This chapter discusses gambling caused suicides. It examines how difficult it is to know the causes of suicides, and how, and why the reported suicide numbers are so significantly understated. It also discusses why gambling related suicides are so impulsive, and why they are very preventable.
Suicidal, why we kill ourselves Jesse Bering, University of Chicago press, 2018
The best current book on suicide written by a talented researcher and writer.
Quote: “Never kill yourself while you are suicidal”.
How I stayed alive while my brain was trying to kill me Susan Rose Blauner, Harper Collins, 2002
A personal journey through suicide country with emphasis on seeking help.
Quote: “To get help, you have to ask for it.”
DSM-5 American Psychiatric Publishing 2013
For those that do not know – the DSM is (from Wikipedia): The Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), it offers a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders.
Pages 585 to 589 deal with gambling addiction.
Quote: “Gambling disorder is more prevalent among first-degree relatives of people with moderate to severe alcohol use disorder” (count me in).
Articles and Websites:
CDC Current Trends Operational Criteria for Determining Suicide (from the CDC) Web search terms: current trends for determining suicide https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00001318.htm
This is the article quoted from in chapter 1
Quote: “No explicit criteria exist to assist in determining whether a death is a suicide.”
Quick Facts About Gambling and Suicide (from New Jersey council on Compulsive Gambling’s Website – 800-gambler)
Web search terms: 800gambler quick facts suicide
This article documents data related to compulsive gambling suicides from various sources around the country. Alarming, but outdated (from 2010).
Quote: “In Gulfport, Mississippi, suicides increased by 213 percent (from 24 to 75) in the first two years after casinos arrived. In neighboring Biloxi, suicide attempts jumped by 1,000 percent (from 6 to 66) in the first year alone”.
Quote: “There is no Way to explain it to you if you are not living in our personal hell, because we don’t understand it either”
Problem gamblers much more likely to attempt suicide (from The Guardian)
Web search terms: Guardian problem gamblers more likely suicide
Cites one of the few studies of the potential of compulsive gamblers to commit suicide.
Quote: “Research commissioned by a leading UK gambling charity, GambleAware, found that problem gamblers were six times more likely than alcohol or drug abusers to have suicidal thoughts or try to take their own life – and could be 15 times more likely to do so.”
Facts and Statistics (from the American Association of Suicidology website)
Web Search terms: suicidology facts and statistics
An organization dedicated to creating awareness and prevention about suicide in general (though nothing discussed about gambling related suicide) the fact sheet referenced above has good basic statistics.
Quote: “Each suicide resulted in 135 people exposed (knew the person). Each suicide affects a large circle of people, who may be in need of clinician services or support following exposure.”