From Gambling Problems to Fear of Intimacy Issues

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“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”How To Resolve Problem Gambling?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

My husband and I are starting a business, with a child on the way. I am the bookkeeper, which is how I learned he has a gambling problem. He used to enjoy it as a spectator sport, with occasional indulgence, but now it is eating into our finances. I know problem gambling can destroy lives. How do we stop this before it is too late and our money has disappeared? Diminishing Savings.

Dr. Gelb Says . . .

Dear Savings:

You are right to be concerned. Although most adults can gamble responsibly, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling ( an estimated 2 to 3 percent of adults in our nation (approximately 9 million people) have serious gambling problems. Another 3 million people engage in behavior that would be considered pathological or compulsive.

If you talk to compulsive gamblers about their habit, you will find that they often lose any sense of money as having a real value. It becomes like play money and when they win, they feel in control, enjoying the excitement and increased confidence. When their losses accumulate, they lose control and make bigger bets, hoping to break even. This is often when credit cards get maxed out, personal items are pawned or sold, and savings or investments get raided. The behavior persists, despite the negative consequences.

There is professional help available for this problem. Share your concerns with your husband. Hopefully he will be willing to address this problem now and avoid falling into the grips of compulsive gambling.

”How to Overcome Fear of Intimacy?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

My boyfriend has a fear of intimacy. We want to get engaged, but he can’t take that step. He was in therapy and knows that some childhood issue is blocking him from making a commitment. He hasn