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No dice to roll: Study indicates depression and chronic gambling often occur together

Posted on 07-03-15 in Depression

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A study published in the Journal of Gambling Studies by researcher Frédéric Dussault of the University of Quebec at Montreal, examined how compulsive gambling and depression occurred together in male teens through their 20s. The results found a very high correlation between chronic gambling and depression. Researchers at the University of Missouri claim that over 1.6 million college-age American adults meet the criteria for problem gambling.

This study was the first to analyze the relationship between depression and gambling and to what extent the two occurred together. The researchers collected data from a previous ongoing study that began in 1984, continuing into the present. This study used data from a group of 1,162 kindergarten-aged boys who lived in lower class areas of Montreal. Factors including family situation, the quality of their relationships and levels of impulsivity were taken into consideration when collecting data.

The current study used data from a from a group of 878 participants who were questioned at ages 17, 23 and 28 regarding their problems with gambling and depressive behavior. Results from the study found 3 percent of participants exhibited characteristics of chronic gambling, which mirrors the national average. The participants’ progressive gambling behavior was monitored between the ages of 17 and 28. Out of this population, 73 percent of the participants were found to suffer from depression. Their depression also showed to grow over time as their compulsive gambling behavior progressed.

The researchers found that the boys who demonstrated more impulsive behavior were more likely to develop depression and gambling problems later in life. The participants’ relationships with their parents were also linked with the development of their depression. Dussault suggested that gambling problems should be treated alongside depression, due to the high likelihood of co-occurrence. This is what is called dual diagnosis in which an individual struggling with co-occurring issues such as a mental illness, compulsion and/or addiction is treated for all issues simultaneously to ensure a better overall recovery.

According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately one out of every 10 Americans suffers from depression. Sadly, most people who struggle with this condition do not receive the mental health treatment that they need.

Sovereign Health Group is among the leading mental health treatment providers in the country and we offer various inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for patients who are struggling with mental health disorders, drug addiction and dual diagnosis. Upon arrival to treatment, each patient is put through a series of assessments to evaluate their specific level of care needed and a customized treatment program is designed that meets their individual needs. If you know someone who is struggling with depression and is in need of treatment, please do not hesitate to call. You may contact us at 888-530-4614. Our admissions line is open 24/7 and one of our treatment specialists will assist you in finding the right treatment option for you.

Written by Benjamin Creekmore, Sovereign Health Group writer