Problem Gambling and Family Relationships

July 26th, 2017 in General Counselling

When someone has a gambling problem, they tend to slowly lose control over how much time and money they are losing on the habit. This type of addiction puts immense stress on both the person affected, and their families for a number of reasons including loss of money, emotional isolation, physical and mental health issues, and burnout.

The most common issue with gambling problems is the loss of money. Often the spending starts with extra money, but can quickly get progressively worse and end up spending savings, properties, and other personal belongings in order to gamble. The money crisis puts a lot of pressure on the family and they may become scared or angry as a result.

Emotional problems such as isolation can result from a gambling addiction. Because addiction can cause very strong feelings, family members may end up feeling ashamed, hurt, and betrayed by the person affected with the addiction. These emotions make it more difficult to solve problems such as the money crisis that may have arisen. Often the person who is gambling may deny they have a problem, or may isolate themselves to try to hide the problem.

Additionally, gambling addiction can affect physical and mental health and can cause burnout. The stress from gambling can cause issues with anxiety, depression, and other stress-related conditions such as poor sleep, ulcers, or headaches. Many people under stress from addiction and their families have trouble coping. Some people will try to distract themselves with busywork to cope, and may lead themselves to becoming burnt out. In other cases, family members will focus solely on the person with the gambling problem and may forget to take care of themselves.

When a family member becomes addicted to gambling, the rest of the family may become stressed and not be able to cope with the problem. Gambling addiction often leads to burnout, physical and mental health issues, as well as money loss for both the addicted person as well as their family members.