Gambling during the Holiday season can be risky business for those who have a problematic relationship (emerging to severe) with the activity. While it’s a behavioral health concern through all 365 days of the year, there are concerning nuances to consider through the month of December. Whether you’re thinking about a gambling holiday in Vegas, adding a certain something to your “wish list”, placing parlay bets on the Christmas day sports schedule, or attending a casino themed Christmas party, we’re asking that you think twice before putting yourself in harm’s way. Here’s why.
3 Reasons Why Gambling During the Holiday Season May Be Even More Problematic for Problem Gamblers
Cooccurring Mental/Behavioral Issues Increase During the Season
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that 64% of people with mental health concerns report that the Holiday season make their conditions worse:
“Holiday blues are different from mental illness, but short-term mental health problems must be taken seriously. They can lead to clinical anxiety and depression.”NAMI
Did you know that anxiety and depression are cooccurring conditions with gambling disorder? In addition, there’s a direct relationship between people who struggle with depression and problem gambling. The release of dopamine (the feel good neurotransmitter) that comes with gambling often makes it a coping mechanism, but from this habitual behavior is formed and a viscous cycle is created as depressed gamblers chase that high. This overall concern is even more of a threat to more vulnerable members of the U.S. population, such as with military veterans.
Don’t pair gambling with the “Holiday blues”. Instead, focus on healthier alternatives and reach out to a Kindbridge care coordinator so that you have someone to support you in your struggles through the season. In addition, please have a look at this roundtable discussion about coping mechanisms to get you through the Holidays.
Physical Health Issues Related to Gambling Also Increase
It doesn’t take a scientist to draw the conclusion that many Americans overeat during the Holidays. However, it’s not just over-indulgence to be concerned about, as research shows that eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia) also become more problematic during the Holiday season. For instance, binge eating and subsequent purging become more prevalent because many of the foods and sweets associated with Holiday celebrations are too enticing to resist.
What does this have to do with compulsive gambling? You may be surprised to learn that unhealthy weight gain and unhealthy weight loss are both physical consequences of problem gambling. Don’t set the table for a physically unhealthy Holiday. Instead, stave-off your craving to gamble by connecting to a Kindbridge care coordinator this month.
Financial Stress Increases During the Holidays
It doesn’t take a financial expert to draw the conclusion that many Americans overspend during the Holidays. Consequently, finances become a major stressor at this time of the year, and can contribute to compromised mental health. Now consider this – 23 million Americans are in debt due to gambling, with the average debt load ringing in at a whopping $55,000 per person. If you needed a more tangible reason to avoid gambling during an already financially straining Holiday season, this is it. View more on how to stop gambling and get out of debt.
You’re not alone in your struggles with gambling while others are making merry. Online counsellors are ready to provide the support you need at this trying time of the year and beyond. Let’s begin with a friendly noncommittal conversation about how Kindbridge can help.
Problem Gambling Support Through the Holidays
CALL +1 (877) 426-4258