The Connection Between Problem Gambling and Suicide
Individuals struggling with problem gambling or gambling disorder can feel distress and a sense of helplessness when dealing with the effects of their gambling behavior. They can feel alone. And their distress isn’t obvious. Suicidal ideation may be viewed as a way of escape to a life in turmoil or perceived to be destroyed.
Supporting someone who is feeling in distress, pain and has thoughts of suicide:
- Ask. Research shows individuals who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief if someone cares enough to ask after them in a caring way.
- Be there. Listening without judgement may lessen the feeling of depression and being overwhelmed. Individuals are also more likely to feel less suicidal and more hopeful.
- Help Them Feel Connected. Creating a network of resources and individuals for support and safety can help build positive action and reduce feelings of hopelessness.
- Follow Up. Support and ongoing contact can be an important part of suicide prevention.
If you, or someone who know, is feeling suicidal GET HELP RIGHT AWAY
- Call 2-1-1 and press 1 if you and/or a loved one are at imminent risk.
- Call the Maryland Problem Gambling Helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER, to be connected to a Peer Recovery Specialist or Treatment Counselor. Both services are offered free of charge.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Loss – financial, self-esteem, valuable relationships, job
- Coping with mental health and/or substance abuse issues
- Being a burden to others
- Feeling trapped
- Unbearable pain
- Isolation and loneliness
- Feeling of hopelessness and helplessness
Peer Recovery Support
You are not alone – There is Hope.
Getting your life back on the road to recovery from harmful gambling behaviors and creating a life of health and wellness is a journey that requires time and energy. Relapses are not uncommon, feelings of hopelessness may return and become overwhelming. But you are not alone.
Recovery is possible.
A Peer Recovery Support Specialist can provide an additional level of support as they have lived experience in addiction and have walked a similar path. A Peer will be there, listening and supporting you every step of the way to limit, control or stop your gambling behavior. A Peer will help you feel connected to the resources you need including “no cost” treatment. A Peer will follow up with you and support you on your recovery journey.
September is National Recovery Month. This month start on the road to recovery with the help of Peer Recovery Support. Peer Recovery Support for problem gambling/gambling addiction helps widen the doorways of entry into treatment and recovery:
- Helps individuals to access treatment to limit, control or stop gambling behavior;
- Connects individuals with resources to support them during their recovery process and to a life of wellness; and
- Encourages individuals to continue to work toward their goals in dealing with gambling problems.