There would be many Canberrans with experience of living with a problem gambler — specifically the type who is in complete denial and engages in all the classic deceptions, such as hiding the fact that he is even patronising licensed clubs, and spinning concocted stories about why he needs to withdraw substantial sums of money from ATMs all coincidentally located near clubs and why he has no money to pay his car rego during the month that he put $1600 into poker machines (that was one of the cheapest months — it’s usually about $5000). All of the recommended approaches (talking to a counsellor, self-exclude, etc.) seem to require the person to acknowledge that there is an issue. But how do you get the person to that point when they refuse to even talk about it and become hostile and irate when the subject is even raised? They believe that their financial matters are none of anyone else’s business (yes, even in a marriage). Do people have to ‘hit rock bottom’ in terms of a crisis before they see sense? This is a person who would rather walk over hot coals than talk to Relationships Australia (gambling support service). Unfortunately, there is no individual whom he respects who could talk to him. I would like to know what people’s experience has been, as the situation has been going on for some years (which I have recently learned), is only likely to get worse, and is affecting his moods, outlook, and marriage. Thank you.
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