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  • Help me understand my brother and help him

    Is someone you care about experiencing issues with gambling? Come in here to discuss your concerns, connect, and get some helpful tips.
    Junior Member
    Posts: 4
    Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:00 pm

    Help me understand my brother and help him

    Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:38 pm

    Hi, I am trying to help my brother sort out debts and he is acting quite strangely. I don't understand what why and I would love for someone to give me advice and insight into why he acts the way he does. If I explain his background and the current way he is acting, can you fill me in/offer insight?

    My brother has/had a gambling addition and has had for at least 7 years. I don't know what he gambles on other than pokies but I suspect online betting or apps. He has always had trouble with money, not having any, getting payday loans, having his car defaulted on. 2 years ago he owned up to his addiction to the family, I got him to go to a financial/gambling councilor for a while but he stopped after 2/3 months. He said he didn't need to go back because he had overcome his addiction. Just recently we found out he has payday loan debts if around 20k but he says he isn't gambling. What do you think? He lives at home with his parents so doesn't have too many essential expenses, his car is paid off. Does he just get these loans because he likes to have money and spend it or is it used on gambling, I'm not sure. Just this Anzac day he started crying telling me about his problems and how 'his life is f**ked up', his debts, he said he wasn't gambling though. I got him to agree that the next day we would call to renegotiate the payday loan debt. He agreed, but on the day he made excuses to not do it, said he was too tired and acted like I explain below.

    Recent behavior:
    He seems very depressed but also very angry towards anyone who tries to talk about plans to pay off the debt or any discussion about the debt/gambling/life problems. As soon as I try to broach the subject of the debt he gets very angry, he walks away, starts saying all his life he has had people telling him what to do, threatens to punch me if I continue the subject, makes up excuses like 'I've had a terrible day not now' or 'I'm tired', etc. And you cannot talk to him, it's hard to explain, but any attempt ti help he shuts you down, says 'I am fine', or 'I can deal with this by myself'. Him being angry is so out of character for him, he's usually very happy.

    Why would one day he be sad, want to fix his problems, then the next day completely change, not be interested in fixing his problems? Why when we attempt to discuss the debt does his character change so much? Why does he act so stubbornly when you try to help him, it's hard to explain but it's like talking to a brick wall he won't let anything through.
    3 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1130
    Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:44 pm

    Re: Help me understand my brother and help him

    Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:35 am


    All I can say is as a gambler myself it is a very confusing and complicated and often embarrassing situation to be in.

    All you can do is be there for him:- listening without judgement .... patience is often the virtue.

    You also need to take care of yourself :-perhaps a call to Gamblers helpline
    1800 858 858 ... will help lighten your distress.

    2 x
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.~Confucius
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:43 am

    Re: Help me understand my brother and help him

    Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:11 pm

    hi @sazr

    I am a partner of a gambler so I can only advise what my partner has told me and what we have been through. Depending on the headspace my partner is in, is the reaction I get.

    If hes in a really good motivated headspace and i bring up putting more money towards bills, he agrees and sometimes even makes his own little budget plan. This is very RARE

    But mostly, he gets very dismissive and angry if i bring up a budget plan, or ideas to save more. he shuts it down right away, walks away, or nods and rolls his eyes. He often says that he shuts down and doesn't want to deal with it. And people bringing it up i guess adds to the anxiety and makes it real.

    if you are close with a gambler it is a roller coaster of emotions. I have days when im super calm and i just ride the wave and other days i am like "nope, i will not help you, you clearly don't want the help, so ill sit back and let you do it". I know that is wrong, but for the most part I am supportive.

    I guess you have to look out for the little windows that open for you to help and encourage and be there. I know if i push and nag and try to help when hes not in the mood, it makes it so much worse.

    We live in hindsight, they live in the right now - so hard!
    1 x

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