“I Earn GH₵11k Monthly, But I Lose More than GH₵6k In Betting, Am I Addicted”: Expert Advises

“I Earn GH₵11k Monthly, But I Lose More than GH₵6k In Betting, Am I Addicted”: Expert Advises

  • A man sought advice on betting addiction, expressing concerns about his betting habits and their impact on his finances and family life
  • The 31-year-old man revealed that he earns over GH₵11k, but he loses about GH₵6k in betting per month
  • Paul Obatha, an addiction counsellor, advised the young man on various steps he can take, beginning with accepting he has a problem

A 31-year-old man wrote:

"Hi, I am not comfortable saying my name, but I really need help. I am 31 years old and I just got married last year and we are expecting a baby. I have a good job where I earn KSh 130,000 per month, but I don't even have any savings. I have been betting for about seven years now and it has gotten worse in the last one to two years. I lose more than KSh 70k on betting in a month. I win sometimes, but not enough. This has caused a lot of problems with my wife. In January alone, I lost KSh 40k just the day I was paid and went on to lose more. My wife has pointed out that I maybe addicted to betting, but I don't think so. I know it's affecting our finances because recently she suggested we invest in a SACCO but I didn't have any money. Am I addicted? What can I do because I have been trying to stop but I can't. Please advise me."

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Kenyan man earning KSh 130k losses in betting, expert advises
Photo of a stressed man used for illustration. The man seeking advice is worried about his betting habits. Photo: Getty Images.
Source: UGC

Paul Obatha is an experienced addiction counsellor, having worked with various rehab centres and clients.

We reached out to the counsellor to advise the young man on his habits.

Is the man addicted?

Obatha disclosed that addiction is not easy to accept, particularly due to the stigma and shame associated with the term.

"Addiction is never easy for the addict to accept, especially with the stigma and shame associated with it. The fact that he acknowledges that he has a problem but goes ahead to deny he is an addict means he is in denial.
He sees the problem,acknowledges it and even admits that the wife has raised issues on the same. This means he knows he has a problem but he is still not ready to put in the work to change it," said Obatha.

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Step one is acceptance

The counsellor noted that the man needs to see his addiction as a stumbling block to his progress and be ready to put in the necessary work to stop it.

"First he needs to recognise, admit and accept that he has a problem (addiction) of which he as an individual is powerless over and own the decision for the path towards recovery. This the first step towards recovery, accepting he has a problem," advised the counsellor.

Take account of benefits and negatives of betting

Obatha added that the man has to take account of the benefits and disadvantages he has experienced in his life, both financially and in other aspects of life.

"I suggest that on a clean sheet of paper let him list the benefits he gets from betting vis a vis the negatives that betting has caused in his life. After doing that, let him review the list and see which one works best for him towards his ambitions in life," he remarked.

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Recognising triggers

The counsellor further advised the man to identify triggers that led him to betting even when he did not plan on it.

"Let him try to recognise his triggers towards betting as an addiction...what drives him to gamble, is it idleness,too much idle cash,peer pressure ,identity or what? From there, he can come up with a plan to help him deal with his triggers before they overwhelm him,"

Need for a strong support system

Obatha noted that it's essential that he is willing to get help, and since his decisions affect his wife, he should have a conversation with her and seek her support on the path to recovery.

"He needs a strong support system to help him through the path of recovery. Finally he shouldn't have a pity party, blame or feel sorry for himself for if he does that will be a sure path to destruction," he said.

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Obatha further recommended that he find a counsellor because recovery from behavioural addictions is a long and challenging journey.

Disclaimer: Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers' decisions about habitual addiction. They should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their circumstances before making a decision.

Do you have a story to tell? Want an expert's advice? Please email us at askanexpert@tuko.co.ke with 'Ask an expert' in the subject line.

Youg man loses GH₵1m on sports betting

Earlier, YEN.com.gh reported that a young man had been left stranded after he blew over a million cedis of his employer's money on sports betting.

The man, believed to be an administrative officer, spent a total of GH¢1, 079,728 on sports betting at different times and lost.

Source: TUKO.co.ke

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