Gambling is an activity in which a person bets money on an event with the chance of winning something of value. This can be anything from a single individual placing a bet on the outcome of a sporting event, to a company betting on the future success of a new product.
There are many reasons why people gamble, and it can be a good way to socialise with friends or family. However, gambling can be a problem if it becomes an addiction or when it interferes with other aspects of your life. If you’re worried about someone you know who gambles, there are several things that you can do to help them.
Make sure you understand the risks of gambling so that you can help your loved one make responsible choices. Talk to them about how gambling can affect their physical health, finances and mental well-being.
Get them into treatment if they’re having problems with their gambling. Counselling can be useful in reducing stress, depression or anxiety that might be causing them to gamble. It can also help them to learn coping strategies and identify their triggers for gambling.
Be aware of the impact on your relationship with your loved one. If they’re losing contact with you, this might be a sign that their addiction is taking hold and it’s time to get them in treatment.
You can also help by encouraging them to seek the support they need, whether it’s a local charity or other professional services. It’s important to get them into a program that is tailored for their needs, so that they can get the help they need and start living a more fulfilling life.
Find a sponsor, or someone who has been through similar experiences and can provide them with guidance and support. Look for a group like Gamblers Anonymous, which is a 12-step recovery program that focuses on helping people overcome their addictions.
It’s important to remember that they didn’t choose to become addicted to gambling and it’s not their fault. They may have had a bad day, a break-up, or other events in their lives that triggered their habit.
If you have concerns about a loved one’s gambling, it’s important to understand how the behavior is damaging their relationships and their lives. It can be difficult to talk about these issues, but it’s necessary if you want them to stop gambling and stay healthy.
Keep them in touch with you whenever they’re having a hard time. This can include phone calls, visits and texts. You can even set up a meeting or chat with them on Facebook if they’re feeling down.
Be sensitive to how they react to your feedback and try to avoid being critical or shaming them, as this might be an unhelpful way to deal with their gambling problem. For example, if you tell them they’ve lost their job, don’t say something like, “Well, you didn’t choose it, so it’s your fault.”
Have them talk to their doctor. There are medications available that can help to treat underlying mood disorders that may be causing them to gamble.