Does someone you love have a gambling addiction? Part I

Responsible Service of GamblingDoes someone you love have a gambling addiction? A gambling addiction is when a person cannot physically stop themselves from gambling, no matter the negative consequences. An individual that is addicted to gambling will not stop until they believe that the disadvantages outweigh the benefits. Until the day when they realise this, the issue will continue. 

It is difficult to change a habit, such as gambling, especially considering the person is more than likely trying to win their losses back. People only stop when they believe that change is necessary, which is the most difficult step.

You may look at your loved one and not understand the reason for their gambling; for people that do not normally gamble, it is hard to understand the reasons behind the addiction. But for your loved one, the reason for gambling could be one of the below:

– Excitement
– The challenge
– Relaxation
– The chance to win back losses
– Time to socialise with like-minded people
– A time and place to escape the realities of life

Only when your loved one is ready will they be ready, to look for help to overcome their addiction. They will realise they are ready when they:

– Lose too much money
– Realise that they are unable to win back their losses
– Spending too much time gambling
– Think about gambling on a regular basis
– Lose control of their spending
– When their loved ones have left
– When at work, they are not productive

If you feel like you are the one to blame in this situation and that you are the one to blame for the gambling problem of a loved one, remind yourself that you are not the only family going through this situation and it is not your fault. It is never your fault. There are group-counselling sessions readily available for the loved ones of a person with a gambling addiction. This is similar to your loved one you are feeling the stress and guilt that is associated with a gambling addiction, even if you are not the one with the problem. Attending a group-counselling session, you will be able to speak with other people who are in the same situation and gain advice.

Always remember: your loved one with the gambling problem needs to be ready for change, you cannot force it.