Compulsive gambling is a problem for a significant number of people. It is far different from occasional recreational or social gambling. Out-of-control gambling often remains a secret from family members until drastic consequences reveal the severity of the problem. It is often easy for the “secret” to be kept for years.
Learn the Warning Signs
Unfortunately, the difficulties pile up, affecting not only the gambler but also the spouse or partner and family members, even sometimes friends. The impact can lead to serious relationship and financial situations.
Learning the warning signs of problem gambling can help gamblers and family members take action sooner rather than later to take their lives back from the problem.
Here are some common behaviors that indicate you may have a gambling problem:
- Are you chasing your losses or the first big wins?
- Are you unable to cut down or stop no matter how you try?
- Does being in action make you feel better, but afterwards you feel worse?
- Have you lied about the extent of your gambling to family and/or friends?
Here are some warning signs that can alert a spouse, partner, or family member to a gambling problem:
- Has the gambler increasingly lied and broken promises?
- Do you wonder where all the money goes?
- Are bill collectors calling?
- Does your loved one (the gambler) blame you or others for most or all problems? Are arguments more frequent?
- Does your loved one no longer have much time for you or the family? Has family fun become a thing of the past?
If warning bells go off, it is important to know that gamblers and families can recover. Hope and help are available. Losing Your Shirt by Mary Heineman can assist gamblers and their families in understanding the problem and solving it to regain financial and family stability.
Please feel welcome to contact LifeWorks NW at 503-645-9010 to find out about professional treatment options.