Problem gambling does not just affect those who gamble, but also those who are closest to the individual. As a partner, a family member, or close friend, you may have found yourself experiencing feelings of guilt, resentment, helplessness, and confusion. You may have even found yourself asking whether you are responsible for your loved one’s difficulties with gambling. It is important to know that these are normal and valid feelings and concerns to have. These reactions stem from the care and love you have for the one who is gambling.
Other common questions that family members often ask include; “Will the gambling ever stop”, “What can I do to help them stop?”, “Should I give them money?”, “Can I trust them again?” There is no definitive way to answering these questions, as each family’s circumstances are different. However, you need to know that you are not alone and that this happens to other families as well. Support and treatment is available to individuals struggling with problem gambling, but it is also available to family members and friends, as a means of getting you and your family through the negative consequences of gambling and into recovery.
If someone you care about is struggling with gambling and you have experienced these concerns or asked yourself these questions, call Gambling Help on 1800 858 858, for individual and confidential advice, completely free of charge.
To download or order the range of free resources, including Self Help Guide for Families, or to join the new Gambling Help support forum which has a dedicated section for family and friends, visit www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au