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Problem Gambling and Suicide

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:10 pm
by Administrator
 According to FCCG HelpLine statistics for fiscal year 2009/2010, 83% of gamblers were affected by depression and 81% were experiencing anxiety.

 Suicidal ideations and/or attempts were confirmed in 11% of the help contacts.

 A recent study indicates that older adults who ask to be barred from casinos are three to four times more likely to do so because they are afraid they will commit suicide if they don’t stop gambling (Psychology and Aging, 2008).

 National statistics show that compulsive gamblers have the highest rate of suicide among any addiction or disorder except for individuals suffering from schizophrenia. It is estimated that 1 out of every 5 pathological gamblers will attempt suicide in their lifetime.

 Depression and suicide are more likely among compulsive gamblers for a variety of reasons:
 Medical problems-compulsive gamblers have higher occurrences of insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, high blood pressure migraines and other stress related physical problems than those in the general population.
 Psychiatric-compulsive gambling is associated with major depressive disorder, hypomania, bipolar disorder and panic and anxiety disorders.
 Addiction-fifty percent (50%) of compulsive gamblers are also substance abusers.
 Financial-compulsive gamblers accumulate significant debts which often result in foreclosures of property and bankruptcy.

 Spouses of problem gamblers are also affected by stress related problems and depression and as such, have a suicide attempt rate three times higher than that of the general population.

 A recently released study, by The University of Montreal, reports that compulsive gamblers are at a greater risk for mental and personality disorders which significantly increases the risk of suicide among this population (Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 2010).

 Compulsive gamblers often do not seek professional help because they believe they can gamble their way out of their problems.

It is important for people to realize that there is help available to them by calling 1-888-ADMIT-IT (236-4848).