Whether you are an adolescent, an adult or a parent, gambling can be an unhealthy obsession. Problem gambling can lead to financial disaster and can interfere with relationships and work. Fortunately, there are ways to cope with gambling addiction. If you have a problem, it is important to know that you are not alone and there are people who understand. It is important to find a way to stop gambling and to take steps to prevent relapse.
Often, it is difficult for family members to understand a problem gambler’s behavior. Problem gamblers may also be suffering from stress and anxiety. They may also be dealing with bipolar disorder or unmanaged ADHD. If you are worried that your loved one has a problem, it is important to encourage them to seek help. This can help them work through the problem and learn to cope with their feelings. You may also want to encourage your loved one to join a peer support group or to seek therapy.
Problem gamblers often feel pushed to steal for their gambling money. They may also lie about their gambling habits. They may be rushing to sell family possessions for gambling money. They may have run up huge debts on joint credit cards. They may also have gotten into debt to cover for a friend’s gambling losses. You should take these actions seriously.
If you have a problem gambler in your family, you need to set boundaries in managing the money. You should not bail them out of debt, as this can encourage them to relapse. You may want to take over the family finances, but you should not micromanage their gambling impulses. You should also listen to your family’s concerns and support them in their efforts to stop gambling.
You may also want to find out if your loved one has other underlying problems, such as a mood disorder or bipolar disorder. These may be triggering the gambling problem. You may also want to get involved in a peer support group or join a recovery program such as Gamblers Anonymous. You can also work on changing your own behaviors and habits, and make new friends outside of gambling. You may also want to volunteer for a cause or take a college class.
Adolescents are often confused about their gambling habits, as they view it as a social activity. They may play video games, wager on iPods, or wager pocket money. They can even miss school to gamble. However, adolescents are also more likely to exhibit adolescent-specific adverse consequences, such as loss of home, loss of relationships, and alienation of family members.
Problem gamblers often lie about their gambling habits. They may have gotten into debt to cover for unauthorized gambling losses, or they may have stolen money or other possessions. You may want to get involved in credit counseling to help your loved one work through these issues. You may also want to encourage your loved ones to seek therapy to help them work through their issues.