Problem gambling is a quiet, sometimes invisible problem. Unlike those individuals with alcohol or drug abuse problems, people having issues with gambling may not show any physical signs of a problem. A family member with a gambling problem can often go undetected until a legal, financial or emotional crisis occurs.
With the introduction of electronic gambling, spouses and family members frequently do not suspect their loved one has a gambling problem. Individuals who play electronic games tend to develop problems more quickly than people who choose other forms of gambling do.
Warning Signs of a Gambling Problem in your Family
- Neglecting family and work.
- Becoming less reliable.
- Picking fights or arguments more frequently.
- Increased levels of anxiety or feelings of depression.
- Lying to cover up financial problems and money-related information, or generally becoming more secretive, and controlling of the family finances.
- Depleting bank accounts or cashing in bonds, RRSPs, insurance policies, lines of credit.
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.