You’ve come to the conclusion that you have a gambling problem. You may have arrived at this verdict after taking a gambling disorder quiz, by conforming so with a specialist, or via the self-realization that self-exclusion alone isn’t cutting it. Whatever the case may be, you’re ready to get help. But you also realize that you’re not alone in any of this. There are others who are impacted by your behavioral health problem, and there may be others who enable it.
Admitting to a gambling problem or addiction to others can be an important part of the recovery process, but it’s no easy task, and is one that is wrought with uncertainty. Below is a breakdown of what to consider when deciding upon who to approach.
3 Questions to Consider When Deciding Who to Tell About Your Gambling Problem or Addiction
Should I Admit it to My Family?
They probably already know, or at least they suspect that something is amiss. It was likely before you came to terms with it yourself.
In our article regarding personal accounts about sports betting addiction, it is made clear that spouses and other family members directly feel the brunt of gambling. It’s not just the financial toll it can take on a household, but the lies, manipulation, and attention/time devoted away from loved ones. By coming forward to admit that you have a problem, a sense of relief will wash over yourself and your loved ones. This relief comes from the fact that admission is the first step on the road to recovery. Furthermore, recovery needn’t occur in isolation, as there is inclusive therapy available for families struggling with gambling addiction.
Should I Admit it to My Friends?
In some cases, admitting a gambling problem to close friends can be a lot like doing so for your family. Those who care deeply about you, will be there to support your recovery. However, there are other instances where which informing friends could be important to putting an end to gambling disorder and to prevent relapse. They may be inadvertent enablers in compulsive gambling behavior. You may go to the casino together on the weekends and/or collectively be a part of a Fantasy sports league and so forth. By letting them know that you have a problem, they may suggest other activities together that don’t put your behavioral health in harm’s way. Those that do not, continue to be enablers, which lets you know who you may need to cut out of your life (or minimize exposure to) from here on in.
Should I Admit it to My Boss?
There was a time when there was a major stigma surrounding mental health concerns in a corporate environment. Admitting to a gambling problem in particular? Unheard of. Close-minded decision makers may have considered having a “compulsive gambler” on staff to be a risk to the welfare of the organization, mitigable only through termination.
Thankfully, the stigma has changed. There is now significant backlash against companies who don’t make employee behavioral health a top priority. Those who continue to ignore it are bleeding valuable human resources. As a result, behavioral health support has become an integral part of employee retention. That said, no one can speak to the corporate culture at your place of employment.
You may consider making an anonymous inquiry to your HR department about whether or not there is company-provided coverage for treatment and therapy of behavioral health concerns as it pertains to gambling disorder. In fact, opening the dialogue with HR about gambling problems and correlated anxiety, stress, and depression could forever change the landscape for how these issue are addressed at your company. If no such program exists, you can forward HR information about Employee Assistance Program (EAP) professional support services that offer businesses the opportunity to foster a healthier work environment while reducing absences and boosting productivity.
That said, if you work in a more “traditional” corporate culture, you might not want to play the role of proverbial guinea pig. If so, you may want to go through a union rep (where applicable) and/or conduct your initial inquiry from aforementioned anonymity. The good news, is that if you don’t feel comfortable admitting a gambling problem to your place of work, you can still get affordable, confidential, and effective help today. Kindbridge has created a safe and welcoming gambling treatment and therapy platform in a virtual environment that is accessible to all.
Contact Kindbridge Behavioral Health to learn more about our gambling disorder programs for individuals, families, groups, and organizations. Email ([email protected]) or call +1 (877) 426-4258 without further delay.