How does gambling addiction impact loved ones?

Contral Clinics

The impact of gambling addiction on loved ones

Gambling offers excitement, entertainment and the opportunity to win, but unfortunately it can also cause problems for both players and their loved ones. For many, gambling addiction is a serious problem that extends beyond the player's own life and also has a strong impact on their partner, family and friends.

Characteristics of gambling addiction

Gambling addiction often manifests itself in the same characteristics as many other addictions. A player may spend more and more time and money on games, and gambling can begin to dominate his thoughts and daily life. 

The player may also try to cover up their gambling and even lie to their loved ones about how much they actually play. In many cases, a person with a gambling problem does not even acknowledge the existence of the problem to themselves.

A gambling problem can be difficult to spot, but there are a number of signs that may indicate that someone close to you may have a gambling problem. Next, we'll go over a few of the signs to worry about.

  • Decreased interest in previous hobbies: If your loved one starts neglecting their previous hobbies and social relationships because of gambling, it may indicate a problem.
  • Changes in mood: Gambling problems can cause stress, anxiety, irritability, and depression. If you notice significant changes in your loved one's mood, it may be related to gambling.
  • Increasing time spent gambling: If you notice that your loved one spends more time gambling than before, it may indicate a worsening problem.
  • Denial of gambling addiction: Many people with gambling problems deny or downplay their problem and may reject discussions about the topic altogether.
  • Taking out loans or getting into debt: If your loved one starts taking out loans or getting into debt to win back lost money, it's a worrying sign.
  • Risky behavior: A strong desire to take risks and constant attempts to recoup losses may indicate a problem.
  • Impaired performance at work or school: A gambling problem can affect concentration and performance, which can be seen at work or school, for example.

If you notice these signs, it is important to offer support and encourage the person with gambling problems to seek professional help. Gambling addiction is a disease that can seriously affect an individual's life, but proper treatment and support can help get rid of it.

If your gambling problem has not yet gotten out of control, it is important to prevent it from happening. Awareness of the multiple risks associated with gambling and open discussion will help in this.

Financial impact of gambling problems

Unfortunately, gambling addiction often leads to worsening financial difficulties. A player may spend significant amounts of money on games in the hope of making big wins, but instead constant gambling almost always leads to increasing losses. 

Losses can cause indebtedness, which in turn affects the finances of loved ones. The family's joint household may suffer from unpaid bills and even difficulties in meeting basic expenses.

Mental and emotional load

Gambling addiction also causes significant mental and emotional strain not only on the player, but also on his loved ones. For example, they may experience growing worry and anxiety. 

Repeatedly downplaying the problem or denying the existence of a gambling problem altogether can break trust between family members. Loved ones may also blame themselves for the player's problems and feel powerless in the face of the situation.

Suffering from family relationships

Gambling problems often negatively affect family relationships.

As the player focuses more and more on playing, he may withdraw from the company of others more often or even completely and lose interest in common hobbies and other things that he previously considered important.

This can lead to a lack of communication and a sense of distance. 

Loved ones may feel abandoned and lonely when the player's attention is always focused on games or, for example, sporting events they have bet on.

Man holding a credit card and a phone with casino gambling app in hand

The importance of supporting loved ones

The effects of gambling addiction on loved ones can be detrimental, but fortunately there are ways to deal with the problem.

The support of loved ones plays a significant role in recovering from gambling addiction. Family and friends can offer support, understanding, and encouragement.

At the same time, it's important that loved ones set boundaries and take care of their own well-being so that they don't get exhausted trying to help someone with a gambling problem. 

Identifying and admitting a gambling problem

The first step in solving a problem is to be aware of its existence. It is crucial that the person recognizes their own gambling addiction and admits it to themselves.

The problem should be discussed openly and without judging anyone, and we should think together about ways to stop gambling. 

A person with a gambling problem should also be ready to commit to change. If you feel that without outside help the problem will not be solved, you should be ready to seek help. 

Support groups

Support groups can offer a player the opportunity to share their experiences with others in a similar situation. Peer support is valuable because it can help players feel that they are not alone with their problem. Information and practices shared in support groups can help players understand and deal with their situation in new ways. Support groups also provide help for loved ones of people with gambling problems.

Financial management

Managing your financial situation is key to overcoming gambling addiction. The player should get help in managing debt and solving financial problems. Together with professionals, a plan can be drawn up to pay off debts and stabilize the financial situation. However, it is important that the reason for the indebtedness, i.e. the gambling problem, is also solved.

Professional help

To overcome gambling addiction, it is often necessary to seek professional help. Therapists, counsellors and experts can help you understand the underlying causes of your addiction and offer ways to manage your gambling problem. Among therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be useful in the treatment of gambling addiction.

Professional help for gambling addiction with the Contral method

Gambling addiction is a serious challenge, but fortunately there are many professional approaches to treating it. One of these effective methods is the Contral method - a method that has established itself at the forefront of treatment.

What is the Contral method?

The Contral method is based on solid scientific research and experience. It has been developed by combining cognitive-behavioral therapy with other therapies. If necessary, the Contral method also uses medicines for the treatment of addiction that have been found safe and effective, and which have also been developed in Finland. Through this method, the individual learns to identify the underlying causes of addiction, manage impulsive behavior, and create healthier ways to deal with stress and pressure, as well as finally get rid of the emotions and habits that compel them to gamble.

Each treatment path begins with an individual assessment. The therapist together with the client maps out the situation and defines the goals. This makes it possible to draw up a custom-made treatment plan.

A professional will help you understand the harmful effects of gambling addiction. The client is supported to identify their own motivations for change. After that, the focus is on learning practical skills. A person with a gambling problem learns to recognise different risk situations and develop ways to manage them.

During the treatment path, goals are set and their achievement is monitored. The therapist and client are constantly working together towards permanent change.

A fresh start without games

Gambling addiction can cause significant harm to gamblers and their loved ones. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to solve your gambling problem. 

Contral Clinics not only offers treatment for gambling addiction, but also the opportunity for a fresh start. A professional and dedicated team helps people with gambling problems find their own strengths and resources to overcome addiction. The most important thing is to be open and ready to seek help and commit to change.

Whether you or someone close to you suffers from gambling, Contral Clinics is a place where you can seek help to overcome gambling addiction.

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