A gambling addiction occurs when an individual obsessively and uncontrollably gambles, even when gambling would cause negative consequences to himself and his family. Online gambling sites have made gambling easier than ever before, and gambling addictions can become worse when the addict has the opportunity to gamble from the comfort of his home.
If your family member or loved one is suffering from an online gambling addiction, it can be extremely difficult. It’s important to remember that recovery is a difficult—yet not impossible—process. And, as your loved one is recovering from the addiction, it’s important that you take the time to deal with your feelings too. Here are a few ways to cope with living with a gambling addict.
Avoid supporting the addiction. You may be supporting the addiction in ways you don’t even know. Never give the addict money to further his gambling habit. Avoid lying or giving excuses for his behavior.
Advocate for addiction recovery. This can be difficult, because many addicts are in denial of the problem. Nevertheless, be fervent in your efforts to push the addict toward recovery. Offer to help him on his road to recovery, and direct him to groups like Gambler’s Anonymous.
Take care of yourself. You may be caught up in the addict’s problems, but never forget to take care of yourself as well. This includes avoiding the impulse to blame yourself for your loved one’s gambling habit. You may also want to read up on gambling addictions to be sure you fully understand the disease. Seek help from GamAnon, a group that assists the loved ones of gambling addicts.