News – Advice and support for staff or family affected by problem gamblers (May. 29, 2015)
Affected by someone else’s problem gambling? Dealing with a friend, customer or family member’s gambling problem can be very difficult.
It is not just a person with a gambling addiction that is affected by their addiction. Very often, people close to them, or who is in contact with them, can be affected.
Many people find it difficult to understand why people cannot stop gambling. It is very normal to feel hurt or angry about someone else’s gambling. People often ask, ‘how can I make them stop?’ or ‘what can I do to make them see they have a problem?’
Choosing to change gambling behaviour is the responsibility of the person who gambles. Family and friends can offer support to that person while they go through their recognition and recovery process, but very often, it can have a negative effect on the person trying to help. Focusing on your thoughts about the situation and working through your feelings can decrease the impact of someone elses gambling on you.
Some practical steps you can take if it is a family member that has the gambling addiction could include;
- Take control of finances
- Limit access to cash for the person who has the gambling addiction
- Organise direct debit for bills, mortgages and other regular payments
- Create a manageable budget and keep records of all financial transactions
- Empty the mailbox or collect the post yourself
- Avoid inheriting the gambler’s debt and remove your name from joint accounts
- Do not sign anything you don’t understand
- Do not lend debit or credit cards, share pin numbers or leave that information accessible
Contact the Dunlwey centre for advice on other steps you can take. Our service is free, and we can arrange counselling for you and the person affected by gambling, if they concede they have a problem and are willing to seek help.
Call us on 02825 652105