Hamilton, NJ — 12/20/2017 — As the calendar inches toward the heart of the winter months, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ) urges the public to keep in mind seasonal considerations for the wellbeing of disordered gamblers. This population already has a high likelihood of possessing comorbid health issues like anxiety, substance use, and bipolar disorder – over 96%. As we lose daylight, disordered gamblers may also experience seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.
Whether someone struggles with skill-based gambling in Atlantic City or another form of gambling, they most likely face additional complications. Over 76% of this population struggles with some form of depression. Often, it is hard to tell whether the disordered gambling or the depression came first. Frequently, however, they go hand-in-hand, sometimes making it difficult to treat either condition.
Seasonal affective disorder may drive certain individuals to turn to gambling for relief or distraction. In turn, disordered gamblers may experience increased depression during the winter months due to reduced sunlight. The seasonal changes in daylight can disrupt their sleep cycles and interfere with the production of mood-regulating chemicals like serotonin. As they struggle to control their behavior, they may also experience feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
Thankfully, the same treatments that help to alleviate the symptoms of depression in others can also help disordered gamblers with SAD. Psychotherapy, medication, and light therapy, in conjunction with the programs and resources offered by the CCGNJ, can assist these disordered gamblers on their road to recovery.
“At the Council, we must always keep in mind that disordered gamblers may face additional challenges,” said Neva Pryor, Executive Director of the CCGNJ. “We strive to provide comprehensive treatment and support. Every disordered gambler deserves help that addresses all of their unique needs.”
The CCGNJ helps disordered gamblers that struggle with betting on sports in Atlantic City and other forms of gambling every day. For treatment, support, and hope, call their confidential hotline at 1-800-GAMBLER. Alternatively, visit their site at https://800gambler.org/.
About The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey
The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey is a non-profit, private organization dedicated to helping individuals seek help for their disordered gambling problem, and for concerned friends and loved ones to confidentially express their concerns about someone close to them. Their 24/7 hotline is 800-GAMBLER. The Council also works to train professionals in the fields of gambling addiction and recovery.
For more information, please visit http://www.800gambler.org.
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