Can Empty Nest Syndrome Lead to a Gambling Problem?

There’s no secret that gambling problems can result from various underlying reasons. Problem gambling might take decades to show its face, or simply result from one significant issue that affects an individual mentally, emotionally, or physically. Believe it or not, empty nest syndrome can play a leading role in the occurrence of a gambling problem, especially as the summer comes to a close and children move into their new lives. For parents with children leaving their homes or moving on to better things, learn how to prevent gambling problems and new ways to cope with an empty house. 

What Is the Empty Nest Syndrome?

Empty nest syndrome is a term accepted in society characterized by the long-term loneliness and grief parents feel when their child leaves home to start a family or find a new job. For many parents, empty nest syndrome can be an exciting time, knowing their children are gone. For others, this can lead to emotional withdrawal and little motivation to perform daily tasks like laundry, dishes, and cooking. Almost 12% of parents report feeling lonely when their children aren’t around. It’s not a clinical diagnosis, but empty nest syndrome is recognized as a real effect that many parents face. 

How Can It Lead to a Gambling Problem?

The relationship between parent and child is often very strong and is something many parents rely on to take up time during their days. With an empty nest, parents are forced to make decisions to deal with the added time they must now account for. Some parents get pets, while others engage in weekly groups based on their hobbies. Others form new hobbies, leading them down the path to problem gambling.

Gambling problems can occur for many reasons, and in this case, it’s because of parents looking to cope with the boredom of being home with little to do. The vast highs and lows can lead to gambling covering most of the parent’s free time. As they spend more time using gambling to cope, it can lead to lies to other loved ones, strained relationships, lack of finances, and eventually, changes in sleeping habits and personalities.

How Can You Prevent Gambling Problems From Empty Nest Syndrome?

Empty nest syndrome doesn’t occur for every parent, but if you feel like you’re struggling after your children leave home, practice healthier and more engaging hobbies and behaviors. Focus on unfulfilled career choices and activities, such as pursuing an elusive promotion or changing your career path. Travel to places on your bucket list, spend time focusing more on your own health, or help others with charity/volunteer work that goes towards a good cause. If you’ve started gambling and believe you might have a problem, a gambler’s anonymous help meeting can help combat symptoms before they take over more of your life.

800-GAMBLER Can Help Combat Gambling Problems Regardless of the Cause

Numerous causes lead to problem gambling, and empty nest syndrome is just one in a long line of them. Practicing healthier habits, mindsets, and ways to handle stressful situations are just some tricks you can use to prevent gambling problems. Being aware of the causes and effects of your actions can also help fight problem gambling, and don’t forget to use available resources like 800-GAMBLER. 

If you or a loved one need help to combat gambling problems due to empty nest syndrome or any other reason, text or call our confidential helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER. With cognitive behavioral therapy for gambling and a host of other treatments, resources, and assistance, our staff is well-equipped to help you fight any problems you face. Contact us and learn more about addressing gambling problems today.


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