Are Gambling Addiction and Depression Linked? Comorbidities

Are Gambling Addiction and Depression Linked? Comorbidities

Are Gambling Addiction and Depression Linked? Comorbidities

Published:

Jul 3, 2024

Published:

Jul 3, 2024

Published:

Jul 3, 2024

Gambling and depression are interlinked more than you might think. Individuals with depression turn to gambling to escape their painful feelings. Alternatively, gambling addiction can cause depression. 

Depression severely affects a person’s life. It can make it hard to carry out basic tasks and responsibilities. Together, gambling and depression have negative consequences on social relationships and personal responsibilities. 

It’s best to get help for both gambling and depression when seeking treatment. One can increase the severity of the other. In this guide, you’ll learn more about how gambling and depression coexist. 

What are Gambling Addiction (Disorder) and Depression?

Gambling Addiction a.k.a. Gambling Disorder

Gambling addiction is otherwise known for its name gambling disorder. This mental health disorder occurs in which gambling interferes with every aspect of a person’s life. 

You might find that you have trouble controlling your gambling habits. Signs of gambling addiction include difficulty concentrating, borrowing or stealing money, and trouble with work situations and relationships. 

Depression

Depression is often referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. This serious mood disorder affects the way you think, feel, and act. 

It’s often characterized by low energy, difficulty making decisions, and lack of interest in daily activities. Depression can happen to anyone, regardless of whether they gamble or not. 

Is there a connection between Gambling Addiction and Depression?

Gambling addiction and depression are disorders that co-occur. While it’s normal to feel sad, depression is an ongoing feeling that causes emotional and physical harm. Some people might experience self-harm or suicidal ideation. 

They might also seek out harmful activities to escape from their current situation. One of those activities can be gambling. 

Studies show that individuals with depression are more likely to engage in gambling. Gambling also causes depression. Once you become addicted to gambling, it can worsen your depression symptoms. 

Chasing losses, fallout in personal relationships, job loss, and other consequences can cause someone to feel hopeless. This increases the cycle of addiction. Most people believe their situation will change and continue gambling despite the aftermath. 

How common are comorbidities in individuals with Gambling Addiction?

Ninety-six percent of people with gambling addiction have one or more co-occurring mental health disorders. The average gambling addict may have up to 4.7 disorders in their lifetime. 

Studies also showed that people with gambling addiction are more likely to develop a psychiatric condition compared to those without the addiction. It’s not just mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Gambling addiction can also increase or worsen behavioral disorders. 

Research shows that people with ADHD are at risk of developing a gambling disorder. Other mental health disorders that co-exist with gambling disorders include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What’s even more concerning is that medications used to treat some of these disorders can encourage problematic gambling. 

Can Gambling Addiction and Depression be treated at the same time?

A tailored approach to gambling addiction and depression is the best way to treat both conditions. For example, antidepressants and mood stabilizers may be prescribed to treat depression. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, certain antidepressants can help with reducing cravings associated with gambling addiction. Aside from medication, treatment for gambling addiction might also include therapy and self-help groups. Other forms of treatment include inpatient or outpatient programs. 

Self-help treatments and virtual treatments with a mental health professional may also be an option for people who want to have a structured program at home. 

Like gambling addiction, depression can be treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is recommended for both gambling addiction and depression. 

This psychological approach helps individuals change negative thought patterns and develop new coping skills. It can also help people with depression heal from their harmful and suicidal thoughts. 

What medications are used to treat Gambling Addiction and Depression?

Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications for gambling addiction. However, researchers found promise with drugs they’ve tested. Clinical trials have shown that escitalopram, lithium, naltrexone, and paroxetine can help reduce the cravings associated with gambling addiction. 

For depression, a doctor would typically prescribe an SSRI. These medications are safe to use and have fewer side effects than regular antidepressants. Escitalopram and paroxetine are just two examples of SSRIs that can help with both depression and gambling addiction. 

Resources & Treatment Options for Gambling Addiction and Depression

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common treatment option for gambling addiction and depression. This treatment teaches individuals how to change their thoughts and behaviors related to gambling. 

Self-help interventions for both depression and gambling addiction are also available. Both of these approaches can be done alone or with the help of a specialist. 

Guided self-help approaches often include workbooks, online courses, or motivational therapy. Individuals who use guided self-help tend to do better than those who don’t use self-help. 

Psychotherapy is a general term for talk therapy. In this case, you’ll speak to a licensed clinician about your gambling addiction and related disorders. It’s effective for both co-occurring issues and might include cognitive behavioral therapy practices. 

Your mental health professional might recommend other forms of therapy, such as face-to-face sessions, virtual sessions, or support groups. 

Two resources that offer more information on treatment options for gambling addiction and depression are The National Council on Problem Gambling and the National Network of Depression Centers

There are multiple options for taking the first step with Birches Health:

Or you can simply call 833-483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to get in touch with the Birches team right away.

Sources:

The influence of gambling to escape on depression symptoms and problem gambling

Problem Gambling and Psychiatric Comorbidity—Risk and Temporal Sequencing Among 

Gambling Disorder and  Co-Occurring Disorders

Treatment recommendations for gambling disorders

Can Medications Help People With Gambling Disorder? | Psychopharmacology

Compulsive gambling - Symptoms & causes - Mayo Clinic

Depression (major depressive disorder) - Mayo Clinic

Antidepressants: Selecting one that's right for you - Mayo Clinic

Gambling and depression are interlinked more than you might think. Individuals with depression turn to gambling to escape their painful feelings. Alternatively, gambling addiction can cause depression. 

Depression severely affects a person’s life. It can make it hard to carry out basic tasks and responsibilities. Together, gambling and depression have negative consequences on social relationships and personal responsibilities. 

It’s best to get help for both gambling and depression when seeking treatment. One can increase the severity of the other. In this guide, you’ll learn more about how gambling and depression coexist. 

What are Gambling Addiction (Disorder) and Depression?

Gambling Addiction a.k.a. Gambling Disorder

Gambling addiction is otherwise known for its name gambling disorder. This mental health disorder occurs in which gambling interferes with every aspect of a person’s life. 

You might find that you have trouble controlling your gambling habits. Signs of gambling addiction include difficulty concentrating, borrowing or stealing money, and trouble with work situations and relationships. 

Depression

Depression is often referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. This serious mood disorder affects the way you think, feel, and act. 

It’s often characterized by low energy, difficulty making decisions, and lack of interest in daily activities. Depression can happen to anyone, regardless of whether they gamble or not. 

Is there a connection between Gambling Addiction and Depression?

Gambling addiction and depression are disorders that co-occur. While it’s normal to feel sad, depression is an ongoing feeling that causes emotional and physical harm. Some people might experience self-harm or suicidal ideation. 

They might also seek out harmful activities to escape from their current situation. One of those activities can be gambling. 

Studies show that individuals with depression are more likely to engage in gambling. Gambling also causes depression. Once you become addicted to gambling, it can worsen your depression symptoms. 

Chasing losses, fallout in personal relationships, job loss, and other consequences can cause someone to feel hopeless. This increases the cycle of addiction. Most people believe their situation will change and continue gambling despite the aftermath. 

How common are comorbidities in individuals with Gambling Addiction?

Ninety-six percent of people with gambling addiction have one or more co-occurring mental health disorders. The average gambling addict may have up to 4.7 disorders in their lifetime. 

Studies also showed that people with gambling addiction are more likely to develop a psychiatric condition compared to those without the addiction. It’s not just mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Gambling addiction can also increase or worsen behavioral disorders. 

Research shows that people with ADHD are at risk of developing a gambling disorder. Other mental health disorders that co-exist with gambling disorders include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What’s even more concerning is that medications used to treat some of these disorders can encourage problematic gambling. 

Can Gambling Addiction and Depression be treated at the same time?

A tailored approach to gambling addiction and depression is the best way to treat both conditions. For example, antidepressants and mood stabilizers may be prescribed to treat depression. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, certain antidepressants can help with reducing cravings associated with gambling addiction. Aside from medication, treatment for gambling addiction might also include therapy and self-help groups. Other forms of treatment include inpatient or outpatient programs. 

Self-help treatments and virtual treatments with a mental health professional may also be an option for people who want to have a structured program at home. 

Like gambling addiction, depression can be treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is recommended for both gambling addiction and depression. 

This psychological approach helps individuals change negative thought patterns and develop new coping skills. It can also help people with depression heal from their harmful and suicidal thoughts. 

What medications are used to treat Gambling Addiction and Depression?

Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications for gambling addiction. However, researchers found promise with drugs they’ve tested. Clinical trials have shown that escitalopram, lithium, naltrexone, and paroxetine can help reduce the cravings associated with gambling addiction. 

For depression, a doctor would typically prescribe an SSRI. These medications are safe to use and have fewer side effects than regular antidepressants. Escitalopram and paroxetine are just two examples of SSRIs that can help with both depression and gambling addiction. 

Resources & Treatment Options for Gambling Addiction and Depression

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common treatment option for gambling addiction and depression. This treatment teaches individuals how to change their thoughts and behaviors related to gambling. 

Self-help interventions for both depression and gambling addiction are also available. Both of these approaches can be done alone or with the help of a specialist. 

Guided self-help approaches often include workbooks, online courses, or motivational therapy. Individuals who use guided self-help tend to do better than those who don’t use self-help. 

Psychotherapy is a general term for talk therapy. In this case, you’ll speak to a licensed clinician about your gambling addiction and related disorders. It’s effective for both co-occurring issues and might include cognitive behavioral therapy practices. 

Your mental health professional might recommend other forms of therapy, such as face-to-face sessions, virtual sessions, or support groups. 

Two resources that offer more information on treatment options for gambling addiction and depression are The National Council on Problem Gambling and the National Network of Depression Centers

There are multiple options for taking the first step with Birches Health:

Or you can simply call 833-483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to get in touch with the Birches team right away.

Sources:

The influence of gambling to escape on depression symptoms and problem gambling

Problem Gambling and Psychiatric Comorbidity—Risk and Temporal Sequencing Among 

Gambling Disorder and  Co-Occurring Disorders

Treatment recommendations for gambling disorders

Can Medications Help People With Gambling Disorder? | Psychopharmacology

Compulsive gambling - Symptoms & causes - Mayo Clinic

Depression (major depressive disorder) - Mayo Clinic

Antidepressants: Selecting one that's right for you - Mayo Clinic

Gambling and depression are interlinked more than you might think. Individuals with depression turn to gambling to escape their painful feelings. Alternatively, gambling addiction can cause depression. 

Depression severely affects a person’s life. It can make it hard to carry out basic tasks and responsibilities. Together, gambling and depression have negative consequences on social relationships and personal responsibilities. 

It’s best to get help for both gambling and depression when seeking treatment. One can increase the severity of the other. In this guide, you’ll learn more about how gambling and depression coexist. 

What are Gambling Addiction (Disorder) and Depression?

Gambling Addiction a.k.a. Gambling Disorder

Gambling addiction is otherwise known for its name gambling disorder. This mental health disorder occurs in which gambling interferes with every aspect of a person’s life. 

You might find that you have trouble controlling your gambling habits. Signs of gambling addiction include difficulty concentrating, borrowing or stealing money, and trouble with work situations and relationships. 

Depression

Depression is often referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. This serious mood disorder affects the way you think, feel, and act. 

It’s often characterized by low energy, difficulty making decisions, and lack of interest in daily activities. Depression can happen to anyone, regardless of whether they gamble or not. 

Is there a connection between Gambling Addiction and Depression?

Gambling addiction and depression are disorders that co-occur. While it’s normal to feel sad, depression is an ongoing feeling that causes emotional and physical harm. Some people might experience self-harm or suicidal ideation. 

They might also seek out harmful activities to escape from their current situation. One of those activities can be gambling. 

Studies show that individuals with depression are more likely to engage in gambling. Gambling also causes depression. Once you become addicted to gambling, it can worsen your depression symptoms. 

Chasing losses, fallout in personal relationships, job loss, and other consequences can cause someone to feel hopeless. This increases the cycle of addiction. Most people believe their situation will change and continue gambling despite the aftermath. 

How common are comorbidities in individuals with Gambling Addiction?

Ninety-six percent of people with gambling addiction have one or more co-occurring mental health disorders. The average gambling addict may have up to 4.7 disorders in their lifetime. 

Studies also showed that people with gambling addiction are more likely to develop a psychiatric condition compared to those without the addiction. It’s not just mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Gambling addiction can also increase or worsen behavioral disorders. 

Research shows that people with ADHD are at risk of developing a gambling disorder. Other mental health disorders that co-exist with gambling disorders include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What’s even more concerning is that medications used to treat some of these disorders can encourage problematic gambling. 

Can Gambling Addiction and Depression be treated at the same time?

A tailored approach to gambling addiction and depression is the best way to treat both conditions. For example, antidepressants and mood stabilizers may be prescribed to treat depression. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, certain antidepressants can help with reducing cravings associated with gambling addiction. Aside from medication, treatment for gambling addiction might also include therapy and self-help groups. Other forms of treatment include inpatient or outpatient programs. 

Self-help treatments and virtual treatments with a mental health professional may also be an option for people who want to have a structured program at home. 

Like gambling addiction, depression can be treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is recommended for both gambling addiction and depression. 

This psychological approach helps individuals change negative thought patterns and develop new coping skills. It can also help people with depression heal from their harmful and suicidal thoughts. 

What medications are used to treat Gambling Addiction and Depression?

Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications for gambling addiction. However, researchers found promise with drugs they’ve tested. Clinical trials have shown that escitalopram, lithium, naltrexone, and paroxetine can help reduce the cravings associated with gambling addiction. 

For depression, a doctor would typically prescribe an SSRI. These medications are safe to use and have fewer side effects than regular antidepressants. Escitalopram and paroxetine are just two examples of SSRIs that can help with both depression and gambling addiction. 

Resources & Treatment Options for Gambling Addiction and Depression

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common treatment option for gambling addiction and depression. This treatment teaches individuals how to change their thoughts and behaviors related to gambling. 

Self-help interventions for both depression and gambling addiction are also available. Both of these approaches can be done alone or with the help of a specialist. 

Guided self-help approaches often include workbooks, online courses, or motivational therapy. Individuals who use guided self-help tend to do better than those who don’t use self-help. 

Psychotherapy is a general term for talk therapy. In this case, you’ll speak to a licensed clinician about your gambling addiction and related disorders. It’s effective for both co-occurring issues and might include cognitive behavioral therapy practices. 

Your mental health professional might recommend other forms of therapy, such as face-to-face sessions, virtual sessions, or support groups. 

Two resources that offer more information on treatment options for gambling addiction and depression are The National Council on Problem Gambling and the National Network of Depression Centers

There are multiple options for taking the first step with Birches Health:

Or you can simply call 833-483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to get in touch with the Birches team right away.

Sources:

The influence of gambling to escape on depression symptoms and problem gambling

Problem Gambling and Psychiatric Comorbidity—Risk and Temporal Sequencing Among 

Gambling Disorder and  Co-Occurring Disorders

Treatment recommendations for gambling disorders

Can Medications Help People With Gambling Disorder? | Psychopharmacology

Compulsive gambling - Symptoms & causes - Mayo Clinic

Depression (major depressive disorder) - Mayo Clinic

Antidepressants: Selecting one that's right for you - Mayo Clinic