If you fear your partner, friend, son, daughter, parent or fellow loved one is gambling irresponsibly, the following will help you in realising the signs of a potential gambling problem or addiction. A lot of what you see below are traits and actions that I committed but was incredibly successful in hiding.
Is the person in question always running out of money even though you know their monthly salary covers all the essentials?
Do they have any loans or credit cards that you don’t know of that potentially have missed payments associated to them?
Does the person in question ever steal or even sell things to finance their gambling?
Money is a very uncomfortable subject so be careful in how you approach any conversations around it that may cause a stand-off.
The welfare and lifestyle of your loved one can also provide you with an indication of whether they’re having issues with gambling. To put into context, I had a significant decrease in any ambition or efficiency outside of wanting to bet. Along with this, my sleeping pattern was affected and I wasn’t living a healthy lifestyle.
Going on weekend binges, not keeping fit and taking no care in my appearance were all side effects of my gambling that affected my wellbeing on both the inside and the out.
Have you also noticed your loved one losing interest in the family, socialising or taking part in hobbies? If so, this is potentially linked to problem gambling.
Other signs to look out for include your loved one uncharacteristically causing arguments or losing patience due to possible stress and worries of gambling losses, along with constant lies around where they are, what they’re doing and who they are with.
Many of the above can reflect signs of compulsive gambling and should be challenged in a very careful manner. Offer support where possible and use the information in my previous blog to help your loved one in addressing the problem head-on.
One of the most frightening parts, from a gamblers perspective, is the fear of having to tell the truth about all the debt, lies and mental issues.
The signs above could potentially avoid further destruction your loved one can cause to themselves and their inner circle. As previously mentioned, I was in a state of mind where committing suicide was the only plausible way out of the cycle and I’d hate to think other problem gamblers could go the step further and execute those thoughts.