Living with a compulsive gambler can have life-changing effects on loved ones. Aside from financial strain, the stress that comes with a gambling addiction can take a toll on emotional wellbeing and lead to significant relationship issues. Family members and loved ones of a compulsive gambler often experience feelings of anger, betrayal, and fear, which can result in anxiety and depression.
The emotions that come with living and sharing finances with a problem gambler can be overwhelming and lead to self-destructive behaviors. Loved ones may turn to substance abuse and overeating as a way to cope or gain a sense of control. There are also tendencies to react to the negative behaviors of the gambler with rash actions and self-defeating behaviors.
Moreover, loved ones may unconsciously believe that they can control the gambling by participating in it themselves or by overspending to prevent the gambler from having money to bet. As the addiction progresses, this leads to a lack of control and may cause the loved one to develop their own addictive behaviors.
The impact of problem gambling extends to emotional wellbeing, mental and physical health, and relationships. It can result in a loss of respect and trust for the gambler due to lies, dishonesty, and betrayal. Additionally, loved ones may turn to behaviors that can lead to addiction in an attempt to numb the despair caused by the gambling addiction.
Promoting positive self-care is crucial for loved ones impacted by problem gambling. Seeking support from the 888-ADMIT-IT Problem Gambling HelpLine, engaging in self-help support groups, and focusing on positivity and gratitude are essential for maintaining emotional wellbeing. It is important to avoid isolation and stay connected with supportive networks.
For those in Florida impacted by a loved one’s gambling, the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine offers confidential and multilingual support, as well as access to specialists. It is essential to seek help and not suffer alone in the face of a loved one’s gambling addiction.