Gambling addiction often comes with numerous life challenges, from financial, work and relationship difficulties to depression or anxiety disorders. Treating these conditions may help decrease gambling urges as well as help them learn to cope with stress without turning to gambling as a form of escape.
While it is important to show support and encourage someone you care for in receiving treatment, you cannot force someone to change their behaviour. Therefore, you should also take steps to care for yourself and reduce involvement with their gambling – such as spending more time with other friends who enjoy doing similar activities; engaging in exercise; eating a balanced diet; getting enough restful sleep and speaking to a counsellor about any feelings of stress caused by gambling habits in your loved one’s life.
People struggling with gambling addictions frequently experience depression, anger and feelings of resentment that strain relationships – particularly marriage or parenting relationships. Family therapy can provide invaluable help in working through these issues and finding solutions for dealing with them; you might also consider individual therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy to identify and alter unhealthy thoughts about gambling to avoid making impulsive gambling decisions and address employment, finances, relationships or self-esteem problems more effectively.
As soon as you notice that their gambling addiction is negatively affecting their life and health, suggest seeking help immediately. When broaching this subject with them, speak in an empathetic and calm manner – showing your love by telling them you wish they’d find their own solution and remind them there are others affected by gambling problems too.
As well as seeking professional assistance, joining a support group such as Gamblers Anonymous may provide valuable support. You can also learn more about its effects via online resources like blogs and forums where people share their experiences.
At first, the key step is understanding that gambling is risky and addictive behavior. No one-size-fits-all solution exists for this problem; your loved one must be ready to change and it could take time before their addiction has subsided. For now, you can help by encouraging them to seek treatment and restricting access to money. Assure your loved ones aren’t spending money on gambling by managing household finances, opening bank accounts with withdrawal signature requirements, and placing valuables in a safe deposit box. Furthermore, consider consulting a debt-management company or attending Al-Anon meetings for support from family members going through similar struggles.