Are you living with a Compulsive Gambler?

As it's often hard as compulsive gamblers (hopefully in your case, soon to be ex-compulsive gamblers) for us to be completely honest with ourselves, I'm now going to include a list of 20 tell-tale signs to help partners or friends recognize if there is a problem. I will refer to potential compulsive gamblers as "he" throughout this list, but of course women as well as men may be compulsive gamblers:

• Has he become distant and almost unaware of your presence sometimes when he is around you?

• Does he appear to lack concentration or interest in your attempts at conversation with him?

• Does he have surprising mood swings on returning home, totally different from the mood he left the house in?

• Do you think he is having an affair?

• Are you often wondering why there never seems to be enough money even for the basics?

• Similarly, do you sometimes wonder where the money for surprise gifts, or unexpected nights out (or even holidays), has come from, when only a few days ago there was nothing?

• Does he seem keen to run errands for you, or even to be exercising more than he used to, and yet not appear to be getting any fitter?

• Has he lost interest in sex and/or does he have trouble sleeping?

• Does he use the computer at home a lot and appear agitated when you interrupt him, or do you see the screen suddenly change when you approach?

• Does he take longer than you would expect to go shopping or take the car to a car wash?

• Have you ever found small pens in his pockets?

• Does he hide bank statements or credit card statements from you, and/or is he nervous when the postman delivers, always wanting to get to the mail first?

• If you do see bank/credit card statements, are there entries (either debits or credits) that you don't understand and have to ask about?

• Is he working late continually or going in, supposedly to the office, at weekends for seemingly no noticeable financial benefit (i.e. overtime, etc.)?

• Does he spend longer than you would expect reading the daily newspaper?

• Are you aware he gambles and do you ever go to a casino or race meeting with him?

• Have you ever confronted him about his gambling but accept his reassurance that he has everything under control?

• If you are aware of his gambling, does he ever tell you about his losses, or only his wins?

• Does he appear nervous when friends or family call unexpectedly?

• Have friends or family recently been acting differently towards either of you, or staying away more than they used to?

Some wives/partners/friends of a problem gambler could have ticked all 20 of those before they finally confronted the gambler. So partners or friends need to take a good long look at the list, in order to decide when or how to begin. If as a compulsive gambler you are reading this part, then you need to know that you probably aren't being that clever about hiding your gambling, and so you either have a choice to come clean or be rumbled.

 GamAnon  Gamecare  Gambleaware  NHS Choices





Membership No. VV00P02