It can be difficult to know if someone close to you has a problem with gambling. Initially, you may not want to believe there is a serious issue but knowing the warning signs can help you decide what action to take.
Long-term problem gambling can be cleverly hidden which often makes it very difficult to detect. By the time the problem surfaces and family and friends find out, the impact and damage can be immense.
You may know something is wrong, but due to the invisible nature of a gambling addiction, it can be extremely hard to identify.
Many people who gamble do not show their true feelings and may lie or get angry if questioned about their behavior. It’s common to notice changes in the gambler’s finances, mood and behavior or how they spend their time.
You may feel that you should have noticed the issue sooner, but remember, the person gambling may have gone to great lengths to hide their problem from family and friends.
Once you are aware of the addiction, it’s important to educate yourself about problem gambling through our free resources and literature.
If you believe your loved one has a gambling addiction, it’s OK to encourage them to seek help, however, it’s also critical for you and other family members to seek out your own help.
There are many ways we can help you and the person gambling. The first step is to review the information on our website at spgh.ca and then call the Problem Gambling Help Line at 1-800-306-6789 for advice.
You can confidentially discuss your situation with one of our trained counsellors today. It’s a free service and available 24 hours a day.
Remember you are not alone, there is hope and life can get better