Problem Gambling is often known as the hidden addiction. It’s more common than intravenous drug use, but because it’s something that can be hidden, for a while at least, it hasn’t always got the attention it needs. You can’t just look at someone and see that they have a gambling problem, and for Problem Gamblers sometimes the shame, embarrassment and the stigma attached to not being able to control their gambling keeps feeding the addiction. Hiding our problems, not admitting to ourselves we have a problem and hiding it from others, stops us asking for help.
Many Problem Gamblers are able to hide their addiction, even from those closest to them, for much longer periods of time – sometimes for years.
If you have an issue with gambling, or if you think a family member or friend is a Problem Gambler, it’s time to make the decision to stop hiding and get help to get gambling under control.
Often asking the question ‘is gambling an issue for you?’ is the simplest way to begin a conversation. If you’re starting to realise gambling is a problem for you, think about having a conversation with an expert – call 1800 858 858 or see www.gamblinghelp.gov.au for contacts for help near you, and for info on how to start a conversation with a counsellor via email or text.