Solemn gambler in the shadows at a poker table contemplating the effects of gambling on the family

How Problem Gambling Affects The Family

When there’s a compulsive gambler in the family, it affects more than just the gambler. The effects of gambling on the family may be detrimental and cause lasting harm. The impact depends on the gambling problem’s severity and duration, the closeness of the relationships with the gambler, and other factors. Fortunately, professional treatment can mitigate the damage and promote recovery.

Promises Behavioral Health offers high-quality, evidence-based gambling addiction treatment. Our team of clinical professionals provides compassionate, comprehensive care tailored to each individual’s unique needs. Contact us at 844.875.5609 today if you’re looking for experienced gambling treatment experts who can help you break free from addiction.

How Gambling Affects Families 

The effects of gambling on the family may undermine trust and function to the point of collapse. A gambling addiction can cause severe financial, psychological, and emotional problems. Here’s more about how gambling affects families.

Financial Instability

Out-of-control gambling and repeated losses significantly affect the family finances. Well-meaning family members, usually the gambler’s spouse, often try to help the gambler by:

  • Lending them money
  • Bailing them out of financial difficulties
  • Stashing cash for them to gamble

Ultimately, the financial losses become too great. The home may enter into foreclosure. The family may have to declare bankruptcy. Signs of financial difficulties related to gambling include the following:

  • Financial statements going missing
  • Calls from creditors
  • Mounting debts
  • Unexplained cash advances on credit cards
  • Assets disappearing from the home
  • Drained bank accounts
  • Sudden, unexpected bills
  • New loans
  • Money for bills used on gambling

In some instances, problem gamblers may resort to theft or crime to fund their addiction, resulting in legal problems that cause further stress and turmoil.

Relationship Breakdowns

Trying to deal with the stress and tension brought on due to the gambler’s behavior jeopardizes the bonds among family members. A relationship breakdown occurs when the spouse, children, or siblings can no longer trust the gambler. The person’s lies, staying out late or not coming home, threats, and manipulation all contribute to the dissolution of family ties. Shame, avoidance, secrecy, and trying to hide pain magnify the isolation the family members feel as the gambler’s behavior gets increasingly out of control.

Emotional & Psychological Devastation

Inevitably, the spouse of the problem or compulsive gambler tries to pick up the slack. Often, they make excuses to other family members about the behavior and whereabouts of the gambler. The web of deceit becomes increasingly intricate as the spouse tries to hold everything together and maintain a semblance of normalcy despite everything falling apart. 

Protecting the children is the most difficult, as kids naturally look to both parents for security and emotional support. Weighed down by the accumulating financial problems and lack of trust in the gambler, the spouse cannot help but display their tangle of emotions. Children and teenagers pick up on the slightest nuances. They know when something’s not right–when tension fills the air, there’s little or no demonstration of affection, and arguments occur daily. Anxiety, guilt, shame, depression, insomnia, behavioral problems, and emotional insecurity begin to afflict all the family members closest to or living in the same environment as the problem gambler.

Turn to Promises for Gambling Addiction Treatment

Does gambling addiction affect your family? If so, Promises Behavioral Health is here to help. We provide quality treatment for those struggling with gambling-related issues, offering an individualized plan tailored to each person’s unique needs. Our knowledgeable and compassionate professionals help individuals break free from addictive habits and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

At Promises, we ensure all our clients receive the highest level of care at every stage of their journey toward recovery. Our team is here to help you work towards better health and well-being. So don’t wait – contact us today for more information about our comprehensive gambling addiction treatment program and start your path toward lasting recovery.

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