People gamble for a whole range of reasons. For many it may be a once of bet on the Grand National with the family, or a weekly lotto ticket. Someone else might like to put a small bet on the weekend football matches or go to weekly bingo.
These activities can be good for our mental health and give us a sense of joy when we do them responsibly. For most of the population, gambling is not a problem. However, there are a small group in the population (7%) who’s gambling cause problems – not just for them but also for their families. How can we tell when gambling is getting out of control?
Indications gambling is getting out of control – (for the person)
- The person is thinking about gambling more frequently.
- The person feels the need to gamble larger sums of money and more often to get the same thrill as when they first started gambling.
- The person conceals or lies about their gambling.
- The person feels guilt or remorse after gambling.
- The person borrows or steals money in order to keep their gambling habit going.
- The person denies they have a problem and refuses to discuss the issue.
The impact of gambling on families and relationships
- The family start to have financial difficulties.
- Often the spouse/partner of the gambler will cover up for their behaviour to family members (including children) and friends.
- The avoiding and deceit become more and more intricate as the spouse tries to hold everything together, trying to maintain a semblance of normality despite everything falling apart.
- Anxiety, guilt, shame, depression, insomnia, behavioural problems and emotional insecurity begin to affect all the family members that are closest to or living in the same environment as the problem or compulsive gambler.
On our website we provide information for minding your mental health during these tough times. Because of Covid19 our routines have changed and this affects us all. Learning ways to manage our feelings and behaviours can help ourselves and the people we love.
Topics addressed include:
- The benefits of having routine in our lives;
- Five Ways to Wellbeing in Tough Times activities that will help us look after our Well Being in these tough times, with supporting video links examples of the activities;
- There are useful templates to download and useful tips on maintaining good sleep.
Sometimes more support is needed for people trying to manage their gambling. Seeking help is the first and biggest step on the recovery journey for the person struggling with gambling and their family. This is a big step in taking back that control in your lives. Below are some useful links to services that can help.
Support Services for Families Affected by Problematic Gambling
- Gamblers Anonymous https://www.gamblersanonymous.ie/
- Rutland Centre in Dublin https://www.rutlandcentre.ie/addictions-we-treat/gambling
- Problem Gambling Ireland https://www.problemgambling.ie/
- Spunout https://spunout.ie/search/results?q=gambling