a person checks a gambling site while watching sports after a loved one couldn't stop enabling gambling

Are You Enabling a Gambling Addiction?

There is often a misguided belief that gambling addiction is not as destructive as other forms of addictive behavior. The unsettling reality is that gambling addiction can have far-reaching consequences in the lives of those who love the person struggling with this process addiction, especially since loved ones are often responsible for enabling the addiction for a lot longer than if the person were to have to support their own habit. When you understand that you’re enabling gambling addiction in a loved one, it can be hard to process, and you may not know what to do next.

At Recovery Rand in Nunnelly, TN, we know that enabling gambling addiction may not be easy to spot, but it’s critical to end it. Gambling addiction can cause social and occupational problems in your loved one’s life. Our process addiction treatment program uses evidence-based and holistic therapies to help people overcome the grips of gambling addiction. Learn more and help your loved one get started today by calling 1.844.876.7680.

Knowing When You’re an Enabler

Enabling gambling addiction may be more subtle than you think, but there are severe consequences that can result from it. These simple questions can help you determine if you are enabling a gambling addiction in your loved one:

  • Do you find yourself making excuses for your spouse, sibling, parent, or even your child?
  • Are you helping them out of financial jams on an almost constant basis?
  • Have you forgiven behaviors that have resulted in missing money, a lost job, or even the foreclosure of your home?

With a bit of thought, you may just discover that if you were to have withdrawn your assistance and support, your loved one would be in a very difficult financial position and may not even have a roof over their head. While you may think that you are simply helping them to get back on their feet, the truth is that all you are likely doing is encouraging the addictive and very destructive behaviors of their gambling addiction.

What’s the Harm?

A gambling addiction rarely brings illegal drugs or alcohol into the home, and it rarely impairs one’s judgment while driving. So what is the harm in being hooked on gambling or placing bets at the track?

The harm is less physical and considerably more emotional, mental, and, of course, financial. Addictions of all sorts will swiftly take control over the individual’s ability to focus on anything other than what makes them feel good. It will also result in them making poor decisions regarding their employment, education, relationships, and finances.

A person addicted to gambling can quickly go from having a steady and well-paying job to being fired due to not showing up or browsing gambling websites instead of completing their work. They could resort to spending grocery money on their habit, put off paying the mortgage payment, and allow the car to be repossessed. As money becomes hard to get, even with your enabling their addiction, addicts may turn toward illegal or extreme means to get their hands on the money that they need.

Recognizing the Signs of Enabling

Take a serious look at your behaviors around and toward your loved one, and ask yourself a few serious questions. Be sure to answer them truthfully because you only have yourself to be accountable to.

  • Have you found yourself overly worried about your loved one in a way that is all-consuming?
  • Do you stay up at night trying to find a solution to help the individual out of a sticky situation rather than letting them solve their own problems?
  • Do you do things for the person that they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves?
  • Do you find yourself making up excuses for the destructive actions or thoughts, brushing it off as a misunderstanding, stress, or having a hard time coping? Even when their behaviors are hurting you and other members of the family?
  • Have you given this person cash, paid an outstanding bill, or let them borrow your car?
  • Do you feel manipulated at times? Yet ignore or brush off the way that you feel?
  • At what point will it all become too much for you to handle and carry on your shoulders? 

Your heart might be in the right place, especially if you are dealing with someone that you truly love. But the reality is that by helping your loved one out of financial jams, you are doing them absolutely no good for the long term.

Stopping Your Enabling Actions

You may have to cut off access to joint checking accounts; don’t allow them to have access to valuables or anything that could be potentially sold for a few dollars. And most importantly, you should continue to encourage them to seek out rehab and the valuable therapy that is needed in order to make a recovery. The manifestations of having a loved one with an addiction of any kind necessitate finding a support group with like-minded people.

Stand up, be strong, break the enabling cycle, and do whatever you can to protect your own financial security and stability. You may love someone with a gambling problem, but this doesn’t mean it has to ruin your life in the process.

Process Addiction Treatment at Recovery Ranch Tennessee

At Recovery Ranch in Nunnelly, TN, we understand the unique challenges that come with combating gambling addiction. Our experienced team of professionals provides compassionate and effective treatment for those struggling with problem gambling.

Our individualized treatment plans offer personalized care to address each patient’s needs. During their stay at our facility, patients will participate in a variety of treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, group counseling sessions, and more.

If you or someone you love is struggling with problem gambling and need help to break free from the cycle of addiction, Recovery Ranch can assist you in your journey to recovery. Contact us online or by calling 1.844.876.7680 today to learn more about our process addiction treatment program. We are here to help you and your loved one overcome this challenging disorder.

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