A gambling addiction affects not just the gambler but also his family. Such an addiction can easily bring about a person’s financial ruin. An atmosphere of trust and love that is normal for a family is replaced by one of deceit and mistrust. Children often suffer in such homes.
Gambling addicts find it difficult to admit that there is a problem; even if they realize that there is one, they convince themselves that the next big win will set things right for them. In such cases it is often the addict’s friends who have to take the lead in getting the gambler face the issue and agree to take help. Red flags that indicate problem gambling include sudden debts, a downward spiral in lifestyle, pawning valuables, poor finance management, and spending time away from family. Gamblers lose their cool easily with family members and have little time for participating in the small things that keep the family together.
If you are a family member, then you are likely suffering for no fault of yours. But you are not powerless to change the situation. They can. The first thing you can do is to inform yourself about the signs and symptoms of such gambling. Look up the available treatment methodologies and paths to recovery for problem gamblers. Stay on your guard against any blames that a gambling addict might try to lay on you. Addicts of any kind try their best to escape accountability. If you accept the blame for something that you haven’t done, then you’re offering the addict an escape route.
When bringing up the subject of an individual’s gambling problems, you must keep your cool. Your arguments, if logical, will take care of themselves. You take care that you don’t lose your temper. You have to come across as supportive and as having a solution for the situation. Appreciate the positive aspects of the gambler’s personality and acknowledge his contributions to the family. At the same time, be firm and be prepared to say “No” to any illegitimate demands that the gambler may place on you. Lending money, cutting back household costs, or anything that can be seen as encouraging gambling will hurt the entire family. Let the gambler face the consequences of his actions.
Rally friends to generate support for your efforts. Meet counselors who handle gambling addiction cases. Gain insight from them. Discuss the information you gain with friends; hold a dry run before you schedule an informal intervention with the gambling addict. Take necessary steps to ensure physical and financial security for the family. Shield children to the extent you can. You may have to take upon yourself the additional responsibility of ensuring that children in the family experience as normal a childhood as possible.
It takes time to get over a gambling habit. You must not expect quick results. Hired Power can help you strategize the best way to help a loving one who is facing a gambling addiction. We can help the addict transition from this phase of addiction to a state of recovery. Call us to learn more. 800-910-9299
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