Mental Health
All Posts,  My Depression,  My Gambling Problem

Anti-Depressant Side-Effects And Gambling

I just woke up, laughing, from a very peculiar dream.  I was standing in a small, family business type, grocery store with two men.  One was the store owner and he was a very alert and efficient man.  For some reason he had a can of tuna and a can opener in his hands.  The other man was a customer who was telling me what he had come into the store to buy.

As the customer told me what he had come to buy the store owner was zipping here and there collecting the named items.  Then it happened.  The customer said he had come in for a can and between the word “can” and his next words the store owner whipped off the lid on the can of tuna he was holding.  Then the customer finished with the words “of vegemite”.  In the dream I watched the store owner look at the opened, unwanted, can of tuna.  He put it down and went to get the vegemite which does not, by the way, come in cans anyhow.

I fell apart laughing.  I laughed and laughed and laughed.  I laughed so hard in the dream the two men started laughing too and when I woke up I was still laughing.

Peculiar dreams are, I gather, a side effect of the type of anti-depressant I am on but I do tend to have peculiar dreams anyway.  I am just having more of them than is usual lately.

Most of the other side-effects of my medication appear to be settling down now.  I am not suffering the dry mouth as much any more and my ability to concentrate has returned.  I still get more headaches than I am used to getting but not as many as I was getting to begin with.  The nausea seems to have gone which is a relief as that was the most distressing side-effect.

The good news is my anxiety levels have dropped significantly and I am no longer over-reacting to things.  The other day I was at the shops when I realised it was the day my monthly rent was due to be paid and I had not paid it.  I made a mental note to pay it by phone as soon as I got home and then I forgot about it.

That would never have happened before.  I would have been worrying, from the minute I remembered to the minute I paid it, about being evicted.  I ended up paying it two days late and I am still not afraid, as I would have been before, that I will get a letter or phone call soon telling me off or telling me to pack my things and get out.

The bad news is this means I am not as distressed over my failure to stop gambling and I am just shrugging off my losses!

My anxiety used to make me remember all the horror stories I heard from clients who lost control of their gambling. I would picture myself committing crimes and going bankrupt or worse when I lost money gambling before.  I would get really frightened and angry and tear myself to shreds over giving in to the temptation but now I am not so worried.

Yesterday I went outside to have a smoke during a gambling session.  I was losing and I added up how much I had lost so far.  It was too much and I told myself when the money I had in the machine was gone I would have to leave.  Then I dismissed the matter from my mind and looked at the view.  I was thinking what a glorious day it was and what on earth was I doing wasting all that sunshine.

I’m not seeing gambling as the huge threat it was before because I am convinced I will get control of it soon.  I know, logically, this is bad.  I should be worried and I should be trying harder to beat this but I am thinking as soon as I start seeing the gambling counsellor on a regular basis I will be all right.  She is on holidays at the moment so my next appointment is not for another 10 days.

Part of me thinks I need to overcome the calming effects of the anti-depressant and whip up some anxiety to help me work on this between now and then.  The other part of me is calm.  It realises all the anxiety I used to have didn’t make any real difference.  Anxiety didn’t stop me from gambling before so why bother trying to get it back now.

I’m not blind to reality.  Every time I lose money I tell myself I have to stop doing it.  Every now and then it sinks in how wrong it is and how ashamed I should be of myself!  I think of the people in the world who are dying of hunger and I am throwing money away like this.  Money that could have saved lives!  It’s not good enough and I know it.  I have to get a grip on this but there is this new thing in my head and it feels good.  Hope.  I just know everything is going to be all right.

Someday soon I will stop gambling.  Some day people are going to flock to me with writing work and I will be making so much money I will be able to afford to gamble as well as send money to save lives.

All the tomorrows that once held nothing for me but more misery now seem to promise me all sorts of good things.  These new, positive, thoughts are overcoming the old negative doom and gloom ones and that’s good for the most part.  Just not when it comes to the gambling!

I’m feeling good – how depressing.

I wonder if I can blame my weird sense of humour on the anti-depressant too?  I’ve got the blame for gambling shifted to the drugs so why not shift the blame for all other things over onto them too?  Come to think of it – one of the side-effects they list is coughing – aha!  I don’t have a smokers cough at all – that’s just the side-effects of the anti-depressant too! LOL.

Ah well.  I guess I can sum it up by saying I’m feeling good in spite of doing so badly with my gambling problem.

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