a black man thinking about gambling


  • June 18, 2023

Worried about a family member or friend with a gambling addiction? Most at times, a person or persons who struggle with gambling addiction may have little or no control. This may cause them to experience shame, remorse and guilt which can make them feel bad as they see how their behavior is affecting others. These emotions can sometimes be overwhelming to the problem gamblers which may stop them from thinking clearly about their next move and actions and by doing so lead them to gamble more.

“A gambler has the mindset to always gamble to get back lost money”.

Taking steps sooner rather than later is the best approach. Being able to empathize with someone who’s addicted to gambling is one of the first steps towards their recovery. If you can try to understand what they are going through, it gives room for you to be able to help them more effectively.

When speaking with a gambling addict, it is important to let them know your reason of concern is because you care about them, if they feel more comfortable with you, they are likely to open up to you and be honest.
Starting your sentences with “I feel” and being assertive may lessen the gamblers need to be defensive.

Getting them started on the road to recovery has to do with opening up and starting with an honest, non-confrontational conversation, getting professional help is very paramount. All these may seem difficult to attain because the gambling addict may become angry or be in denial.

Here are a few guides to help with effective conversations:

1. Speak in private where there are no distractions. This will help the gambling addict think clearly and listen to what you have to say.

2. Stay calm and empathetic. The gambling addict may feel ashamed about their problems. Rather than judge it, chastise them, explain your worry and concerns in a more subtle way.

3. Listen actively to them when they speak. Give them a chance. If they become defensive or in denial, tell them to think about their gambling problems and how it has affected them and relationships and let them know you can and are willing to help them.

4. Focus on the fixes rather than the problem. It’s always best to discuss the solutions rather than focusing on the problems. Solutions create more avenues of support and it can help show that you care and are willing to work with them.

5. Be patient. A gambling addict needs time after the initial conversation to reflect on their gambling addiction and admit they need help. If they aren’t ready, remind them always that they are not alone.


When a problem gambler chooses to make a change in their gambling habits, there are often different stages which they move through and these are:

1. NOT HAVING THE INTENTIONS TO CHANGE: A problem gambler in this stage may tend to feel the positives outweighs the negatives of gambling, they are quite defensive in this stage, they enjoy gambling and doesn’t see it as a problem and the gambling may not be particularly causing harm to the gambler or those around them.

2. THOUGHTS OF CHANGE: A problem gambler at this stage starts to have mixed feelings about gambling, and usually has made a decision to do something about it, though they may pick a date in the very near future on when to start making changes.

3. ACTION TAKING: At this stage, the problem gambler begins to put in the effort to make a change in their gambling behavior. A good support system is important for the problem gambler at the stage as they may be experiencing difficulties in their emotions as they reflect on the consequences of their gambling habits.

4. MAINTAINING OF THIS CHANGE: This is the stage whereby the problem gamblers has been well equipped on ways to identify some of the things they need to change their behavior and put them into practice. What they need at the stage is practice, practice, practice and more practice because this is the period to turn new behaviors into habits which can be very difficult to maintain hence the need for a good support system.

5. RECOVERY: Recovery looks different in different people, but most people recovering from gambling disorder can be able to live their lives freely from any worries about the impact of their gambling.


As much as you want to help a problem gambler manage their finances it’s important that you protect your own finances by keeping your passwords private, protected and hidden as well as your joint accounts.

There are a number of ways to help a problem gambler with their finances.

1. You can encourage the gambling addict to speak with their banks to block or restrict an amount being spent daily/weekly/monthly.

2. As a person trying to help a problem gambler, one should avoid rewarding their habits/behavior. Giving money to a gambling addict could make their problems worse, rather one should think of a positive reward system to help improve their behavior. E.G telling a gambler you won’t give them money but if they stay sober from gambling for a period of time, you are willing to offset some of their bills.

“Always have at the back of your mind that a problem gambler tends to relapse when vulnerable and when they are no longer in debts, that can trigger them”.

3. As much as you’re concerned and you want to help the gambling addict, look out for yourself also as your emotions can also be everywhere, you might feel angry, betrayed, hurt, it can be difficult dealing with these emotions but understand that it is completely normal. However, you’re feeling it’s important you don’t blame yourself or the other person.

Note: Gambling is an addictive behavior and gambling disorder is a medical condition that can develop due to a number of reasons.

For more inquirers reach us at the psychgam services. Phone number: 09153693856
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https://www.priorygroup.com/blog/how-to-help-someone-with-a-gambling-addiction https://www.begambleaware.org/helping-gamblers