Gambling Addiction and Suicide

What is gambling addiction?

A gambling addiction occurs when a person continues to gamble despite negative effects that may impact their relationships, finances, schooling, or work.


What activities can lead to gambling addiction?

  • Playing slot machines or video lottery terminals
  • Going to casinos or playing bingo in person or online
  • Betting on sports
  • Buying lottery and scratch tickets
  • Playing poker in person or online

How to identify gambling addiction

Behaviours associated with gambling addiction include:

  • Needing to increase the stakes to have fun
  • Gambling when you feel bad
  • Being unable to stop
  • Getting angry more easily when you try to stop
  • Gambling more to “make it back”
  • Lying about your spending
  • Stealing or lying to get money
  • Borrowing money to gamble rather than take care of everyday needs
  • Gambling instead of working, studying, doing things you enjoy, or seeing family and friends
  • Gambling instead of satisfying basic needs (eating, sleeping, or bathing)

What problems does gambling addiction cause?

Gambling addiction can have all sorts of consequences, including:

  • Financial problems and seizure of assets
  • Problems at work or job loss
  • Conflict or reduced contact with loved ones
  • Loss of self-esteem, depression, or suicidal thoughts

Do you have a gambling addiction and suicidal thoughts?

People with gambling addictions may have suicidal thoughts. If this is the case for you, consult the following sections:

01 Taking stock of your mental health

The first step toward taking back control is identifying what’s causing your suicidal thoughts.

02 Taking care of yourself

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and regain your balance when you’re having suicidal thoughts.

03 Talking about it with your loved ones

Asking for help from your family and friends isn’t always easy. There are different ways of going about it.

04 Finding support services

Every day, all sorts of people contact support services to get the help they need.

What to do if you have a gambling addiction

Gambling addiction can be treated. If you have any symptoms that indicate you’re addicted to gambling, first call Info-Social at 811, option 2, to discuss your situation with a psychosocial worker and be referred, if necessary, to resources in your area that can provide support.

For an assessment and follow-up with a healthcare professional, consult a general practitioner (your family doctor, for example), a psychologist or contact your local CLSC.

Other resources can help people with gambling addiction.

Advice for people with a gambling addiction

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