I can't stop phoning psychic helplines

DEAR DEIDRE: WHEN I started calling ­psychic helplines last year, I only intended on phoning a couple of times.

But now I’m addicted and have wasted my children’s inheritance. I could cry.

I’m a single mum aged 42 with three children. I started calling helplines in the evenings after work as I felt so lonely and desperate in lockdown.


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I wanted reassurance about work, whether I’d ever meet someone new, life in general.

At first, I found it helpful – it gave me hope that things would get better – but it has become a habit, and now I’m just hearing the same ­predictions.

I don’t enjoy ­calling, I just can’t help doing it.

When I began, I had £12,000 in savings, some of which came from my parents’ wills. It was meant to look after my kids, to keep us safe for the future and to help with their education.

Now there’s virtually nothing left. I am so ashamed that I’ve thrown away the kids’ security.

I can’t tell anyone what I’ve done – they’d laugh at me and think I’m a terrible mother.

How can I make myself stop calling? Where can I get help?

DEIDRE SAYS: These expensive phone lines prey on people like you, who are lonely and vulnerable – and they are deliberately addictive.

An addiction usually fills an emotional void.

In order to break the habit, you need expert help. Please contact your doctor and ask about counselling.

Cognitive behavioural ­therapy, CBT, would be useful in particular as it equips you with the understanding of how your thoughts and beliefs affect feelings and behaviour.

And most importantly, it offers coping skills for dealing with problems. I’m sending my support pack on counselling which explains more.

It would also be a good idea to ask your phone provider to block these lines for you.

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