Is Gambling Affecting The Family? Posted On

Millions of people in the United States are currently struggling with problem gambling; many of whom have sought out treatment under the diagnosis of struggling with gambling disorder.  This struggle affects the gambler, but is also effects family members.  Gambling is referred to as the “hidden addiction” because it’s easier to hide than other addictions, and is often kept secret.  However, many times, family members are the first to see signs of a gambling problem.  Learn the signs of problem gambling, and steps you can take to protect your family.

Problem Gambling And The Family

Problem gambling can have a huge effect on the family.  Family members who are negatively affected by a loved one’s gambling struggle with increased anxiety and stress.  This can be due to the anticipation of a loved one’s unpredictable mood after gambling, the uncertainty of financial stability or difficulties, and the lack of trust because of the many lies a person struggling with problem gambling has told.  Due to all of these family-felt negative effects of a loved one’s gambling, the family may struggle with depression. 

Family Identified Warning Signs

There are many problem gambling warning signs.  The warning signs below may be the first step to understanding that someone’s gambling is having a negative effect on the family.  A family member may be struggling with problem gambling if:

  • Food is becoming less abundant in the home;
  • Family members are beginning to go without necessary medications;
  • They don’t know where the gambler spends her/his time;
  • The family is struggling with financial responsibilities;
  • They feel physically or emotionally mistreated or abused;
  • The family feels their needs aren’t being met;
  • The person struggling with problem gambling is unaware or unwilling to accept that they have a problem with their gambling.

Learn More About Problem Gambling

If gambling is having a negative effect on your family, learn as much as you can about problem gambling.  The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to begin protecting yourself and your family from the negative effects of problem gambling.  Learn about the path of problem gambling to better understand how the struggle may have begun.  Read e-books like Understand Problem Gambling to gain a stronger understanding of problem gambling.  For additional resources, like infographics, e-books and videos, visit our Resources page.

Additional Support

If gambling is negatively effecting your family, there is additional support available.  Group support for family members negatively affected by gambling can be found through GAM-ANON.  If you’d like more personalized help for yourself, you can always seek counseling and treatment though the NYS HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (or 1-877-846-7369). 

If you found this information helpful in any way, please share this post with everyone you know to help those who may be struggling with their own, or someone else’s, gambling disorder.  By sharing this information, you can help motivate them to get the support and help they need and, perhaps, change their lives!