Parents — especially mothers — play an essential role in our lives. These women care for and protect us as we grow, ensuring that we have everything we need to be healthy and productive. Sadly, a gambling addiction can turn your relationship with your mom inside out. When your mother is obsessed with feeding her compulsive desire to gamble, everything else takes a backseat — finances, health and even her relationship with her children.
It may be difficult to admit that your mom has a gambling problem. Here is what you need to know about gambling addictions and what you can do to help.
Understanding Your Mother’s Gambling Addiction
When you’re the child of a problem gambler, it isn’t easy to understand why your mother is behaving the way she is. As her debts rise and her addiction negatively impacts her personal and professional life, you’re faced with a barrage of emotions — concern, anger, fear.
What drives her compulsive need to gamble? Why can’t she just stop? Here are some things you need to understand about gambling addictions:
- It’s not a choice. What may have started as a pastime has now become a disease. Gambling addiction is not a lack of self-control or a bad choice. Just like an addiction to drugs, gambling addiction is a mental health disorder that makes it feel impossible to quit.
- Your mom’s gambling is not your fault. Some children feel like they drove their parents to gamble. This notion is completely untrue. You did not cause your mom’s gambling addiction, so do not feel guilty.
- You need to avoid enabling her addiction. If your mom is short on cash, she may do almost anything to get the funds she needs to keep gambling, such as asking for money or manipulating your emotions. It is not your duty to support her gambling habit. No matter how much money you give her, it will never be enough.
- It’s not your responsibility to fix your mom. You cannot single-handedly get your mom to quit gambling. While you can encourage her to get treatment, the choice to get help for her gambling addiction is ultimately her decision.
- Your relationship can be repaired. Distrust, hurt and anger may currently define your relationship with your mom. However, as she experiences healing, so too can your relationship. It may take time, but if your mom is willing to get help and open up to you, you can rebuild trust and love.
What to Do If My Mother is a Gambling Addict
If your mom has a gambling addiction, appropriate treatment may be the only way she can break free from her compulsive need to gamble. Gateway Foundation is proud to offer life-saving addiction treatment to individuals struggling with gambling problems. After over 50 years of serving people throughout Illinois, we’ve developed a comprehensive treatment approach that is individualized to our client’s unique needs.
If you’re not sure what to do about your mother’s gambling addiction and you need advice, contact our compassionate team today. We want to help your mom find the path to a more fulfilling life.