Gambling can be a lot of fun. After all, there isn’t much that comes close to being able to play your favorite games while also having the chance to win big money while doing so. However, gambling also comes with some inherent risks. With a multitude of woeful tales describing how people have risked financial stability and personal relationships for the sake of a win.
If it isn’t tackled head-on, compulsive gambling can not only destroy lives but can lead to mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and social isolation. If a loved one is showing signs of gambling addiction, it is natural to feel anxious, frustrated and somewhat hopeless. However, there are ways to treat the condition and support a person battling a gambling addiction.
Here are some top tips that could help you help your loved one get out of trouble.
Acknowledge The Problem
As would be the case with any addiction, the first step is admitting there’s a problem and making a serious commitment to change. This is easier said than done, though. It is therefore essential to sit down with your loved one and have an honest non-confrontational conversation about the issues and the nature of the problem. It certainly won’t be an easy conversation and may unearth some other hard truths; however, it is the first step on a long road to recovery.
Seek Professional Support
While there may be some sense of stigma attached to dealing with gambling addiction, and you might want to handle the problem yourself, seeking professional support is central when it comes to nipping the problem in the bud. Treatment for gambling addiction is quite similar to other addictions and will include education, support groups and counselling.
While a medical professional can help by prescribing medication to limit cravings and tackle the depression, stress and anxiety associated with the gambling addiction, you may be surprised to learn that even casinos can offer pretty good support as part of their commitment to responsible gambling.
It’s a fact that any trustworthy and licensed online casino site must have the means to promote responsible gambling. Not only that, any sites promoting such providers’ services should be equally equipped, giving the necessary information for site visitors and potential customers. Case in point, NoDepositFan is a great example of a renowned affiliate site that puts responsible gambling at the forefront.
Confront The Financial Reality of The Situation
Next up, you’ll need to help your loved one face the financial reality associated with their addiction. It is good to start by ensuring all of their gambling accounts are closed, and apps are deleted from their phone. Using a blocking tool on their computer might also be useful. If you don’t have a head for numbers, it might be a good idea to make an appointment with a debt counsellor to help your loved one get their finances back on track.
Help Them Find An Alternative Hobby
During recovery, addicted gamblers should stay as far away from other gamblers as possible. This means that casinos, bars and rack tracks are no-go zones. If you find that a loved one is struggling, try to assist by encouraging them to pursue new healthy hobbies. Addicted gamblers often miss the excitement of the game, so a challenging activity such as running or rock climbing could help. Alternatively, relaxation activities such as yoga or mindfulness meditation might also help find ways to relieve stress. Perhaps going along with them and making it a joint pursuit will also help built trust between the two of you too.
Don’t Forget To Take Care of Yourself
Supporting someone with a gambling problem can take its toll on the caregiver too. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the realities of the situation, seek support from your social network or a professional trained to understand the emotions surrounding addiction issues. Counselling or support groups may also be helpful. Looking after your own physical and mental health will ensure you are better placed to support your loved one in constructive ways.
In short, gambling addiction is a serious problem that can have debilitating effects on a person’s professional and personal life. Thankfully, with the right tools and support, gambling addictions are totally treatable. If you are supporting someone dealing with a gambling problem, try to incorporate some of these tips into your approach to ensure you help them in the most effective way.