Gambling does affect not only the addicted persons but also the immediate family members and friends. The loved ones have to worry when such a person will be coming back home, how much he or she will spend and the financial implications. Some friends may decide to abandon an addicted person at the hour of need by cutting links. Isolation will only add more problems to the affected person in the long run. The following are practical ways to help a loved one who shows signs of a gambling problem.
- Talk to the addict using the right tone
You may be having a sincere intention to help an addict but use the wrong approach. The choice of words and your body language are important inputs for a successful engagement. Instead of telling the addict what he or she do, make suggestions. For example, ask them if they will be comfortable visiting a counselor or a financial manager. Avoid an approach that suggests that the addict is the root of all problems.
- Be ready to deal with negative reactions
When you engage a gambling, expect mixed reactions as they may either accept the advice or shun it away. The nature of the response will mainly depend on the personality, your relationship and the level of gambling. Some may feel embarrassed or ashamed of their ways which act as a barrier. Use empathy and show some love when approaching such individuals. Take such a person through the financial implications of gambling and social effects as well. Drop the conversation for another day if the person is not willing to open up.
- Help the addict get professional help
Different people may require different approaches depending on the level and type of gambling. A therapist can help the addict to recover by taking him or her through tested processes. Such sessions can change an addict’s behavior or way of thinking through cognitive behavioral therapy. You can also take such a person to a support group. The addict will have first-hand information from someone trained to handle the situation or someone who has recovered fully.
- Suggest alternative activities
Having a lot of free time can make some people visit casinos or betting websites. Encourage the addict to find an alternative activity such as a fitness class, a sporting activity or vocational training. Remember to illustrate the benefits of the alternative activities over gambling. Dropping a habit takes time, and one cannot just wake up and decide that he or she will not gamble.
- Support during the recovery process
Gamblers just like any other addicts suffer lapses and may feel the urge to go back to the old habits. You need to be there at their hour of need. Take the addict to a movie or a music class and show compassion. Be on the forefront to find them the best therapist in the area.
Helping a person with a gambling problem is not easy, but it is worth the effort. Understanding how to approach such an individual and type of words to use are crucial ingredients for success.