Relatives are also affected by gambling problems

Is there someone close to you who is gambling too much? Does that make you concerned, frustrated and sad? Have you tried in vain to get the person to change his or her behaviour? Do you feel powerless and don’t know how to handle the situation? Here are a few tips on what you as a family member can do:

Kontakta Stödlinjen

Call, email or chat anonymously

1. Speak to someone about the problems; contact the Support Line
A gambler wants to keep the situation secret because he or she is ashamed, and it’s easy for relatives to do the same. But it isn’t the gambler who decides who should find out about it. So make sure you have someone to talk to about the problems. To get professional help, a first step can be to contact the Support Line, which is there for both gamblers and their families. This gives you an opportunity to talk with someone and get tips on what you can do to bring about a change. You can phone, email or chat on the Support Line, it doesn’t cost anything and you can remain anonymous if you wish.

2. Don’t forget to look after yourself
For a relative of a person with gambling problems, it’s easy to forget to look after yourself and instead focus all your energy on trying to change the gambler. But to be able to look after and support someone else, you must first of all look after yourself.

3. Take control of the finances
Support the gambler emotionally – not financially. Don’t give him or her any money for gambling. Make sure you take control of the finances, seeking help with this if necessary. The Swedish Consumer Agency can help you to draw up a household budget and get an overview over the changes needed, as well as finding a budget advisor in your municipality. It’s also good to know that you as a relative cannot have a gambler blocked from gambling, but you can encourage the gambler to exclude himself or herself via Svenska Spel’s Customer Service.

Anna’s mother embezzled cash for gambling
As she was growing up, Anna sensed that something wasn’t quite right with her mother, who was displaying increasingly disturbing behaviour. Hear Anna talk about her experiences of her mother’s gambling problems and what it feels like to find out that a relative has a gambling addiction.

How do you feel and think as a relative?
What happens in relationships when someone has a gambling problem? Psychologist Jakob Jonsson explains how many relatives are affected by dangerous gambling behaviour of gamblers, and the emotions and thoughts that you can experience as a relative.