The effects of gambling addiction on family and relationships

Relatives and loved ones of those suffering from gambling addiction often complain that their relationships with them begin to deteriorate. Is it really possible for this to happen when a loved one becomes addicted to gambling? Let’s figure out what to do to maintain a connection with the dear person.

What is the connection between addiction and relationships with loved ones?

As sad as it may be, gambling addiction can indeed worsen the dependent’s relationships with other family members. This happens because of the nature of the disease itself. Gambling addiction is a non-chemical addiction that manifests in behavioral patterns. Since such an irritant interferes with a person’s standard behavior and priorities, it affects all areas of their life.

So, there are two main reasons for the deterioration of relationships:

  • Symptoms of gambling addiction. There are quite a few of them, so let’s take a closer look below
  • The sharp reaction of close relatives, which exacerbates these symptoms. This reason can be eliminated by understanding the nature of the addiction and its causes.

6 cracks that appear in relationships

1. Lack of attention

One of the main signs of gambling addiction is the uncontrolled time that the addict devotes to their addiction. Since they associate all positive emotions in life only with gambling, they lose interest in simple joys of life – sports, hobbies, spending time with family. For the same reason, they stop noticing the needs of the family and caring for them, which affects the physical and emotional well-being of relatives.

That’s a serious problem. Therefore, those suffering from lack of attention should not exacerbate it by trying to sharply or even rudely point out the addict’s behavior. The fact is that the addict is unable to objectively assess their condition; they will perceive reproaches negatively and may refuse to communicate altogether. The best way out is to gently and kindly communicate one’s feelings to the person at the right time.

2. Irritability

Loss of control is one of the symptoms of addiction, indicating mental health problems. The person is not angry or aggressive – they simply cannot control themselves due to changes in their nervous system. The lack of control and irritability are most strongly felt during periods of gambling or nervous excitement.

In practice, this means that a gambler may become irritated and react inappropriately every time they are distracted from the game or thoughts about it. Additionally, they may perceive any setback in life as the end of the world and express their emotions uncontrollably.

3. Distrust and lies

In most cases, friends and family cannot stand idly by when their loved one becomes enslaved by a bad habit. They try to help them, but sometimes these attempts are persistent, or the person themselves has not yet realized the extent of their problem to make efforts for change. In such cases, they start lying to their relatives, hiding their activities, as they do not want to face condemnation.

Of course, even a small lie can lead to mutual loss of trust. If lying becomes regular, it poisons relationships. The loved one can no longer fully trust the addict, and this is one of the worst factors in relationships.

4. Theft

A direct consequence of the previous point, combined with a passion for gambling and financial difficulties. The addict will not stop playing due to loss of funds or income – they will simply start looking for other ways to obtain them, including illegal ones. Even family and friends can suffer, as relationships with them become less important to the addict than the desire to experience euphoria again.

5. Bad example

This is particularly noticeable in families with children. If one of the parents falls into gambling addiction, it can be very dangerous. The thing is that the example of parents has a much greater influence on children than their words. Therefore, there is a high risk that children or teenagers will start imitating the parent’s lifestyle. Friends are somewhat less susceptible to bad examples, but over time, they may also notice changes in their character or lifestyle.

6. Financial difficulties

Since gambling involves playing for money, where losses occur much more frequently than wins, severe addiction can become a black hole for finances. Moreover, the problem is that the game becomes a higher priority for the addict than earning, and even debts will not be a restraining factor for the gambler. Unfortunately, such a lifestyle affects the financial well-being of the family, which can quickly lose its breadwinner, receiving in return a person who constantly squanders hard-earned money.

How to safeguard your family?

Gambling addiction is a mental illness that needs to be treated, not controlled by the person suffering from it. Of course, it is not worth standing aside, and sincere desire to help is commendable. Understanding suppresses a person’s anger – this advice should be understood by those who are considering ways to help the addict. Despite the irritating behavior of the player, one must restrain oneself so that the reciprocal reaction does not push them away when you want to reach out to help.

The first and most important step is to help the person realize that they have an addiction. To do this, it is not enough to directly point it out to them (the reaction will likely be negative). A confidential conversation at the right time can help. It is necessary not to blame the person but to share your feelings and concerns, and through appropriate questions, encourage the person to come to the right conclusion on their own. Appropriate words at the right time significantly increase the chances of success.

If the person realizes that they are losing much more from gambling than they are gaining, you can offer your help. It will be easier to make a plan of action together, limit the addiction, and gradually replace it with more productive activities and relaxation.

Treatment in a clinic – a way out when self-help is powerless

Just like with other mental illnesses, dealing with gambling addiction may not always be possible on one’s own, as it can have deep roots. In such situations, the best helper is a rehabilitation center, where individual programs are developed taking into account the addict’s specific characteristics and brought to fruition.

The IsraRehab clinic employs modern developments in combating addictions and utilizes an advanced approach typical of Israeli medicine. Moreover, the clinic’s location in the Israeli climate helps to heal the body and switch focus to the beauty of nature. Patients can expect not only effective treatment but also a homely atmosphere, as well as additional programs, including walks by the sea and excursions.

The qualification of the IsraRehab rehabilitation center is confirmed by numerous reviews from patients and their relatives. After undergoing rehabilitation at the clinic, anyone can feel relief, getting rid of burdensome gambling addiction and restoring close, trusting relationships with family and friends.

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