Gambling addictions are not well understood; former footballer Paul Merson is hoping to change that by sharing his own story. In this chat with Fearne, Paul explains why his having a gambling addiction really isn’t about the money. It’s about escapism, and experiencing extreme highs and lows.
He also talks through the role that lying plays in addiction, and the relationships and practical coping mechanisms that now help him tackle one day at a time. It’s taken him many decades, but he now understands that addiction is an illness, and doesn’t make him a bad person.
Paul’s book, Hooked: Addiction and the Long Road to Recovery, is out now.
CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains frank chat about suicidal thoughts, as well as gambling, alcohol, and drug addiction, so do take care while listening.
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