How to Support Someone Who Has a Gambling Addiction

Many people can enjoy gambling without it becoming a problem, but over time, some people develop a gambling addiction that can ruin their lives. Some gambling addicts can simply get addicted to playing online casinos like top online casino malaysia. Compulsive gambling is a progressive illness, so even if you’ve gambled before and been okay, a problem could develop later on. 

The urge to gamble can be overwhelming, leading someone to lie, steal, blow through their savings and miss out on the rest of their lives. Several signs indicate when normal enjoyment of gambling transitions into a problem. The earlier the process is identified, the better the chances for a successful recovery. Although compulsive gambling is hard to overcome, many people are able to manage their illness with professional help.

How to Recognize an Addictive Gambler

Although compulsive gamblers often share the trait of low self-esteem, two main types of compulsive gamblers are common: escape gamblers and action gamblers. Recognizing a compulsive gambler is easier if you know the characteristics of each type. An action gambler is someone who likes to play games involving skill and beating the odds. Poker is an example of an action game. These types of gamblers are often extroverted, self-confident and even arrogant. An escape gambler views gambling as a form of escapism, seeing it as a distraction from real life. These gamblers can appear withdrawn, unhappy or introverted.

Signs indicate compulsive gamblers approach gambling as a means to escape problems or feelings, such as depression, guilt or helplessness. Some other ways to recognize a compulsive gambler include looking for signs of:

  • A preoccupation with gambling
  • Gradually taking more risks
  • Reliving memories of gambling
  • Guilt or remorse following gambling
  • Taking time off work to gamble

Steps You Can Take to Help Someone With a Gambling Problem

If you suspect someone you know has a gambling problem, ways to help are available; however, the most important thing you can do is to encourage them to get help from a professional. It’s important to remember that even though a person’s gambling has affected you to the point where you’re ready for them to change, they might not be ready yet. You can offer support and seek professional help with how to proceed, but you can’t make someone ready to change.