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Disordered Gambling’s Impact on Mental Health

People that struggle with problem gambling may find their behavioral health issues compounded by the presence of other mental health disorders. According to recent studies, over 90% percent of disordered gamblers receive comorbid diagnoses like depression, anxiety, or even substance use disorders.

These mood and substance use disorders can lead individuals to seek relief or distraction through the momentary enjoyment that gambling provides. A thrilling day of casino gambling in Atlantic City or betting on the horses in Monmouth County or Freehold may seem like an appealing temporary solution. However, if people continually turn to gambling as an attempt to mitigate their symptoms, they may also develop an issue with their gambling behavior.

Disordered gambling can also lead to the subsequent development of mental health disorders in people that did not previously have them. As an individual’s gambling disorder worsens, they may go to some lengths to conceal their behavior out of guilt or shame. This deception can lead to severe anxiety. Should their behavior result in financial difficulties, bankruptcy, or other serious issues, they may become depressed or even turn to thoughts of suicide.

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ) is here to help. We have dedicated ourselves to educating the public about disordered gambling and providing a wide range of programs and resources intended to aid disordered gamblers and their loved ones with the process of recovery. Residents of NJ – from Trenton and Camden up to Vineland and Woodbridge, and anywhere else throughout the state, including Parsippany and the Meadowlands area –  can easily access support and treatment through our 800-GAMBLER hotline and other resources.

Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mood Disorders

Over 70% of disordered gamblers suffer from depression. Additionally, around 33-40% of people struggling with a gambling problem contend with an anxiety disorder or personality disorder. The presence of a mental health disorder makes recovery a more difficult prospect for gamblers, but are all the more reason for them to seek help. If problem gamblers continually postpone or decline treatment for their gambling and mental health, then the likelihood of illegal drug use, bankruptcy, or suicide increases.

The Path to Recovery

Luckily, the same methods that therapists and other medical professionals use to treat disordered gambling also work for many other mental health disorders. Psychologists and licensed counselors frequently use cognitive behavioral therapy with their patients as a way to teach them better coping strategies for stress and anxiety. Additionally, psychiatrists can prescribe medications that may alleviate the symptoms of depression and other mood disorders. If individuals seek therapy for one disorder, treatment of other mental health disorders becomes an easier prospect.

People can also find support from other disordered gamblers who may struggle with other mood or substance use disorders, as well. Gamblers Anonymous meetings allow problem gamblers to create a forum where they share their struggles, issues, and triumphs. In the process, they develop a supportive network of peers that can reinforce their efforts to achieve recovery.

People suffering from disordered gambling can find help anywhere in NJ. The CCGNJ provides ready access to support for residents of the following areas and elsewhere throughout the state:

  • Trenton
  • Vineland
  • Woodbridge
  • Parsippany
  • Freehold
  • Meadowlands area
  • Monmouth County
  • Atlantic City
  • Camden

No matter where you live and no matter what other mental health disorders you may struggle with, the CCGNJ offers support, treatment, and hope to everyone who needs it. Call or text 800-GAMBLER today for immediate assistance.

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