Compulsive Gambling Addiction and Mental Health

Addictions don’t happen in a vacuum. Every compulsive behavior is shaped by a confluence of social, psychological, and biological factors that intertwine, and compulsive gambling is no different. While these factors not only determine our propensity towards compulsive behaviors, our compulsive behaviors flow back to shape our day to day social, psychological, and biological life. As an example, let’s take a look at how compulsive gambling interacts with mental health.

Gambling is a magnet for people who suffer from depression. The environment of a casino- free alcohol, music playing, lights, all promise an emotional lift, that over time often translates to reliance. Studies of compulsive gamblers revealed that over three quarters of them also experienced depression. Interestingly, it divided about half and half between people who’s depression lead them to gambling, or those who’s gambling habits resulted in their depression. Either way, compulsive gambling exacerbates depressive symptoms, to the point that the risk of suicide is statistically higher in gamblers over non gamblers.

Other mental health issues commonly observed in the compulsive gambling community, are anxiety, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Also less common mental health disorders that are linked to impulsivity such as kleptomania, narcissism, and intermittent explosive disorder also have a high degree of co-incidence with compulsive gambling.

Mental health is a complex topic, and there are many more influencing factors. Mental health rehab through targeted therapy can offer help to manage addiction as well as get to the heart of any mental health conditions co-occurring with compulsive gambling.  


There’s no need to face these complex issues alone. If you know someone who is in need of gambling addiction treatment services, please contact us at (844) 299-0618.


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