GAMBLING problems have far-reaching implications beyond financial ones, including relationship breakdowns, depression and anxiety, and it can be difficult to acknowledge gambling is an addiction needing treatment.
Those whose lives are falling apart because of gambling, benefit from counselling and other services, but taking that step can be difficult.
Relationships Australia has found problem gamblers are ashamed of their behaviour and keep it hidden. They need help but can't do it themselves.
Recognising a gambling problem in a partner or family member is not easy.
The first sign of trouble might be a change in communication patterns. People with gambling problems are often so busy hiding this part of their life they have to distance themselves from those close to them.
For a partner, a gambling addiction is not unlike an affair - the issues around breach of trust are much the same. However once partners realise there is a gambling problem, they are usually supportive and work through the issues.
Relationships Australia offers counselling support on 1300 364 277 or via relationships.org.au.