Going into recovery for problem gambling is an incredible act of courage. However, the process can be extremely stressful for gamblers and their loved ones. It’s crucial to support the gambler in your life as they embark on the road to recovery. At the same time, you want to ensure that you aren’t enabling their dangerous behavior. Here are some guidelines on supporting your loved one through recovery.
Start a Conversation
First, you need to sit down and have a serious talk with your loved one about their gambling problem. Remember that it’s natural for problem gamblers to deny or defend their behavior, even when it’s clear that they need help. Be patient with them while ensuring that they understand what’s at stake if they don’t seek support.
Do Your Research
By learning as much as you can about problem gambling, you’ll be better equipped to understand your loved one’s struggle and to guide them through it. Look for gambling resources online and meet with any problem gambling experts in your area. This will ensure that you know what to expect as your loved one begins recovery.
Maintain the Right Attitude
While it’s important to communicate your loved one’s problem to them clearly and straightforwardly, don’t forget to take their feelings into account as well. The thought of living life without gambling can seem frightening to many problem gamblers. As a result, it’s natural for them to respond negatively to your efforts to help them. Remember to maintain a patient, calm attitude so you can get your message across more effectively.
Don’t Enable Them
It can be tempting to shield your loved one from the dangerous effects of their actions. However, this does more harm than good. Be sure not to come up with any excuses for your loved one’s behavior or accept the blame. If they try to get you to feed their gambling problem, stand your ground and don’t lend them money or pay their bills for them.
The Importance of Supporting Problem Gamblers in Their Recovery
Overcoming problem gambling is a rough journey for everyone involved. It takes just as much courage for the friends and family of a problem gambler as the gambler themselves to go through the recovery process. As a friend or family member of a loved one with a gambling problem, you need to recognize how vital your support is to their recovery. Here are a few important facts to encourage you in supporting your loved one:
Supporting your loved one through the recovery process can be trying for both of you. If you need additional resources, contact 800-GAMBLER today to find the support you need.