How to help a gambling addict – Advice for family & friends
Learn how to support a loved one with a gambling addiction with our expert advice for family and friends. Help overcome the struggle and find peace together.
Before you can help your loved one you first need to look after yourself, as counter-intuitive as that might sound.
There appear to be a number of obvious ways to tackle gambling addiction but unfortunately the best known are not always the most successful. Gamblers Anonymous is a fabulous organisation but many people aren’t comfortable with its structure or key principles. A method that makes it easy to quit gambling does exist and originates from the world’s leading authority on addiction.
How to help a gambling addict
Understand who you are and who it is you are trying to help;
If you’re looking for a way to help a so called ‘problem gambler’, ‘compulsive gambler’, or gambling addict then it’s likely that you’re looking on behalf of a loved one who has caused you tremendous distress, emotional pain, upset, and that you have endured the awful trauma of them putting your home, stability, and family at risk because of their gambling problem. You’re long suffering and probably feel utterly helpless. Look after yourself, your finances, and your own mental health first. You’ve been through an awful lot and confiding in someone is important. Before you can help your loved one you first need to look after yourself, as counter-intuitive as that might sound.
If the gambling addict doesn’t think they have a problem you can’t help them;
it’s extraordinary how low a gambling addict can can drag their loved ones, friends, and colleagues before they are prepared to even consider that they have a problem. Even in the face of repeated financial catastrophes leading to ever-accumulating life-long debts, some will still maintain that they’re not addicted.
Straight talking prepares the ground;
as a loved one, pretending there isn’t really a problem, and being reluctant to assert that, without doubt, there is a problem, a BIG problem, just helps the addict keep their head stuck in the sand. You won’t be telling the addict anything they don’t already know and deep down inside they feel helpless, useless, guilty, and lost.
Point them in the direction of help;
although there seems like there’s lots of help for problem gamblers and gambling addicts it’s actually very difficult to find someone to help in the first instance. It only takes one disappointing phone call to a stranger on the end of a phone at Gamblers Anonymous to deter the addict and have them fall at the first hurdle.
It’s easy for the addict to be disheartened;
this isn’t their fault – it takes huge courage for them to reach out to an organisation for help and if their first contact is less then great – it can cause huge disappointment. Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Gambling book and on-demand seminar can help. They are standalone programmes that don’t rely on strangers at the end of the phone, and are entirely anonymous and private. It’s a completely shame-free, empowering, and positive programme that sets an addict free rather than has them attempt to fight a battle against the addiction.
Build trust and don’t keep looking over their shoulder;
you should already have insulated yourself. Not just from a mental health point of view but from a financial point of view also. So the risk to you of the addict failing should, as far as is possible, be ameliorated from those points of views. That’s not to dismiss how you’d feel in that event. The more relaxed you can be about them quitting gambling the less negative pressure they’ll feel under. If they seem to be fine – enjoy it – don’t feel the need to repeatedly ask them how they’re doing or how they’re feeling.
If they want to talk about how they feel, listen;
leaving the (now former) problem gambler, compulsive gambler, gambling addict to get on with their life free from gambling without feeling that they’re being watched constantly can lead them to open up a little. Don’t worry if this doesn’t happen, if it does though, welcome it and congratulate them accordingly.
Be there for them if they have a bad day;
If they use Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Gambling method then they’re all set for a life of freedom. Be there to remind them, if they have a bad day at the office, or they experience a financial problem, or hit a bump in the road of a close relationship; their world is infinitely better, whatever lows they might experience, than it would have been as a gambling addict. Every cloud has a silver lining when you’ve escaped from addiction, it’s not just a case of the lows not being nearly as low, but the highs are infinitely higher.
Allen Carr’s Easyway understands how gambling makes them feel and, without being judgemental or patronising, we take them through the process of how to free themselves from the addiction to gambling. We demonstrate how gamblers fall into the trap, the psychology behind being addicted to risk and how to quit gambling once and for all.