"Rock bottom can be a great foundation on which to build and on which to grow."
Driven to discover the root of gambling addiction, while providing a foundation on which to grow – for those struggling with behavioral addictions and mental health issues – through integrative and traditional recovery therapies.
Gambling Addiction Awareness
Provide mental health and addiction services for compulsive Gamblers.
Provide support for gamblers and their families
To partner with our community to bring awareness of gambling addiction as a mental health disorder.
Brett and Sara Devine are the founders of Seed and this is their story…
Undiagnosed depression and anxiety have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Outward appearances would not have shown this to anyone. I was active in school, a gifted athlete and had lots of friends. Inside, however, I have always struggled with loneliness, insecurities and low self-esteem. All of these issues created a void that continued into adulthood.
There came a day when I found something that filled that void in my life. I found gambling. What gambling did for me was to provide an escape from life. Gambling became my focal point that I planned my life around (all while keeping this a secret life). Gambling was my happiness, my escape, my inner calm, essentially my best friend. However, outside of the time spent gambling, my world was falling apart. I was feeling the pressure of living a secret life apart from my family, I was going into significant debt and was increasingly becoming more depressed and anxious with thoughts of suicide.
My life had become unmanageable and I was desperate for change....
As a significant other for someone who is dealing with depression, anxiety and low self-esteem it is very difficult to know what to say, what not to say and what to do/not do. From the beginning of our relationship I’ve known that Brett struggled with depression and anxiety, but he hid it quite well. He did not let on the extent of the feelings and thoughts that he had. He pushed through much of life and was successful in his job and appeared to be content (for the most part). Brett did, however, tend to cope by using less than healthy coping skills including numbing his emotions by drinking, diving into work, or trying to just ignore the thoughts and feelings he was having inside. He was not necessarily open to suggestions from his wife (who is a therapist and he “didn’t want to be her patient”). When you watch a loved one struggle, it is a terrible feeling of helplessness.
As a wife of a compulsive gambler, the day I found out about the gambling I was in complete shock. In hindsight I could place a few things together that looking back might have raised a red flag – however when you trust someone, these things go easily unnoticed or lightly questioned.
The day I learned about Brett’s gambling problem is forever etched in my mind. He was suicidal and not sure that he deserved a family that he had been lying to for years. He was at a very low point in his life and this is not easy for any family member to watch someone you love go through. We brought him to an inpatient behavioral health unit, and from there our journey with rehabilitation began.
What we have learned over the past 3 years is that there is a strong need for services addressing compulsive gambling. We had no options in the state of Wisconsin and we are wanting to change this for other individuals who need help. We have the passion to serve others who are going through this life altering illness and to address the needs of mental health and process addictions. We want to help individuals who are going through this addiction along with their families - as we know this impacts everyone in the family unit: spouses, parents, children, and extended family.
Our programming is evidenced based (with Sara, a therapist who loves to do research, and Brett, back in school becoming an addictions counselor – add in his love of the latest research) and will have a focus on complex-PTSD and how this impacts our brains and specifically how this manifests mental health disorders and addictions in individuals with C-PTSD. Through traditional psychotherapy, expressive creative arts therapies, mind/body wellness, sometimes medications, and accountability - the focus then continues on how we do have control over our future state and can live healthy lives.