Is my helping really helping? Supporting a family member with gambling addiction….
Having posted a couple of blog posts by now for people who struggle with gambling addiction; I thought it was high time to also do one for those trying to support the addicted person. As much as the problem gambler will struggle within both from their inability to stop and from the damaging effects of their gambling on loved ones – there is little doubt that the family/spouses/parents struggle just as much. If you are a loved one reading this chances are that you will have suffered with some of the following symptoms….
· Anxiety & stress
· Fear and panic about their safety
· Low mood & tearfulness
· Feeling totally out of control
· Anger and disappointment
· Swinging between feelings of anger and disappointment to hopefulness
· Desperation to help; only to later feel angry that you did help
· Paranoia and obsession about their gambling
….and many more
Chances are that you are on an emotional rollercoster that in many ways mimics the one that your gambling addicted family member – with the addition of a good dose of disbelief, shock and horror about their continued activities; even at times when they looked you in the eye and swore they would stop. You wonder if they meant it or if they have become so cold-blooded that they actually don’t care how you feel anymore?
Is this the person I gave birth to/married ? …you might wonder. How could they be so caring and sensible in some ways and suddenly so callous and calculating? Maybe I misjudged them? Perhaps I am a bit stupid after all having believed what they said to me?Read More