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Depression May Be Higher In Chronic Gamblings

First Posted: May 22, 2015 08:02 AM EDT
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Findings published in the Journal of Gambling Studies suggests that people who are compulsive and habitual gamblers are often depressed.

A study led by Frédéric Dussault of the University of Quebec at Montreal found that 73 percent of the men in the study who had significant gambling issues also suffered from depressive problems.

"Gambling problems may be more a personal problem similar to an addiction: once acquired, they are difficult to get rid of," Dussault said in a statement.

During the study, researchers analyzed data on about 1,200 kindergarten boys from economically disadvantaged areas of Montreal.

Researchers analyzed data from over 1,200 kindergarten boys for the study, analyzing information on the socio-family setting the boys grew up in over the years, how impulsive they were and the quality of the relationships with loved ones and friends. The current study includes data from 888 participants who were also asked at the ages of 17, 23 and 28 years old about possible gambling or depression problems.

Of the young men who participated in the study, only 3 percent experienced chronic gambling problems between the ages of 17 and 28.

"These problems develop hand-in-hand, becoming even more severe over time. This finding supports the notion that "pure" gamblers without related internalizing problems are an exception rather than the rule, at least during late adolescence to early adulthood. The likelihood is also greater that very impulsive boys will become increasingly depressed and have gambling problems," according to the study.

Dussault suggests that gambling problems be treated together with depression based on the findings.

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