About The Invisible Addiction - Blog Post #1
Updated: Jun 10
Since it's the first blog post I guess some sort of introduction is in order. (I'll make it quick I promise).
The Invisible Addiction Blog and Podcast Series - like a lot of things in my life - came about rather unexpectedly.
During lockdown, and without much else to do, I started vlogging on my YouTube channel. (It's a right mish-mash of videos, and I'd probably rather you didn't check it out, as you'll find me to be a right weirdo).
I started recording podcasts. It got to the third week of recording, and I don't know what took over me, but I decided to open up about my gambling addiction.
LINK TO PODCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnAhsEAEyJc
Warning: it's raw, emotional and intense. Not to everyone's liking.
Lots of people got in touch, and I really do mean a lot of people. I heard from ex-girlfriends, old school mates, people I'd never spoken to…
TalkRadio caught wind of the podcast and invited me on their late-night show, to chat with Darryll Morris about the ban on gambling related TV and Radio adverts.
(I think it was mostly about timing and coincidence - I released the podcast on the Sunday, and on the Monday this article featured in The Guardian about the advert ban).
Fast forward a few days, and there I was talking late at night (11:30pm - well past my bed time) about gambling. I was a nervous wreck, and didn't really know what to say.
You can listen to the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW3AIS_q49U&t=3s
Well, I continued to make silly videos for YouTube, until my brother Bertie got in touch. He was like, 'dude, you've got to do more about the gambling'! He was like, 'mate, do a podcast series’!
With my tail between my legs, I decided, shit, maybe he's right.
We got down to the drawing board. (He works in business and I adopted my serious face).
Together, we set out a plan. To investigate problem gambling, with interviews. A couple of favours were called in, a few strings were pulled. And so, the series was born.
In the podcast series, you'll find me speaking to a number of guests to hear their perspective on problem gambling. Guests include:
A Secondary School Teacher
An ex-Premier League Footballer
A Woman whose partner suffered from gambling problems
A Registered Mental Health Nurse
A Trained Hypnotherapist
A man whose overcome gambling addiction and carved out a successful business career
*Possibly a 7th guest, TBC*
So, in the coming weeks I’ll be releasing each interview weekly.
The aim is to share more information about problem gambling, such as the dangerous effects on mental health and the high suicide risk.
I also aim to raise awareness about how and where to get help.
The final aim is to educate younger people about the effects of addiction.
The local community recently lost a young man due to gambling addiction, and a friend of a friend also took his own life after his struggles. This is too close to the bone.
So, I have an emotional, social and political interest about tackling the taboo nature of gambling in society. That's my standpoint. (I never thought I'd get into politics, but this feels pretty close!).
Rather than campaigning on the streets - which is good and something I'll still be doing - I thought, screw it, I can cause a little ripple by doing something online.
The podcast about my gambling addiction set out to raise awareness about the addiction, and lots of good came out of that. That's the aim, to help others and to show you there is a way out of this. I’m not for one minute saying I'm perfect and free of any problems, merely just a voice.
There's still a long way to go in this country to tackle problem gambling.
Hopefully by talking about it we can keep raising awareness about 'The Invisible Addiction'.
I've setup accounts on social media, and would appreciate it if you gave us a follow/like/subscribe, etc:
YouTube - this is where the podcasts will be posted. They'll also be other uploads, e.g. chatty vlog entries and such like.
I'll update the blog as and when.
Follow the accounts on social media.
And check-back for the new podcast episodes!
Please also feel free to share. Because the more we put this in people's faces, the more people take notice, and the more we can be heard and make a difference.
P.S. I’m a big supporter of Gambling With Lives, a charity setup by friends and families bereaved by gambling related suicide. A fantastic cause, you can support them by buying a t-shirt (£10 plus P&P).