Steps to Help a Loved One Get Back on Track

Gambling involves putting money or something else of value on an event involving chance, such as placing a bet on your favourite team to win a football match. It is an activity where skill or knowledge are not involved and is often associated with feelings of euphoria, which is due to the brain’s reward system. However, some people find that gambling can become a problem, leading to increased stress, health problems and strained or broken relationships. If you are concerned about a loved one’s gambling habits, there are steps you can take to help them get back on track.

Gamblers gamble for a variety of reasons, from changing their mood to socialising with friends. Some people even use it to relieve boredom. It is important to recognise these reasons and not blame a person for their addiction, as this could lead to them refusing to accept any form of help. Instead, it is a good idea to encourage them to seek help from professionals and support groups.

Firstly, you need to understand that gambling is an addictive behaviour, which can affect any age and socioeconomic background. It can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as depression or anxiety, which may be made worse by compulsive gambling. It can also interfere with a person’s ability to work or complete their studies and cause financial difficulties.

You need to talk with your loved one about their gambling habits, and try to understand why they are doing it. If they are not open to talking about their problem, you can try putting some pressure on them by limiting the amount of money they can spend or asking them to stop gambling altogether. You can also encourage them to seek professional help by referring them to a therapist or a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous.

Taking the first step to admit you have a gambling problem can be tough, especially if you have lost a lot of money or strained or broken relationships as a result of your gambling. It is also hard to ask for help, especially if you feel ashamed or guilty. However, it is essential to realise that many other people have overcome their gambling issues and rebuilt their lives. If you are worried about a friend or family member’s gambling, consider taking an online assessment at BetterHelp, which matches you with a licensed and accredited therapist who can help with depression, anxiety and relationships. It is free to use and can be accessed from any device.