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The Relationship between Gambling and Anti-Depressants

The Relationship between Gambling and Anti-DepressantsMost addictions have deep psychological roots, particularly in response to trauma, a difficult childhood or buried memories. They may also develop as people use drugs to mask symptoms of mental health concerns, such as bipolar disorder or depression. Furthermore, people also abuse behaviors to avoid problems, as behavioral addictions like compulsive gambling are closely related to past problems and attempts to feel better. Gambling addicts may develop depression and take anti-depressants to feel better, but they may still struggle with compulsive gambling behaviors and even begin abuse medications to cope. If you or a loved one struggles with gambling addiction and anti-depressant abuse, then seek specialized help to recover completely.

What Is Gambling Addiction?

In its September 2010 issue, The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse published “Introduction to Behavioral Addiction” to clarify what behavioral addictions are, “the failure to resist an impulse, drive, or temptation to perform an act that is harmful to the person or to others.” Behavioral addictions develop when people engage in certain behaviors to produce dopamine spikes that mask undesirable feelings or thoughts. In other words, people have addictions if they gamble despite the problems it causes, especially if doing so helps them overcome negative feelings. Risk factors for behavioral addiction are similar to those of drug addictions, and they include family histories of addiction, environmental contributors and mental health concerns.

Gambling and Depression

Compulsive gambling commonly co-occurs with mental health issues, especially depression. “Introduction to Behavioral Addictions” explains that “psychiatric disorders, such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder…[are] commonly reported in association with behavioral addictions.” It is difficult to determine which problem developed first, gambling addiction or depression, as both problems can lead to each other. Depression can lead to gambling as a means of coping, while the effects of a gambling addiction can also lead to depression. Drug addictions commonly co-occur with gambling problems and depression, confusing the situation further, but professional treatment can help people identify their problems and heal from both of them at the same time.

Treating Co-Occurring Depression and Addiction

When people have mental health issues and addiction at the same time, they need integrated treatment to recover. Mental health and addiction recovery professionals collaborate to explore the causes and effects of addiction, because then they can provide the most effective treatment. Addiction recovery programs will also provide aftercare options to ensure patients remain healthy and happy after treatment ends. Seek help as soon as possible to control your issues and recover.

Find Treatment for Depression and Gambling Addiction

If you or a loved one struggles with gambling addiction and depression, let us help. Our admissions coordinators can connect you to the treatment resources that understand the challenges of both problems, so seek their help right now from our 24 hour, toll-free helpline. It is never too early or too late to ask for help, so call now.

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