Gambling addiction is typically a symptom of underlying problems that your loved one may be facing. It is also usually coupled with alcohol or drug addiction, though not always the case. This means that if you are looking to help someone with a gambling addiction, you may need to do so by being aware of the different aspects that it comes with.
Here are some of the ways that you can help someone with a gambling addiction.
Recommending therapy to someone struggling with gambling is one of the greatest gestures you can extend. Gambling provides temporary and instant highs which suppress the more complex emotions that someone may be experiencing, such as depression and anxiety. These can be caused by various factors, including uncertainty of the future or past regrets. Such emotional and mental dynamics need more than avoidance of a casino, as these will remain dormant and may play out through other addictions.
When you recommend therapy from rehabilitation centers such as rehab.melbourne, you help your loved one in the following ways:
When in therapy, your loved one will go through talk therapy, which is a therapy where they can discuss their problems, struggles, and thoughts with a licensed therapist. Maybe your loved one decides to partake in gambling to suppress emotions and thoughts because they fear being judged when they get vulnerable and share their struggles. A professional setting means they can enjoy the benefits of opening up in a non-judgment zone.
Life Skills And Activities
When in therapy, your loved ones will learn different healthy life skills because of the activities they will be exposed to. Nature hikes, crafts, sports, and journaling are some activities that are encouraged while in therapy to channel energy away from gambling and into positive activities.
Having learned these skills and activities, they are then in a position where they can continue when having integrated back into society.
A Positive Support System
Overcoming a gambling addiction requires a positive support system. By encouraging therapy, you help your loved one form positive relationships with others who may be in the same phase of addiction recovery.
In a group setting such as rehab, they get to share their struggles and successes of their journey, thereby forming authentic relationships. You may find that they may remain in touch beyond therapy sessions and encourage each other to continue on the path of soberness.
Another way of helping somebody with a gambling addiction is to find activities they will enjoy that don't involve gambling. For example, if they enjoy a game of tennis or taking laps in the pool, you can organize days to get together and enjoy these activities. The more they get involved in activities with you, the less time they may spend at a casino.
Indeed, your schedule may not always permit you to get involved in the activities with them as much as you wish, but getting active with them when you can, goes a long way.
Listen To Them
Gambling addiction is hardly a result of mere enjoyment but a coping mechanism; you may find that your loved one is bearing struggles that are too heavy to face, hence the addiction to cope.
Listening doesn't mean probing or suggesting they are holding secrets they should tell you. Listening means observing their behavior, and you do so judgment-free when they decide to let you into their thoughts. The minute you show disdain or a lack of understanding and empathy, you would have lost out on an opportunity to encourage them to seek professional help.
How you encourage professional help also matters. Make sure to show care, concern, love, and empathy rather than dismissing or despairing suggestions.
Enabling means helping fulfill their gambling cravings rather than being clear that you won't support the addiction. An example of enabling the behavior includes giving them gambling money because they expressed that it would just be a single round. A single round may turn into a double and multiple on that single night. It may also be in the form of escorting them to the casino or picking them up. It may be difficult to tell your loved one that you are completely removed from any gambling involvement, but tough love is required for them to overcome the addiction.
Supporting someone with a gambling addiction may be challenging because you may not know if you are on the right path as you see them struggle.
A major way to support is to encourage professional help in therapy or rehabilitation, for instance. You can also get involved in positive activities with them while listening and observing the burdens they may be carrying. Avoid enabling the addiction as this may only prolong the process.