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Could Depression be a Sign of Problem Gambling?

Published: October 2, 2023

Did you know that, according to the Pan American Health Organization, depression is the most common mental health disorder? Not only does depression impact 350 million people worldwide, but it also has a strong correlation to problem gambling – individuals impacted by problem gambling are twice as likely to experience depression. 

With October recognized as National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, now can be a great time to check in on your own mental health and that of loved ones, especially if gambling or sports betting is involved.  

Since there is a possibility that depression and problem gambling can co-occur, it’s important to consult with a trained professional to determine the appropriate treatment plan. If you are showing signs of problem gambling, or know someone who is, make the call to Ohio’s Problem Gambling Helpline now. Trained and understanding specialists are standing by 24/7 to provide you with support. Your call is free, and your personal information is kept confidential. Call 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741. And if you’re experiencing depression or any other mental health concern, you can call, text, or chat with the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. Help is always available.

A few signs of depression, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America:

  • Feeling sad, anxious, or “empty” 
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities 
  • Decreased energy and fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances

A few signs of a problem with gambling or betting: 

  • Withdrawing from relationships or hobbies
  • Restlessness and irritability 
  • Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, or anxiety
  • Borrowing money for gambling or betting
  • Lying about or hiding how much time or money is spent on gambling or betting
  • Spending a lot of time gambling, thinking about, or planning to gamble or place bets
  • Exaggerating wins and minimizing losses

If you recognize these signs and want to help raise awareness about problem gambling and resources available to encourage support for those who might need it, visit the Problem Gambling Helpline Campaign Toolkit. Informational fliers, print ads, posters, and billboards are all available for you to use in your part of Ohio. They can even be co-branded with your organization’s logo upon request by filling out this form

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