Gambling and Suicide

Gambling addiction is a term applied to excessive pleasure-seeking behavior while performing the act of any form of gambling. The roots of gambling addiction can be traced to an individual’s wish to win the game and avoid any emotional torment. Gambling addiction may be called a “hidden illness” because there are no visible physical signs but may affect the major area of an individual’s psychological and social life (Eadington, 2002). Compulsive gambling is considered a mental health disorder that can be treated.

The different signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment of gambling in relation to suicide will be the major aspect of this study. The impulse to do the act of gambling is a common phenomenon for both men and women. For the reason that many gamblers consider gambling as their scapegoat from pain and misery, this behavior leads to many cases of gambling-related suicide. A more disturbing picture of individuals suffering from gambling addiction is when their families, jobs, finances and self-worth are affected negatively.

It is like living in their own personal hell that even the one affected doesn’t understand either. The elevated gambling-related suicide cases from Las Vegas; the gambling capital, and other nations started to increase due to legalization of gambling in many major cities around the world. Various studies by the National Council on Problem Gambling reported that one among five pathological gamblers attempts suicide, others had wanted to die and had a definite plan to do the act of killing themselves (Eadington, 2002).

The findings from this study would be of great help to people afflicted with gambling addiction, their relatives and the society to understand the gambler’s struggle with their social, psychological, financial and health risk factors and coping with their negative emotions that may result to gambling-related suicide. Discussion The overwhelming feeling of shame, failure and hopelessness related to gambling addiction seems difficult to bear and an individual afflicted with pathological gambling may think that the best solution is to commit suicide.

There are instances where problems related to gambling addiction may not be detected as the reason for committing suicide due to non-existence of suicide notes or people do not have knowledge of a suicide victim’s pathological gambling. Some families may withhold pertinent information in relation to the suicide victim’s gambling-related reason to avoid shame and guilt. The relationship of gambling to suicidal behavior of gamblers can be categorized into action gambling and escape gambling.

The action gambler is addicted to the thrill of risk taking in games that their adrenaline rush will identify them as the winner (Volberg, 2000). The escape gambler on the other hand will resort to gambling to release feelings of discomfort brought by emotional life crisis. The numbing effect of gaming for emotionally discomforted individuals is on their preference to play slot machines while in avoidance of human contact.

Studies reveal that most men are action gamblers while women are escape gamblers (Eadington, W. 2002). Teenagers are more prone to become pathological gamblers than their adult counterparts and early monitoring and educating youngsters about the dangers of gambling addiction is very significant. Gambling addiction across age groups may often be prone to use tobacco, alcohol and other addictive substances to increase their stamina while gambling.