Are You Living with a Problem Gambler?
The loved ones of problem gamblers experience emotional distress and financial hardship, not that unlike the problem gambler themselves. To determine if you are living with a problem gambler, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you find yourself constantly bothered by bill collectors?
- Is the person in question often away from home for long, unexplained periods of time?
- Does this person ever lose time from work due to gambling?
- Do you feel that this person cannot be trusted with money?
- Does the person in question faithfully promise that he or she will stop gambling, beg, plead for another chance, yet gamble again and again?
- Does this person ever gamble longer than he or she intended to, until the last dollar is gone?
- Does this person immediately return to gambling to try to recover losses or to win more?
- Does this person ever gamble to get money to solve financial difficulties or have unrealistic expectations that gambling will bring the family material comfort and wealth?
- Does this person borrow money to gamble with or to pay gambling debts?
- Has this person's reputation ever suffered due to gambling, even to the extent of committing illegal acts to finance gambling?
- Have you come to the point of hiding money needed for living expenses, knowing that you and the rest of the family may go without food and clothing if you do not?
- Do you search this person's clothing or go through his or her wallet when the opportunity presents itself or otherwise check on his/her activities?
- Does the person in question hide his or her money?
- Have you noticed a personality change in the gambler as his or her gambling progresses?
- Does the person in question consistently lie to cover up or deny his or her gambling activities?
- Does this person use guilt induction as a method of shifting responsibilities for his or her gambling on to you?
- Do you attempt to anticipate this person's moods or try to control his or her life?
- Does this person ever suffer from remorse or depression due to gambling, sometimes to the point of self-destruction?
- Has the gambling ever brought you to the point of threatening to break up the family unit?
- Do you feel that your life together is a nightmare?
If you answered yes to six or more of these questions, you may be living with a problem gambler. You can get assistance in coping with the challenges of living with a problem gambler. It is not necessary that the person with the problem get help before you do. There is support for you, to gain serenity and peace of mind.
Adapted from Gam-Anon
Please visit the Resource page for more information.