouversun.com/sponsored/life-sponsored/hidden-dependence-recognizing-the-signs-of-a-gambling-addiction
Learn more about Behavioural Addictions and the differences/similarities to substance addiction: https://canadiancentreforaddictions.org/substance-behavioural-addiction/
For those of us living in BC:
If you or someone you know is affected by problem gambling, Reach Out Here and someone will connect with you within 24 hours: https://bit.ly/30IOCic
Need to speak with someone immediately? Call 1-888-795-6111. Calls are answered 24/7
Well, it's 2021... and things in the world look like they might actually get worse before they get better. We have political stress, pandemic stress, financial/familial/vocational/relational stress. We are coping with stress we have often never encountered before! Things we couldn't imagine, such as job or home loss! Financial strain... the list goes on.
It's been almost a year now since we first began our isolation and I decided I needed to make a plan for 2021 so it doesn't swallow me up whole. So much of what is going on is out of our control and yet we have to make decisions everyday about how to maneuver through it and continue to care for ourselves and our families.
So I need a plan for 2021, but here it is the first week over and I am feeling the stress of having to make a plan! Returning to the basics of mental wellness and to take a bite from the Gambler's Anonymous pages my goal is to slow my world down and remember to remain in the present, to concentrate on moving through the day one step at a time. Finding a healthy balance with screen time for myself and my family is especially challenging when so much of our time is spent at home with limited 'others' to interact with.
So for now, my small movements forward in the past few weeks have included the following:
The Christmas theme in our house this year was "Things to do while stuck in the house for possibly long periods of time". Our family has invested in comfy, reusable masks. I set limits for myself over watching the news as it negatively affects my mental health. I set screen time limits for my children so I don't have to hound them to shut it down. I limit my time on social media and concentrate on positive messaging only. I snooze and block friends regularly when our politics collide or the negativity takes over. When things are rough, I try to remember to eat and take in water everyday (and brush my teeth). One day, one step, one minute, and one thing at a time to keep moving forward. This is what will bring us through these difficult times. One. Step. At. A. Time.
What with everyone staying at home and isolating, this week I want to highlight GamTalk as a great place to go if you are worried about your gambling or that of someone you know. Learn from others who struggle with problem gambling, gambling addiction, cravings or triggers, quitting gambling and so much more! You can peek around the Gamtalk site without joining or to gain the full experience, sign up and be completely anonymous.
Once in the site, you can remain quiet and just soak up other people’s experience or you can share your own story, ask questions and maybe join in a recovery focused chat room. You can be an active or passive participant and still benefit from this site… and for those affected others, there is some great support and information at GamTalk.
Check it all out here!
Born and raised in Prince George, BC, I am a dedicated helper with a keen interest in gambling and gaming behaviour. I have a Master's of Social Work and also work as a Medical Social Worker with Northern Health.