The Relationship between Gambling and Anti-Depressants
There are several potential relationships between gambling and anti-depressants that one can explore. First, anti-depressant abuse or addiction can develop from treating depression resulting from a gambling problem. Compulsive gambling is a psychological disorder. Although the behavior of gambling addiction is physical, the compulsive behavior often originates from serious mental or emotional turmoil. Mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, often co-occur in individuals with compulsive gambling or gambling addiction. As a result, individuals may reach out for anti-depressants to relieve the symptoms they are experiencing.
Depression, Mental Health Issues, and Compulsive Gambling Behaviors
Individuals with depression or other psychological issues can use gambling as a distraction from their emotional distress. Gambling activity activates the brain’s reward center, similar to the way a drug does. It pumps the adrenal glands and provides individuals with a feeling of excitement. The risk factor experienced while gambling is a large component to activating the brain’s reward center. In addition, people enjoy the “excitement” that comes along with the gambling experience. Individuals who are depressed or experiencing other mental or emotional issues can find the lights, sounds, dealers, and other gamblers appealing and a source to fill their loneliness, sadness, and other emotional voids.
Several individuals who have used anti-depressants long term admit that the drug has done more than just treat their symptoms of depression or other mental health issues; the drug has turned them completely dull to their emotions where they feel a sense of apathy and lack the fear of consequences. High doses of anti-depressant medications can trigger the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is what triggers reward driven behaviors. Long-term users often start increasing their dosage to these dangerous levels in order to overcome tolerance levels. As a result, the anti-depressant medication begins to adversely affect them.
This dopamine effect is what drives impulsive behaviors and indifference in the user, which causes such compulsive behavior. These individuals are prone to high risk, high reward behavior, such as gambling, making impulsive purchases, and overindulging or binging on food or alcohol. Lacking impulse control while also having a mental health issue or using anti-depressant medication can heighten the risk for substance abuse and addiction.
When individuals are using anti-depressants and struggling with mental health issues, gambling is simply not a good idea since they don’t fear or even think twice about risking their life savings, borrowing other’s money, and spending money they don’t have. Anti-depressant use can cause compulsive and problematic gambling behavior, which can exacerbate depression and stress and cause mental and emotional strain due to the adverse effects problem gambling has on finances, relationships, and more.
Struggling with Compulsive Gambling Behavior or Anti-Depressant Use Problems?
If you would like to find help for a gambling problem or a problem using anti-depressants, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our helpline is operated 24 hours a day by trained addiction counselors who can find and connect you to the services that are right for you. Whether you still have questions, need information, or are ready to find treatment and recovery services today, we are happy to assist you. We understand the importance of finding individualized treatment care and can help you find the programs and treatment options that fit your particular needs. To learn more about how we can help you break free from a gambling or anti-depressant use problem, call and speak with a counselor today. We’re ready to help.