While gambling is not exclusive to certain times of the year, its popularity tends to spike during particular seasons. As the weather changes, people deal with shifts in mood, which directly influence their decision to gamble. Understanding how gambling behavior varies based on the time of year is crucial to managing a healthy lifestyle.
The Influence of SAD
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) plays a prominent role in gambling behavior. SAD is a specific form of depression that is connected to changes in seasons. While most people develop SAD symptoms during fall or winter, others suffer from this condition exclusively in the spring or summer. Symptoms of SAD include:
- Persistent feelings of depression
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Low energy levels
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritation or restlessness
If you struggle with seasonal depression, you may notice that it impacts your desire to gamble. For example, if you typically feel down in the winter, you’ll likely feel a stronger urge to gamble during this time of year. If SAD targets you in the summer instead, you may hit the casino to seek a much-needed mood boost.
No matter where you fall on the SAD spectrum, it’s important to know how the seasons influence your emotions. Knowing when you’re most vulnerable will allow you to develop the coping mechanisms you need to resist the urge to gamble.
How to Combat the Effects of SAD
During the period of time that SAD affects a problem gambler, it may be helpful to adopt certain habits and activities outside of gambling. Here are a few things one can do in place of gambling when SAD symptoms are striking hard:
Many popular casinos also report significant changes in traffic during certain seasons. For example, top Las Vegas casinos have noted a 6% increase in revenue in January, one of their busiest months.
This sharp rise in popularity speaks to people’s tendency to feel more depressed or bored during the cold, dark winter months. As a result, they take refuge in casinos to dissolve their negative feelings and find a source of entertainment.
Break Free From Your Gambling Habit
If your gambling behavior becomes problematic during a specific time of year, don’t wait to get the help you need. Calling 800-GAMBLER can allow you to find freedom from your gambling problem and finally regain control over your life.