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Bill
Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3705
Experience:  35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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My son is a student pilot since 2009. Initially he did very

Customer Question

My son is a student pilot since 2009. Initially he did very well, but during 2010 we became aware of the fact that he was proceeding very slowly with his course. We found out that he attended casino's to play poker during the nights and during day time he was too tired to attend his flying lessons. He started to live a double life. He had to write his theoretical exams in a town a long way from his flying school. During one period he failed up to 14 times the examination for a particular subject. At last I found out that exam time was actually a holiday for him. He never wrote the exams and was playing poker during the nights at a nearby casino. I made him study at my office and during April 2011 he passed all the theoretical exams. Then his double life started all over again. He was again proceeding very slowly with his practical part of his course. At verious occasions for up to 3/4 weeks he put on his uniform in the mornings, left the house, made as if he was attending flying school, but he never did. In August 2011 he admitted that he was addicted to poker. It is easy to find rehabilitation programmes for people being addicted to alcohol and drugs, but basically there is no help for people being addicted to poker. He then voluntary attended a rehabilitation programme for 6 weeks at a clinic for people being addicted to alcohol and drugs, as we understood from the psychologist that the principles of rehab for all kinds of addiction are the same. During his rehabilitation it came to light that his affinity for poker already began in school at the age of 16. (He is now 23 years old). After rehab he went back to flying school, but within a month his double life started all over again. He has no respect for the truth and has the ability to lie in someones face without the wink of an eye. He had a evaluation with a psychiatrist, as I thought he could have depression, but it is not the case. He does have the symptoms of someone who has depression, but it is only the case when things are going really bad. The psychiatrist referred him to a psychologist, he attended a few appointments and then stopped in doing so. So yes, he is back into his double life again. He is living a life full of lies, has no ambition, sleep till 13:00 in the afternoon. He still admits that he can't get poker out of his mind. I came to the conclusion that there is no help for him to overcome his addiction to poker. He thinks there is an easy way to make money, without honest hard work in doing so. He is still at flying school, but he is 23 and has basically achieved nothing since he left school. He sometimes act as someone who has depression, but I think it is a symptom of him being felt that he is useless, because he is not proceeding well with his course. My questions are: 1. Can there be something else wrong with him, except for his addiction? 2. The psychiatrist did not diagnose depression, but may be he made a mistake. Should he be re-evaluated by another psychiatrist? 3. What now?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Bill replied 1 year ago.

Bill :

Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.

Bill :

I am sorry to hear about this problem.

Bill :

I have worked with persons with addictive disease for 35 years and as you write.....addictions are treated the same across the spectrum.

Bill :

Your son has a GAMBLING addiction and like AA for alcoholics there is GA (gamblers anonymous for gamblers).

Bill :

There is no cure for addiction- only abstinence and recovery so it is important that he become involved in rehab programs geared the the gambling addiction or as you have seen, he will relapse and return to the addictive behavior.

Bill :

The above is the WAGNER- Worldwide Addicition Gambling report which has a lot of information on Gambling addiction on a worldwide level-

Bill :

You can see that this is a widespread problem and there is treatment.

Bill :

I see you have entered chat-----can you tell me in where is South Africa you live or where your son lives?

Bill :

The following is a link to Gambler Anonymous - South Africa

Bill :

Additional information on Gambling Addiction is here:

Bill :

Includes information on proper treatment and recovery.

Bill :

Are you available to chat now?????

Bill :

To obtain further help for your son- I encourage you to contact the following :

Customer :

Yes I am.

Bill :

Hello- I have given you a lot of information in the links-

Bill :

Should you have further questions, regarding the treatment of gambling for your son- feel free to ask- as I am happy to help.

Bill :

Please Type now If there are additional questions I can help with while I am online.........

Customer :

Yes I am.

Bill :

Is your son getting help or involved in Gamblers Anonymous now?

Customer :

The nearest Gamblers A to us is 2575km away, thus he can not attend regularly.

Customer :

Sorry, 275km away.

Customer :

We are living in Lichtenburg in the North West Province, 275km away from Johannesburg.

Bill :

He needs to get some help online or on the phone- The link above which I will copy below can provided telephone counseling and online services for persons with Gambling addiction.

Customer :

I can not read the whole of your answer, as the reply area overlap with my question.

Bill :

For further information contact adele@responsiblegambling.co.za

Customer :

Thank you, we will try for him to get help on phone or online.

Bill :

You are most welcome - You will have a complete copy of my response with links in your email so that you can review and share the links and information with your son.

Bill :

If you have additional questions, you can also get back to me.

Bill :

I wish you the very best,

Bill :

Bill

Bill :

PLEASE LEAVE POSITIVE RATING NOW

Bill :

Thank you

Bill :

You are most welcome - Best to you and your son.

Bill :

PLEASE PROVIDE RATING BEFORE EXITING AS IT IS THE ONLY WAY I RECEIVE CREDIT FOR MY TIME

Bill :

Thanks.\

Bill :

-a complete copy of our chat will follow in your email.

Expert:  Bill replied 1 year ago.
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