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Lifestyle: Here Is How You Help Someone With A Gambling Addiction

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Since the introduction of digital sports betting in Nigeria, we have been introduced to a new phenomenon that we previously only heard about while watching those Hollywood movies – Gambling Addiction. I mean, we knew about addiction to alcohol or hard drugs or even unhealthy relationships. But gambling addiction is a new dynamic that we are yet to come to grips with. But very truly I tell thee, gambling addiction resides amongst us. And no one knows it except the betting companies and the affected loved ones of those suffering from this ailment. Not even the victims realise it.The truth is that many people do enjoy gambling without getting addicted but problems are still liable to develop later on as time progresses and fulfilment and/or desperation increases. For you to recognise gambling addicts, psychiatrists and psychologists have categorised gamblers into two; Escape Gamblers and Action Gamblers. While Escape Gamblers gamble as a form of distraction from real life, Action Gamblers do it just for the fun of beating the odds. Escape Gamblers are introverted and appear unhappy, Action Gamblers are arrogant and self-confident.If your loved one suffers from a compulsive addiction to gambling, You cannot wish it away and and hope it will stop. You have to take action. But not by forcing them to stop or change their problem. Therapists recommend that the most effective way to handle a gambling addict is by letting them know in the most loving way possible HOW their actions are affecting everyone close to them and making it clear that they need help. You have to be truly honest with them.Also to help the addict effectively manage money, it is advisable to suggest setting a limit of an agreed amount for them to spend on gambling each week and then progressively reduce that amount as each week progresses. You can also plan together how to limit their access to money for a period of time – for example, once bills are paid, you could make sure they have only what they need for food and other essential items.Another key strategy is to help them avoid places where they may be tempted to gamble. This might be particularly hard to do as gambling is easily accessible via a mobile device. You will need his/her cooperation to make this work. It might be easier to do if you try to replace the addict’s gambling with other activities/she enjoys. Suggest other fun or social activities, like going to the movies or having a meal together. And if all fails, consider getting a professional therapist.Photo Credit: Getty

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