Gambling can be an addictive, self-destructive habit that can lead to financial problems, damaged relationships, and a number of other issues. Like other addictions, a person must first recognize the issue and then take steps to overcome it.
Reducing Triggers for Gambling
When a person gambles, they often have an emotional reaction to the loss of money or other events. This can trigger a desire to gamble again or even a full-blown addiction.
Family members and friends can help prevent a gambling problem by reducing their exposure to those events that trigger their urges. For example, if they drive by a casino after work and the thought of gambling comes into their mind, they should avoid that area or find another route home.
They can also assist by cutting up their credit cards and letting their spouse handle the checkbook. This can be helpful to reduce the gambler’s temptation and allow them to focus on their other responsibilities.
Talking About Your Problem
If you suspect someone in your life is gambling too much, talk to them about it in a way that’s non-judgmental and supportive. This may be with a friend, family member or professional counsellor.
Admitting to a loved one that you have a problem with gambling can be the first step in getting treatment. You may also need to be honest with yourself about your own feelings and behaviors when you’re gambling.
For many people with gambling problems, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. It can be a scary prospect, but if you’re honest about your gambling problem, it will help you to find the right therapy and support for your unique situation.