What can I do to help me help them?
Look after yourself
Take time to get support for you. This might be family or friends, a Dunlewey counsellor or a support group. Occasionally, someone with a gambling problem will ask someone close to swear to secrecy. Secrecy does not allow you to get support and it can help someone avoid responsibility for his or her actions, allowing the gambling to continue unchallenged. If you feel you can’t talk to people close to you, seek support. Limit the financial impact that gambling has on you. If you can, separate your bank accounts and protect your own money.
We all want to help the people we care about when they are in difficulty. But remember, the motivation and willingness to change behaviour comes at different times. You may be ready now, but the person who you are trying to help may not be ready. It won’t help to rush them or try to push them to change. Wait in the wings until they are ready and then offer to help them choose.
Don’t do everything
The first steps to seeking help can be daunting and require a ready state of mind. But they are also often the simplest and easiest. If you step in and take these steps for a gambler, it may be denying the person a chance to express their readiness to act in a way that gives them a sense of achievement. Remember, they need to be motivated to change.
I’m feeling really down about the whole thing, what should I do?
Gambling, and the loss of trust it often brings, can put an enormous strain on a relationship. If you find that you feel overwhelmed or are losing hope, it is important to seek professional help. Share your concerns with your GP, a relationship counsellor, or with a qualified counsellor. They can help you through this difficult time.