Wexford Legend opens up on past Gambling Struggles

Updated: Apr 23

Former Wexford Goalie Anthony Masterson bared all in an inspired HeadSpace Workshop recently where he told young people "you are not alone - no matter what the problem is - help is there."


Wexford GAA’s Anthony Masterson delivered a brave, honest and emotional talk to the young people in attendance at HeadSpace Gorey's first workshop event recently.


In an inspired speech the Castletown man highlighted some of the past issues he has faced with gambling addiction.


The 37-year-old stressed that, "no matter how deep you think you are, there will always be someone there to help pull you out. "

“My addiction led me down some very dark paths,” said the former Wexford Goalkeeper.

“There was a point in my life where my addiction consumed me, it was almost all I cared about. I nearly lost it all," he added.

“There were points where I was so low that I genuinely had thoughts of suicide.

“But I am so thankful that I had a good family around me and good friends and the best thing I ever did was ask for help.

“No matter what you are struggling with please seek help,” he added, “you don’t have to suffer in silence there is help there. Getting help is the best thing I ever did.”



Do You Have A Gambling Problem ?

If you notice a change in your or a friends gambling habits, chances are that you or they may have a problem with gambling.


What is a problem gambler? A person who has a problem with gambling is easily identifiable as a person who cannot give up gambling despite the negative consequences.


Signs:


  • Gambling when you cannot afford to

  • Keeping gambling a secret from loved ones

  • Have trouble controlling gambling habits

  • Feel sad, depressed or agitated when you cannot gamble.

  • You loved ones have expressed concerns about your gambling habits

  • The need to gamble with increased amount of money in order to get the same thrill.

  • Being totally preoccupied with gambling and gambling thoughts

  • Having a new interest in news and sporting events and results

  • Losing interest in things you used to enjoy

  • Experiencing extreme mood swings with family and friends especially after winning or losing a bet.


There is support available if you feel concerned regarding yourself or a family member who may experiencing problems with gambling.



Support:


If you feel that your gambling is affecting your mental health know that there are many support options available to you.


Seek advice from your local GP who will talk you through your options to help get you the support and guidance you need. Below are some local and national services available to you.





Aiseiri, Roxborough, Co. Wexford, Co Wexford - (056) 8833777 - aiseiri.ie


Aiséirí provides community and residential services to help young people, adults and families overcome addiction and lead meaningful lives in recovery.

Their services include residential services, family programmes, recovery retreats, and outreach to individuals, communities, schools and businesses who would like to learn more about addiction. Their Adolescent Addiction Treatment Centre, Aiséirí Aislinn (located Kilkenny), provides treatment for young people between the ages of 15 and 21 years living with the destructive impact of alcohol, drugs and/ or gambling.




Gambler Anonymous, Meeting Friday 8pm - Gaelscoil Moshíológ, Kilnahue, Carnew Road, Gorey, Co. Wexford - gamblersanonymous.ie Call: 01 8721133 E- info@gamblersanonymous.ie


Gamblers Anonymous are a group of people who support each other and help each other recover from their gambling problem. There are regular meetings around the country where you can talk about your problems with gambling in confidence. Find a full list of meetings here. Find contact details for different regions here.



If you need further support remember to let us help you here at Talk To Tom. We can be your guide - contact us on (0818) 303061or via Whats App.  To launch a chat now click here.   You can find out more about our counselling service here.



Other services you where you can reach someone to talk to:

Samaritans offers a 24 hour listening service over text message, text 'Hello' to 087 260 9090 to get started (standard text messaging rates apply) or call 116 123 to talk to someone over the phone.

Childline text and instant messaging services are available from 10am - 4am every day to young people under 18, text 'Talk' to 50101 to talk to a trained counsellor by text message or call 1800 66 66 66.




Visit Your GP:

We always recommend that you visit your GP with whatever health issues you are facing.  Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed.  Your doctor is a professional health care provider and will be familiar with how you are feeling.  You mental health is just that - your health.  You would visit your GP if you had been feeling physically unwell right ?  Your emotional health is just as important as your physical well-being - in fact the two go hand in hand.  If you don’t have a current GP you can find a list of services in your area here.  You can also contact the CareDoc service on 1850 334 999

Contact the Emergency Services:

If you are an immediate danger to yourself and are going through a suicidal crisis  please contact the emergency services by dialling 999 or visit your nearest Emergency Department.