Safe and sensible gambling is an advocated activity, promoted across many industries.
Online betting apps, casinos and horse racing platforms are a few to highlight, heavily linked to some of the wealthiest and most adopted markets.
While responsible gambling is found in the fine print, for some individuals, through compulsive behaviours, such control and logic will be missing, increasing the risk of gambling addiction.
Although gambling problems carry a lower level of perceived harm, especially in comparison to the compulsion of substance abuse, witnessing someone gamble away with the knowledge of consequences can be very tough.
Compulsive gambling can in fact be just as harmful, down to the impacts that such behaviours, actions and commitments can have on the quality of a life.
Financial problems, mental health symptoms, legal implications, the coping strategy of substance abuse, and masses of loss are all consequences of compulsive gambling, recognised as an addiction diagnosis.
If you’re witnessing the development of gambling addiction, placing a loved one at such risk, it’s time to help.
While daunting and unnerving, there are some small yet impactful steps you can take to understand, support and assist someone through a gambling addiction.
Taking the right steps can mean the difference between an isolated struggle, and a supportive and motivating recovery journey.
Here’s how to help someone with a gambling addiction, including the support we can offer all parties here at Action Rehab.
The Reality Of A Gambling Addiction
Gambling is a whirlwind activity. It induces significant highs, yet also carries chronic lows, all through uncontrollable actions.
For the average person, such actions can be brushed off, can be digested and can be recovered from, where gambling stands as a pastime or controlled hobby.
However, for others, such actions can be difficult to bypass, motivating the necessity of ongoing gambling activity.
The reality of a gambling addiction does reflect a roller-coaster of emotions. While consequences are normally identifiable, emotions drive decisions, motivate irrational choices and priorities the need to commit to deals, to bets and to intentions.
Like any addiction, gambling problems are festered in the mind, standing as a brain condition. Caused by a multitude of stimuli, a gambling addiction can quickly develop, can be down to the need for a distracting coping strategy, and can be grasped through the thrill of such a roller-coaster.
However, again like any other addiction, lows are likely, lows are tough to deal with and lows continue to drive the addiction cycle.
Someone with a gambling addiction will likely display irritable, irregular, impractical and irrational behaviours, resembling compulsive gambling.
While an active choice to gamble may be displayed, a choice will in fact be missing, as the brain illness of addiction takes over.
Through this time, sufferers will need support, will need to be understood and will need some degree of guidance to see the reality of gambling and the addictive behaviours it can result in.
Here’s how to help someone with a gambling addiction see the realism of their problems, with the opportunity to complete gambling addiction treatment.
The Signs Of Gambling Addiction
Before supporting someone through a gambling addiction, it’s firstly important to understand such a condition, along with the common signs.
Gauging the signs of gambling addiction will help you understand the severity of such a habit, and how significant an intervention will be.
Signs of gambling addiction include:
- Consistent gambling activity, even with conscious knowledge of consequences
- Risky behaviours
- Irrational decision making
- The inability to stop gambling
- The priority of gambling
- Financial or legal implications down to gambling
- Behavioural and psychological changes
- Mental health symptoms, such as depression
- Compulsive outlooks and actions
- Applying for loans, credit cards and experiencing significant debt
- The use of drugs and alcohol as additional coping strategies
- Disengagement throughout everyday life
By this point, if someone you know is gambling and displaying such signs, there’s a risk that gambling addiction will already be present, requiring professional help.
Yet, even if such signs are yet to materialise to such degree, any knowledge of compulsive gambling should be acted on, to reduce the risk of addiction.
How To Help Someone With A Gambling Addiction
There are many small yet impactful ways to help someone with a gambling addiction. It is very important that you approach each with compassion, insight, patience and with empathy, as both living with and recovering from any degree of addiction can be testing.
It’s also important that you prepare for pushbacks, that you’re willing to help whatever it takes (positively) and that you understand how interventive steps work throughout gambling addiction recovery.
Emotional Support And Guidance
You can help someone you care about by offering emotional support and guidance. A lot of the time, sufferers feel alone, feel ashamed and feel like they cannot open up.
By understanding addiction, by taking the time to offer a listening ear, and by doing so with compassion, it’s likely that your presence will mean the world to your loved one.
Living with a gambling addiction can be lonely. Your support can help to fill an emotional gap, build trust and likely reduce the position that gambling holds.
Understanding And Perspective
On the subject of how to help someone with a gambling addiction, your input can offer them a different perspective. So far, they may be living in their own heads, or see professional support as invasive.
Your personal touch can provide a new perspective on the idea of rehabilitation. Again, this can be achieved through talking, intervening with emotional support, and with supportive resources to hand.
Motivation And A Way Out
Your presence can provide a degree of motivation and a way out of addiction. Gambling addiction help, with your backing, can be positioned as desirable and credible.
If trust is present between both parties, a greater inclination to accept gambling addiction treatment is likely.
You can develop such motivation by taking the right steps when helping a gambling addict.
Advocating Gambling Addiction Treatment
The ultimate aim of helping someone with a gambling addiction will be to advocate treatment and its benefits.
While this can take some time to materialise, through consistent effort and support, and the backing of a leading rehabilitation centre, you can be ready for such acceptance.
Treatment will work on gambling withdrawal, changing emotional responses, developing positive coping strategies and devaluing gambling activity.
At Action Rehab, we can direct you and/or your loved one towards gambling addiction treatment, through our affiliation of rehab centres.
With help, whether that being professional and/or personal, the struggles of addiction can be eased. Ease those of your loved ones, friends or associates by learning how to help someone with a gambling addiction and putting such steps into practice.