Gambling Codependence

What are the symptoms of gambling addiction?

This is an addiction that does not directly affect physical health. Gambling addiction is a behavioural addiction that manifests itself in uncontrolled gambling of any kind. Although there is no intake of a psychoactive substance, the euphoric sensation of betting leads to changes in the behaviour and thought processes. It leads to problems in the way we perceive the world, values in life, honesty in relationships, memory loss and sudden mood swings.

The gambling addicts:

  • constantly think about betting and increase the amount of bets;
  • try unsuccessfully to stop, lie and hide when they do;
  • become irritable and often change their moods when not betting;
  • seek all sorts of ways to raise funds (thefts from home and relatives, loans from friends and credit houses);
  • stake on family valuables, equipment and items in pawnshops;
  • rapidly lose their salary and any income;
  • cannot stop betting even when they have lost everything and have no more money;
  • involve their relatives by committing them to repay loans and cover financial losses,
  • promise to stop gambling once their loans are repaid.

How to help the gambling addict and ourselves?

  1. Liberation from guilt

    It is very important, as with other addictions, to get rid of guilt. It is important to stop covering and paying off the debts of your loved one.

  2. Recognition of the problem and interruption of the toxic process

    Very often, in order not to expose themselves to their relatives and friends, families look for ways to cover the accumulated debts of children, parents or partners. Many of them work in several places to pay off debts. On the other hand, codependent relatives themselves accumulate debts to provide funds to the addict because of manipulation and blackmailing. Sometimes aggressive behaviour translates into physical violence. This toxic process must be stopped. The funds you provide to the addict should be better directed for their treatment.

  3. Limitation of manipulation

    It is very likely that the relatives of the addict will fall into their manipulative traps, that this time is for the last time and they will never bet again. At such moments their behaviour is kind, they even cry, beg for help. They look like a small child who has been injured and needs help. Of course, any parent or partner can give in to such situations.

    But it is very important to take stock and make a reasonable assessment – how often in recent months have we been in this situation?! What are the consequences after that? Is there any change? And if we really want to help, it is important to first admit to ourselves that this problem has deepened. It has gone beyond our capabilities and it is time to interrupt the process and seek competent help.

  4. Without expectations that anything will change

    Sometimes we fall into the trap of expectations and think that this state / behaviour is temporary and will soon pass. The sooner we realize that these expectations will only bring us pain and frustration, the sooner we can influence and change the situation. We cannot have expectations of a person who cannot control their life and make decisions. Stop expecting them to become aware of the situation and that things will change. Do not expect honesty from someone who do not trust themselves. Unfortunately, promises do not work for gamblers because they do not keep them. Save your lost time, nerves and faith in unreal things. It is better to seek help and a place for treatment to deal with gambling addiction.

  5. Help from a specialist.

    Although gambling addiction does not harm physical health, it affects the behaviour and life of both the addict and the other significant members of the family. That is why it is extremely important to seek external help from a specialist who will help us to restore both our own mental balance and that of our loved one under the influence of addiction.