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compulsive gambler
relative guide

To Inspire You

Is gambling addiction invisible?
How to avoid co-dependency?
Next action – Powerful action plan

It’s challenging to be relative to a person with gambling problems. We’ll do our utmost to help you and your kindred through this.

This guide consists of 4 parts:

 Gambling addiction is invisible – or is it invisible?

Co-Addiction – Avoid developing a co-dependency

Talk with the person about gambling addiction – 3 concrete alternatives

Next Action – Powerful step by step action plan

It may sound weird, but most people with gambling problems want to be discovered. They fear it, but still the moment the “bomb” drops is often described as riddance. Keep this in mind when you’re talking with the person.

It’s tough to have someone close to gambling problems. Compare to other addictions; gambling addiction is relatively easy to hide, at least, in the beginning. Often people around have no clue about it, until it’s too late.

Let’s begin by defining gambling problems and gambling addiction.

A person with gambling problems

Someone with gambling problems has started to lose control over the gambling. Gambling takes up more and more time. The fun of the parts is still larger than the negative consequences, though.

A person with gambling addiction

For a gambling addict, the negative consequences are more obvious; people around the person has started to react; both the finances and personal health are affected. The person focuses on finding new money to gamble with. The gamble is not fun anymore. Instead, the addict is driven by a desperation to win back the money he has lost.

How To See The

signs of gambling addiction

Compared to alcohol problems, it harder to discover gambling problems. The alcohol smells, and the person gets intoxicated. A gambling addict will most likely look completely normal. BUT, some things are hard to hide:

A feeling that something is wrong, the person seems troubled and down beaten. When you ask about you only get evasive answers.

Changes in behavior, the person develops mode swings, is easily upset and restless.

The person hides something, spending a lot of time without you know what he does.

Sleeping problems, the person sleeps poorly. It’s a common symptom of inner anxiety and stress.

Spends plenty of time gambling, you notice physically that the person is gambling a lot.

Isolate himself from social activities. Avoids family gatherings, after works and meet friends.

Problems completing things on time. When the person spends too much time gambling, it’s hard to manage things like work and social duties. The person will often postpone things.

Ask about money; need to borrow money, get reminders for old invoices, and gets problems with debt.

The person has talked a lot about gambling in the past but has suddenly stopped.

Write down things happening around the person you suspect have gambling issues.

Register yourself in our Community. Chat and ask questions to other gambling addicts or relatives of theirs.

Confide in another relative of the person with gambling problems. It could be a family member, partner, close friend, or associate. You don’t have all the information. Find someone that can help you, help the addict.

Study gambling. Read about online gambling to get a basic understanding of online casinos, poker, and sportsbook. It will help you at a later stage.

Be extra attentive to things concerning money; invoices, reminders, loans.

Think about yourself! Avoid falling into the co-dependency trap. (more about that later.

You’re not spying! You’re not going behind someone’s back! You’re not betraying the person! REMEMBER, the person wants to be exposed!

It’s vital to talk to other relatives of the person. You’ll get support, and together you can get more information.
For a co-worker, it’s hard to observe the behaviour at home. Likewise, it’s difficult for a spouse to see how the person behaves at work. If you worry the person has taken loans; ask other family members or close friends to the gambling addict.

Here are 4 tips on how you can get more information:

 Check your bank accounts if you share login details with the person (or ask someone that does)

 Check the person’s credit records. There are services for that online.

Check the mail for reminders and old invoices.

Look for gambling apps on the computer and the person’s phone. (be extra attentive) In the image on the right, you’ll find 24 popular casino apps.

What is

co-dependency?

To discover that someone close to you has gambling problems can get severe consequences for you too. In the beginning, you might feel anger, disappointment, betrayed, and grief. You might think the person is irresponsible, selfish, and that you’ll never trust him again.

However, it’s easy to let the feelings for the person take over and fall into a co-dependency. We define co-dependency like this:

“Co-dependency is a condition that can occur a person who lives close to an addict. Since the person doesn’t know how to handle the addiction, she starts to adapt to rather than counteract it.”

The most common signs of co-dependency are:

Cover up financially for the addict. For instance, pay debts and invoices to protect the person with a gambling problem. It’s also common to loan money to the person.

Defending the behavior of the addict to

Feeling responsible for the behavior of the addict.

Unhealthy boundaries, the co-dependent person might have limited personal limitations and let the addict bully them around.

Put the needs of the addict ahead of their own.

Easily over-engage themselves and are attracted to people with special needs.

Spontaneously, it feels like a co-dependent person is a fantastic human being, doesn’t it? What’s wrong with caring about another person?
The problem is the negative pattern one falls in to.

It’s a destructive pattern that often leads to self-blame. It, in turn, leads to the following symptoms:

Spontaneously, it feels like a co-dependent person is a fantastic human being, doesn’t it? What’s wrong with caring about another person?
The problem is the negative pattern one falls in to.

It’s a destructive pattern that often leads to self-blame. It, in turn, leads to the following symptoms:

Two important reasons for depression are feelings of powerlessness and meaninglessness. If you become co-dependent to an addict, you’ll not help the person stop… Instead, you’ll make it easier for the addict to continue.

Two important reasons for depression are feelings of powerlessness and meaninglessness. If you become co-dependent to an addict, you’ll not help the person stop… Instead, you’ll make it easier for the addict to continue.

Fight co-dependency 5 TIPS

01. Get help

Become a member of our anonymous Community. Get support and tips from other relatives to addicts.

03. Dare to act

Be brave and do something about the problem. Even if it feels hard, even hopeless, it doesn’t have to be like this anymore… ACT NOW!

05. Never accept bad behavior.

 You mustn’t allow any response from the gambling addict. Set the bar high and make sure that it’s followed. If not, that bad behavior may become normalized.

02. Put yourself first!

 Like the instructions before take-off in an airplane. You must place your oxygen mask over your face before you can help anybody else!

04. Set up rules

Set limits and demands. Be tough, but don’t come with empty threats. You must be strict to be taken seriously.

Fight co-dependency 5 TIPS

01. Get help

Become a member of our anonymous Community. Get support and tips from other relatives to addicts.

02. Put yourself first!

 Like the instructions before take-off in an airplane. You must place your oxygen mask over your face before you can help anybody else!

03. Dare to act

Be brave and do something about the problem. Even if it feels hard, even hopeless, it doesn’t have to be like this anymore… ACT NOW!

04. Set up rules

Set limits and demands. Be tough, but don’t come with empty threats. You must be strict to be taken seriously.

05. Never accept bad behavior.

 You mustn’t allow any response from the gambling addict. Set the bar high and make sure that it’s followed. If not, that bad behavior may become normalized.

How to confront someone with gambling problems?

3 Concrete alternatives!

It’s scary to confront anybody with anything, especially if it’s someone close to you. How do you start? What can you expect? Is there any help to get?

Naturally, is it individual how people react, and many facts can affect the outcome. Someone with gambling problems often has a limited understanding of their issues. Therefore, he’ll deny everything. You might hear that you are exaggerating, mind your own business, you’re boring, or the person might attack you back…

A gambling addict doesn’t most often know about his problem. He can’t handle it, but he knows he has a problem. It might be easier to talk with the person then, but the price of waiting so long can be very high…

Here are 3 alternatives for you to bring up the subject:

 Register to our Community. Talk with and get support from both other relatives and addicts. Ask as many questions as you wish!

 Read through our guide about hard discussions

 Send our introduction video to the person with gambling problems. That way, you forewarn him about your awareness before the actual confrontation.

QuitGamble.com has two parts. As a member, you get access to software that effectively blocks all gambling sites. It’s easy to install and impossible to delete during a period. It gives the person fantastic support if the urge to play strikes him.

In the second step, we analyze why the person got addicted in the first place. We don’t believe there is a lack of intelligence nor any illness that causes addiction. It’s other factors, and we intend to help the person to find them. Read more about this process in the Happiness Test, on the page about addiction.

All members at QuitGamble.com can access the chatroom and forum. There you can discuss people with gambling problems (G) and relatives (R). You will also find plenty of material created to help the gambling problems to turn around their lives. We want to make reality more attractive than the world of gambling.

The difficult

conversation

Let’s change the header to “The important conversation” instead. Of course, it is a tough conversation, but the focus should be on the importance of it. Let’s begin with a question: What are you most afraid of; How will the person react? Or how you will react?

Here are some common fears:

Fear of conflict

Fear of anger

Fear of disappointment

Fear of getting hurt

Fear of break up

Fear of pain

Fear of accusations

Fear of retaliation

We are all afraid and insecure sometimes. It’s completely natural and an important reason why humans have survived through the evolution. Our intention is not to make you anxious… We want to make you mentally tough, prepared for what can happen and give you some advice on the way.Did you ever read The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren? If not, read it! There is a great quote in there:

There are things you have to do, even if it is dangerous. Otherwise, you’re not a human being but just a piece of dirt” – Jonathan Lionheart

If Jonathan can do it, so can you! It might not be dangerous to talk with a person with gambling problems, but it can be tough anyway.

WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?

 

What happens if you let the person continue playing?

You risk falling into a co-dependency. You may start to cover up for the person. And the price can be high… not just financially but also mentally. (Read the text about co-dependency again). If you’re married to the person, you may become drowned in debt too.

If the gambling addict doesn’t get stopped, the fall on the Gambling addiction curve will continue. At the end awaits personal ruin, unmanageable debts, lost friends and relatives. Gambling addiction is the addiction with the most suicides.

Did we scare you? Sorry, but it was just an attempt to get you to put on your superhero dress. You can be a hero, the hero that saves the person from a catastrophe!

YOU CAN

MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Preparations

Often the person with problems denies everything. They are blaming everything else, or think the problem is exaggerated. According to the definition of a gambling problem, the person has not understood the complexity of the problem yet.

For you, this is both good and bad news. The good news is that it’s much easier to quit gambling at an early stage. The aftermaths of the problem are moderate. The bad news is that the person as a limited understanding of the problem itself. Frankly, it will be harder to convince the person to quit gambling.

EXTRA TIP

We recommend that you study different aspects of gambling. When you become more familiar with the subject, it will also be easier to understand counter-arguments from the person with gambling issues. For instance, it’s easier to talk about the attractiveness of a slot machine if you have tested playing it yourself. (only with play money of course)

A good start is to read our article, “Can you win at gambling?” You can also Google any of the following search terms:

Online casino (Understand the following terms: casino bonus, free spins, slot machines, live casino, and jackpots)

Slot machines (Play for free in Play Mode without opening any accounts)

Poker (The most popular game is Texas Hold’em.)

Blackjack in a bar.

Your task during the conversation is to encourage the person to talk. Ask open-end questions to get the conversation started. Remember that the person (at least deep inside them) wants to tell. Nobody feels good about lying to family and friends. Listen and let the person do the talking.

You can boost the person by saying you thought it was something worse, like: “I felt it was something wrong. At first, I thought you had an affair; after that, I was terrified you kept a secret decease from me. Even if I feel disappointed right now… I’m happy it wasn’t anything worse. We can handle this together! ”

The way out of addiction begins with reconnection. By making reality more meaningful, the dream world becomes less attractive. The result? The urge (the craving) to flee to the dream world disappears.

It’s not gambling the person is addicted to… it’s the flight from reality. Gambling is just a means to facilitate the flight.

Focus on reconnection

If the conversation focuses on the negative things and turns in to accusations, it might get the opposite effect of intended. If the person is called irresponsible, selfish, and you punish the person and fill them with shame, you have only made the reality worse… and conversely the dream world more attractive.

Good questions to get the conversation started:

How does it feel now?

When did you start gambling? How did you feel then?

What was it that attracted you?

How did it feel when you started losing control?

Did anything particular happen around that time?

Do you want to quit gambling?

Do you want some support?

How do you want to continue from here?

The questions are formulated to get the person to think, to feel, and start talking. To show that you’re serious in helping the person you can suggest the following.

Register

Register on QuitGamble.com and share the story. It’s incredible how supported the members are.

 

Download

Download that BlockApp and install it together. It will give the person excellent protection towards all online gambling.

Go through

Go through the material here on QuitGamble.com together.

 

Take Action

Step by Step

 

You must read everything above before you start with the next action list below. Here are our recommendations for you today!

Focus on yourself first. (Remember the oxygen mask)

Stick to your routines. (take walks, meet with friends, cook food, workout…)

Read through the pages about “Addiction,” “Can you gamble and win?”, and “Tricks of the gambling companies.” It will give you a head start!

If you want, you can register as a member and ask questions to other relatives. While you get help, you also become an essential part of their development process.

down a list of things you’ll do to avoid becoming co-dependent.

Spend some time reading about online casinos, sports betting, and poker.

poker. It will give you a better understanding of the subject.

Put the focus on the person with gambling addiction.

Pay attention to the person. Is there anything wrong? What warning signs can you identify? Monitor the behavior for some weeks? Any changes? Put extra attention to things that regard money.

Ask questions about how the person is feeling. Try to come up with ideas of things you can do together. That would both distract the person and give you a chance to spend time with him.

Ask another relative for help; the partner, close friend, family member, or co-worker. Ask them to be extra attentive for various warning signs. Recommend them to read through this guide.

Take the conversion!

Sit down with the person and tell them about your concerns. If you want some extra support, ask another relative to join the conversation.Use open-ended questions to get the person talking. Try to avoid sounding accusing. Start from the beginning.

Plan for the future

You mustn’t lend out money to the person. If you cover up financially, the person will not take responsibility for his actions. You’re only doing him a disservice.

Help the person to install a block app like Gamban or Betfilter.

Push the person to become an active member of QuitGamble.com. QuitGamble.com is an online community for people with gambling problems to support, encourage, and benefit from helping each other.

If the person has vast loans with high-interest rates, help them find the right person to help them put all loans together. That will get the interest rates down substantially.

Set up a plan for social activities and be outside in nature. Help the person to reconnect to nature and other people. You can talk long walks or work out in the gym together.

Talk with other relatives together. They can also support you. It’s a myth that we are strong alone… WE ARE TRULY MUCH STRONGER TOGETHER!

In most countries, there are physical support groups for gambling addicts. They are often free and are a perfect complement to
QuitGamble.com.

QuitGamble.com is not intending to compete with any physical support groups, nor any other tools for helping people with gambling problems.

We have created an online platform, open 24/7.

We want to help your relative in trouble. Here on QuitGamble.com, you’ll find some powerful tools to do that. We want to help people quit gambling, not just today, but entirely. We want to make their present so meaningful that they don’t need to gamble to create excitement.