From the New York Council on Problem Gambling:
Mental health refers to our cognitive, emotional, and behavioral wellness. How we think and feel can attribute to the behaviors we display. Many individuals struggle with their mental health in a daily basis.
A variety of factors come into play, but did you ever stop and think that problem gambling may be a source of emotional distress for someone?
Nearly 668,000 New Yorkers have experienced a gambling problem in the past year. That is a lot of family, friends, and colleagues having trouble; possibly half of the state population.
Problems from gambling can include sleep issues, strains on relationships with loved ones, financial problems and struggles at work.
Each person struggling with problem gambling affects up to 10 of the closest people to them. A study found that nine out of 10 people affected by someone else’s gambling problems felt emotional distress.
This means that between the people struggling with problem gambling and the people closest to them, nearly 6.7 million New Yorkers are affected by problem gambling and may struggle with mental health issues because of it.
People who struggle with problem gambling are also at a higher risk for struggling with other mental health disorders.
Two out of three gamblers reported that their mental health suffered as a result of their gambling problems.
In addition to struggling with gambling they may be struggling with mental health problems such as a mood disorder, personality disorder, and anxiety.
On top of that, problem gambling has the highest suicide rate among all addictions. About 50 percent of those struggling with a gambling problem have either thought about or attempted suicide. And one in 5 has attempted and/or died by suicide.
Those are frightening statistics.
How can we tell if someone is struggling with a gambling addiction? There are several warning signs to look out for including: being absent from friend/family events because of gambling; feeling stressed or anxious when not gambling; low work performance due to absence or preoccupation with betting; and lying to family and friends about how much money and time is spent on gambling.
For more information and help in Western New York, please click here to access the website of the Problem Gambling Resource Center in Williamsville. Or call (716) 833.4274. Email is: [email protected]