Help for the Family of Problem Gamblers:
How could they do this?
If it is any consolation, he have have been wondering this same thing.
There is a cycle or vortex of addiction. It slowly moves a person
downward into is spiral. You have heard of how to cook a frog to
death. Put them in a beaker of water, and ever so slowly increase the
temperature so that it is not noticeable. The frog will never jump
out, because of it insensitivity to the temperature change. This is
what happens to the addict. If the frog or the addict were plunged
into something hot, feeling the full effect of what it was doing to you, the
children or himself, he would never do this.
Now it all makes sense, but it doesn't make sense
Dealing with the confusion of it all
You may have felt more confused and in the dark about finances and time
spent away from the family.
They might have been grumpy, angry and
distant. Little did you realize that this could have occurred after a
spending $1000 at the casino. It seemed so innocent at first. What
you didn't realize was that after the big win it wasn't over. Winning
that big is a drug. It affects the brain and people will do all kinds
of things to win again. You can win if you aren't at the casino.
So many compulsive gamblers will spend a lot of time there. They
suffer health conditions of heart and gastro-intestinal issues because of
the chronic stress and the obsession to not leave their seat.
ignore major issues?
Do they numb himself with other substances, like
alcohol, drugs, pot, or work?
Do they have black and white thinking,
which is characteristic of addiction in general?
Do they have trouble
with intimacy, that is being their true self without feelings of rejection?
Do they suffer from lower self esteem, but over compensate with bragging
Do they have a hard time letting go of something?
Like loosing an argument or other losses?
Did they have a childhood where
parents were rigid, black and white and low on the affection scale?
Do they have trouble sharing his feelings, except anger?
Do they blamed you for the
problems in the relationship and take very little responsibility?
It is not about you, but it affects you.
How to break free from feeling responsible.
It is so tempting think that there is something you did or didn't do to
cause this. We feel very powerless when we find that our spouse has
spent so much money on gambling. Instead of admitting
that we are powerless over our husband or wife's problem with gambling, we tend to take responsibility.
Victims of trauma from stabbing, gunshots and rape, rather than seeing
themselves as powerless, tend to find
someway they could have prevented this. This is common.
Vulnerability is not a pleasant emotion to face and rather than feel it and
experience it, we would rather feel that we were in control of the
situation. So, how does that happen? We make ourselves
responsible in some way. Here are some things to consider which we get
from the Al-anon program:
The Four C's
"We didn't cause it."
"We can't control it." "We can't cure it." "But we can contribute to
to be continued...
What do I do now?
Steps toward healing and recovery for you.
To be continued.
Process the feeling. Deciding what to do. Waiting. Restoration if
Treatment Considerations? What you should know about how treatment should go
These are just a few considerations for therapy.
Consider someone who is well-trained. There are
Certified Problem Gambling Counselors who are trained specifically for
working with problem gamblers.
Consider a task oriented therapy.
There are certain tasks that will improve the success of treatment.
Some include, attending 12 step meetings, such as GA. Writing Steps 1,
and Step 4 and making amends are important. Understanding triggers,
a financial inventory and understand family of origin issues around
money are important.
Consider that therapist that has a balance between
comfort and challenge. Most addicts/coaddicts in recovery need both.
They need someone to challenge them when they are complacent, in denial
and going to make a huge mistake. They also need nurturing when
they feel so down and hopeless that they can't go on.
There is hope for recovery. Continue to read a learn about
addiction and take the steps necessary for recovery and you will make
progress. The "failures" we hear about can be boiled down to not
working a program. If one works a program they will get get.
Co-addicts need a program of recovery as well. This is often
overlooked. Finding your own journey in healing will help not only
you, but also indirectly help the addict and your family.
Boundaries A video about getting better boundaries between you
and the addict