I Think I Have a Gambling Problem, Who Can I Talk To?

Talking to loved ones can be a crucial step towards seeking support


We all face tough moments and critical junctures in our lives. Some people might openly share their emotions, while others tend to keep their feelings and struggles to themselves.

Addictions, including gambling, can greatly influence a person's actions. Opening up about these struggles to a loved one can be difficult, but can be an essential step towards recovery.


Detecting The Problem In Time

If you suspect that you have a gambling problem, remember that you're not alone, many people have been exactly where you are. The first step in sharing your struggles is recognising and admitting that you might have a problem.

Gambling addiction can wreak havoc on personal relationships, leading to communication breakdowns with those closest to you. The preoccupation with gambling, combined with financial stress and the pursuit of lost money, can cause you to neglect those closest to you.

It is natural to feel hesitant to open up, it takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable. Accepting that you're facing a gambling problem is tough, but discussing your situation with friends and family is a crucial step towards your recovery. Your loved ones can offer emotional support, help set boundaries, and support you. 

It's important to remember that admitting to a problem and seeking help isn't a sign of weakness but rather a brave step on the road to recovery.


The Benefits of Opening Up

Having open and honest communication with loved ones can be a crucial step towards seeking the support necessary for recovery. Sharing your situation with those close to you can have a significant impact on your recovery process.

Matt B., one of the many former addicted gamblers who has struggled with gambling has shared his experience of talking to his family and how much it has helped him to open up and begin his recovery.

Telling my friends and family about my gambling addiction was the hardest but best conversation I had, they all knew something was up with me the way I was acting out of character but once they knew the reason behind it and being honest for the first time in years it made it easier for them to understand why I was being the way I was, and from then on made it easier to have honest conversations and put support in place and they would look out for me.

It is difficult opening up to friends and family and quite often they know something is wrong. They just want to know the reason behind it and from disclosure, it then makes things easier for them to understand and process.”

Below are some of the most important reasons why it might be a good idea to talk to your loved ones:

Emotional support

Sharing your problems and worries with your loved ones can give you the support you need. Your family and friends can help you deal with your feelings and emotions, and offer understanding and empathy. 

Another perspective 

Sometimes it is difficult to realise the seriousness of a problem when you are directly involved in it. Those closest to you can offer a different, objective perspective on the situation you are going through. Their observations and advice can be valuable in identifying alternative solutions and support.


When you openly discuss your gambling issues with friends and family, you acknowledge the reality of the situation, making it more difficult to ignore the problem. This openness of your struggles can also be a powerful motivator, inspiring you and those closest to you to face the challenges head-on and seek lasting change.

Resources and Guidance

Your loved ones can help you find resources, such as support groups, therapists or treatment programmes, that may be helpful in overcoming problem gambling. They may also be able to give you advice based on their own experiences or expertise.

Preventing isolation

Gambling addiction can create a sense of loneliness and detachment, straining relationships with those around you. Opening up to friends and family about your struggles can bridge the gap and foster reconnection and understanding.


Seeking Help Outside Your Family and Friends

While talking to loved ones about your gambling problem can be helpful, some may require professional help. Seeking professional help can provide you with tailored treatment options specific to your needs, such as individual therapy, group sessions, financial counselling, and other recovery methods. These experts can equip you with tools and strategies to manage any gambling impulses, identify and address any underlying issues, and support you in preventing relapse.

By seeking help and talking openly about the problem, you can get the support and understanding you need to overcome your gambling addiction. It is important to know that you are not alone on this journey and that there are many resources available to help you.

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