Family Problems That Can Result From An Untreated Gambling Addiction

It's easy to view gambling as a fun pastime — and for many people, this can be true. For others, however, falling into a gambling addiction can occur quickly. If you're someone who has noticed signs of an addictive personality, it's probably best to never start gambling. However, if you are a gambler and are concerned about your inability to stop, getting help from a mental health professional is vital. A gambling addiction isn't just detrimental to you — it can also lead to a wide range of serious family members. Here are some issues that can arise.

Family Breakup

Gambling takes its toll on a family in a number of ways, but financial concerns are especially common. For example, if you're gambling away your weekly income and have even started to take money out of savings to feed your addiction, this may be more than your spouse can handle. In an effort to protect himself or herself and your children from financial hardship, your spouse may choose to leave. Your spouse may choose this action because your gambling could have severe repercussions. For example, if you lose enough money that you can't pay your mortgage or rent and your monthly bills, your family may face considerable financial hardship.

Lost Opportunity For Your Children

Good parents want to give their children every possible opportunity. Even if you're a devoted parent in lots of ways, an addiction to gambling can impact your ability to provide. For example, if your children are in high school and are planning to go to college, they may be unable to do so financially if you've gambled away the family's savings. Even things such as not having money for new clothing for your children can make them suffer from low self-esteem, which can have far-reaching effects throughout their lives.

Threat Of Violence

In extreme cases of gambling, your addiction may actually put your family at risk of danger. For example, if you owe a significant amount of money to the wrong people, someone may think about causing harm to a family member in an effort to make you pay. Or, someone may even shoot into your home or set it on fire to send a message that you need to pay up. Such scenarios might seem extreme, but it's impossible to predict just how dangerous an untreated gambling addiction can be. You have the chance to avoid all of these issues, however, by seeking help from a mental health professional who specializes in addiction.

To learn more, contact a counseling center like Park Center Inc