How do you protect yourself when a family member is addicted to gambling?
Gambling addiction can be all consuming for both the person suffering with the addiction and for those around them. If you have a close family member with a gambling addiction, it can be life altering in so many different ways.
We’ve tried to think of some helpful answers to questions you might have on how to protect yourself when a family member is addicted to gambling. Because as much as you should be supporting them to overcome their addiction, it’s of the utmost importance that you keep your mental health and financial well being in check too.
Protect yourself when a family member is addicted to gambling: FAQs
The answer to this depends on the person and the situation. But if you find the worry of a family member’s gambling addiction affecting your daily life, you should get support.
There are lots of different types of support you can get. You can get one-on-one counselling or therapy, or you can group support. Usually group support involves meeting people whose family members are also affected by gambling addiction.
It might take time to find the right type of therapy for you. But it will always be worth it once you do get it.
How do I protect my finances if my loved one is a gambling addict?
Gambling addiction and financial problems unfortunately often go hand-in-hand. Sometimes people who are addicted to gambling can run up huge debts. And they may even result to stealing to feed their addiction.
Limit access to cash, credit cards and debit cards as soon as you can. Keep your passwords and pin codes secret. And you should put in extra protection to your joint accounts.
It’s also a good idea to monitor the post coming into the house to make sure they’re not applying for loans or credit cards.
Take control of the household budget and make sure you keep a close eye on the outgoings.
Can small things help me deal with the addiction of my family member?
Doing small things for yourself really can help you in the day-to-day. Here are some ideas of straightforward things you can do that might help:
- Talk about how your feeling to a trusted friend and confide in them about the addiction. It might not be your addiction, but it is your life and it’s important that you share what’s going on
- Establish boundaries with your loved one. Have a frank conversation about what behaviour you will not put up with
- Take some time out regularly for yourself and your hobbies. It might be taking some exercise, drawing a bath or even just going to the cinema. But this will help you get your head straight
Getting help for a gambling problem
If you’re worried about gambling addiction for either yourself or a loved one, you need help from someone else. Be Gamble Aware is an excellent UK-based organisation full of advice and places to get more help.
Here are some more responsible gambling articles you might find helpful:
- How to limit the time you spend gambling
- 6 practical things you can do to stop minors from gambling
- Frequently asked questions: how do I budget for sports betting?
- What you should know about the mechanics of gambling
- Time outs in online gambling
- 7 self exclusion FAQs
- Problem gambling red flags
- Warning signs that your loved one has a gambling problem