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What to do if your closed-one suffers from gambling addiction
We often hear and read different news from the gambling world. Also, it is often referred to such a body as the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. The UKGC is a British gambling regulator. Gambling Regulators operate in all the countries, where gambling is a legal activity; they normally regulate commercial gambling and lotteries.
Consumer protection is a key priority of any gambling regulator
The main goal is to protect gamblers from risks connected with their activities online. Unfortunately, gambling is a toxic activity that involves different psychological problems. Despite the fact that we are talking about a very small percentage of cases, the authorities and gambling regulators put this issue at the forefront, alongside with the gambling among minors.
The opponents of the gambling legalization also appeal to this fact. It is because the problem affects not only a gambler but also his family, spouses, parents or children, as well as friends.
For example, special helplines are created in the countries where gambling is legalized. Thus, addicted people have an opportunity to consult a physician. It is telling that the majority of calls are received from family members, but not gamblers themselves. In addition, many countries make lists of self-excluded players.
Gambling addiction and Problem Gambling
It should be noted that gambling addiction (also known as pathological gambling, compulsive gambling or gambling disorder) is a disorder. If you are addicted, you cannot control yourself and your impulse, even if it is detrimental to you or your family and friends. You gamble wherever you are and whenever you want; it does not matter to you if you are up or down, and you keep gambling anyway, even when you know that the odds are against you.
However, you can have problems with gambling not being a completely addicted person. In its turn, problem gambling is any gambling activity or behavior that disrupts your normal life. If you are into gambling, spending much time and money on it, realizing possible serious consequences, you have a gambling problem.
A gambling addiction or problem gambling is often fraught with some other behavior disorders or addictions
Many problem gamblers also suffer from drugs and alcohol; stress, depression, or anxiety. If you are eager to overcome your gambling problems, you have to do away with other causes as well.
Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
How to figure out if you or some of your beloved ones have a gambling addiction? Here are some signs:
- A gambling-addicted person tries to keep the gambling activity in secret, or lies about how much time he or she actually spend playing casino;
- Person’s free time is about gambling only;
- A player cannot stop gambling. The symptom is obvious to everyone around, not only to a gambler himself. Starting to play, a person is not able to quit. As a rule, it is about emotional overexcitement;
- Running into debts. Gambling addicts often run into huge debts. In particular, if they have already spent their money, they use credit cards. Several countries, including the United Kingdom, have already banned credit card transactions. If the credit limit is over, addicts begin to lend money or even abuse a law;
- A gambler plays with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement;
- Unsuccessful efforts to control or stop gambling have been already taken;
- You often gamble when feeling distressed;
- Intention to get even;
- Gambling addicts often imperil their relationship, job, education, or career.
Myths about Problem Gambling
Here are several common misconceptions regarding gambling:
- Gambling is an everyday activity;
- Gambling addiction is not a problem if a person can afford it;
- Gambling addiction affects only weak-willed ones;
- You have to pay off the debts if there is an addicted one in your family;
- Gamblers are forced to play.
Now, let us talk about real facts
The evidence shows that frequency is an important indicator, but not a determining one. Those who do not play daily can also suffer from gambling addiction.
Addiction is a disorder, which is often accompanied by depression. Problems caused by gambling are not only financial nature. Gambling can also cause mental health problems, such as depression and even suicide; a player can also take on more problems with relationships and low.
Gambling addiction can affect people of different classes, gender, and occupations. Lack of physical strength is a negative factor, but not a determining one.
Keep it in mind that you must never pay off the debts of an addicted one
You could only aggravate the situation. Gambling addicts often try to find excuses for their behavior and cacoethes. They try to avoid taking responsibility for their activity and accuse others.
How you can help a gambling-addicted person
Firstly, it is necessary to stabilize your own mood and self-condition. Only after that, you should start helping your beloved one. In addition, it is important not to add another person’s problems to your plate and take full responsibility for the actions, related to the pathological passion for gambling. It is also highly recommended not to focus on the problem of gambling addiction; your life should not center around this topic.
Communication is an equally important aspect. If this problem has already become a part of being, you need to find those, who you can share it with. There are many support groups where addicted people discuss gambling problems, including family members.
You have to set boundaries and financial control for an addicted family member. Even more, ignore money requests. Addicts are best able to manipulate, and you have to be ready to cope with it.
What is needed to be done?
- Talks are a significant part of rehabilitation. The problem of gambling should be discussed with everyone involved in the problem. Such conversations should take place in a calm atmosphere, without stress and aggression;
- Contacts and support. We have already talked about communication, and how it is important to share the problem with others;
- Try to explain to the gambling-addicted person why external support is essential, and what consequences the pathological passion leads to;
- If there are any children in the family, they should also be informed about the situation;
- Assume financial management, including balance monitoring. Sometimes, it is necessary to create a joint account;
- Encourage and support an addicted person, even if the recovery period can take quite a long time.
You should not:
- Lose your temper, to lecture an addicted person and set any ultimatums;
- Justify the player’s behavior with his positive qualities;
- Expect the healing process to be quick and easy;
- Pay off debts;
- Deny having a problem.
As we have mentioned before, gambling addiction is a serious problem not only for gamblers themselves but also for their families. We hope that some recommendations would help you to overcome such a big problem. Take care and play responsibly.