Coping with a loved one’s gambling problem can be difficult and can make you feel ashamed. But reaching out to a support group can help you understand that you’re not alone in dealing with the problem. Managing money in the family is a huge responsibility, and setting boundaries can help your loved one stay accountable and prevent a relapse. The first responsibility is your safety, so be sure to set your own boundaries, too. Set a limit on your gambling-related expenses so that your loved one does not become compulsive.
Signs of problem gambling
Problem gambling can lead to numerous problems for the individual who is addicted to the activity. People who engage in this behaviour spend a lot of time at the casino, leaving little or no time for their friends and family. They also tend to engage in larger bets to maintain the same level of excitement. It can also lead to mounting debts and secretive behavior with money. Sometimes, people who are addicted to gambling even resort to suicide.
Although most people don’t experience any serious consequences from gambling, it’s worth remembering that the numbers of these individuals are staggering. Almost two million Americans are estimated to qualify as pathological gamblers each year. The good news is that there are some warning signs that can help you identify a problem gambler. These include the following:
Signs of compulsive gambling
While the onset of compulsive gambling is typically in early adolescence in men, it can start in their mid-to-late 20s in women. The problem occurs when someone is unable to resist the urge to gamble, and the brain reacts in the same way as an addiction. Compulsive gambling is often mistaken for obsessive compulsive disorder, although it may be a distinct disorder. Gamblers may begin a gambling habit by making occasional bets and slowly progress to larger ones. The onset of gambling addiction is often accelerated by stressful situations.
The signs of compulsive gambling include loss of control and a growing financial struggle. Gambling obsession often results in increased spending and a reliance on the habit, which may cause serious consequences. While gambling is an enjoyable activity for many, it can also lead to depression, irritability, and restlessness. All of these symptoms result from a person’s obsession with gambling. In fact, compulsive gambling addicts often view gambling as a way to cope with negative emotions.
There are many different treatment options for people who have a gambling problem, including residential rehab, outpatient care, and self-help groups. Inpatient rehab is often recommended for people who are unable to stop gambling on their own. The program provides ample time for the individual to work through their problem, addresses the triggers that lead to gambling behavior, and teaches coping mechanisms. Individuals who have a gambling problem may also benefit from a program that addresses their social and emotional issues.
Although there are many treatment options available, rates of people seeking help for their gambling problems are relatively low. Many people do not seek treatment at all because they are unaware of the benefits of a treatment program and are hesitant to change. Often, people with gambling problems lack the motivation to stay committed to the program, causing the rate of treatment dropouts to be high. In addition, many people who seek treatment have conflicting motives for changing.