In a New Year … No More Suffering In Silence. Stats of Problem Gambling, Suicide, and Mental Health.

In a New Year … No More Suffering In Silence. Stats of Problem Gambling, Suicide, and Mental Health.

Welcome Recovery Friends …

Our Guest Article Today is courtesy of the fine folks of Southern Region Problem Gambling Conference and The National Council on Problem Gambling … They both put on conferences about Problem Gambling that are informative for many State Councils like Georgia, North Carolina, and all over the US to spread information and awareness about the negative impacts problem gambling has in all our States and Communities …


Suffering in Silence: Suicide and Problem Gambling


“With high profile deaths such as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, the issue of suicide and the stigma surrounding mental health have remained the center of many conversations throughout the United States and abroad. A recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that from 1999-2016, suicide rates have steadily increased throughout the United States.

In the states like Florida, suicide rates have risen approximately six to eighteen percent (6-18%).

How does this affect the field of problem gambling?”


Prevalence of Suicide Among Problem Gamblers

Problem gambling, known as the “Hidden Addiction,” gets its nickname due to the fact that many symptoms do not present themselves physically as is the case in substance addictions. This means that many individuals suffering from Gambling Disorder often do so alone, potentially increasing feelings of isolation and depleting self-worth.

According to the FCCG’s Annual HelpLine report, twenty-six percent (26%) of 888-ADMIT-IT callers reported having suicidal ideation. Additionally, sixty-six percent (66%) of callers reported having depression, and seventy-two percent (72%) revealed they are struggling with anxiety. It is important to continue to recognize this population of problem gamblers and increase efforts of prevention and treatment.

Although we are unable to pinpoint the exact reason for such a strong connection between suicidal ideation and Gambling Disorder, it is possible that finances play a role. Research indicates that historically, suicide rates have been higher during economic downturns.

What Can We Do?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of suicide victims are not diagnosed with some form of mental illness or disorder until after their death. It is believed that approximately ninety percent (90%) of individuals who take their own lives were living with an undiagnosed mental illness, illustrating the need to destigmatize mental health in the United States. Continuing to have conversations with friends and family regarding mental health is the first step to ensure fewer people suffer in silence but don’t stop there.

( To interject here, this happened to me after my first failed suicide attempt in 2002. While in the addiction and mental health crisis center, and once I became stable, both my primary doctor and the centers’ psychiatrist and after a full evaluation, I was suffering from severe depression, high mania, and anxiety, and PTSD and went undiagnosed until my gambling addiction brought the symptoms to the surface through my addiction. I was using gambling to escape the trauma and sexual abuse I went through as a little girl and had tried to stuff it away for years.)


Dispelling Common Myths About Depression (2)


“Currently and just had a rise from 1% and now 2.6% of our population are problem gamblers.”

Gambling can be found everywhere from physical casinos to a multitude of online websites and apps. It is easier than ever to gamble in the privacy of home or on the go with a smartphone. It’s easy to place bets with PayPal, credit cards, bitcoin, or money-transfer apps. All of this ease has led to an increase in gambling addiction across the world.

Problem gambling can become a compulsive behavior and gambling can be emotionally addictive. Addictions to behaviors (as opposed to addictive substances) are known as “process addictions,” and, just like substance addictions, they require supportive treatment. Specialty rehab programs and support groups are available for people who struggle with gambling addiction. If you or someone you love struggles with gambling behavior, you are not alone. One look at the statistics behind gambling addiction reveals that this problem is prevalent…

The North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help and The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that approximately 2.6% of the U.S. population has some type of gambling issue. That adds up to nearly 10 million people in the United States who struggle with a gambling habit. This issue adds up to approximately 6 billion dollars each year, which impacts the U.S. economy and citizens.

Gambling costs American taxpayers. Public funding for problem gambling went up to $73 million in 2016, but despite those costs, gambling remains regulated by each state and is not federally regulated. Ten states (and the District of Columbia) do not offer any publicly funded gambling assistance. These funding discrepancies mean that public treatment services can vary widely from state-to-state, and the level of care in publicly funded programs also varies greatly.


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The U.S. federal government has largely left gambling regulations up to each state, which means that gambling may be illegal where you live, or it may be advertised on every street corner, as it is in places like Las Vegas, Nevada. The result is a patchwork of awareness campaigns and treatment programs that vary widely in their responsiveness.

States that discourage or prohibit gambling tend to not offer awareness campaigns, and as a result, people who gamble through their phones or computers may be missing information about the dangers of gambling. Awareness of the problem is key to making changes for the better.

Gambling doesn’t only devastate individuals; it is a family issue. Because this particular problem directly impacts family and personal finances, family members who have gambling problems often hide their issue and feel a great deal of shame and secrecy. In severe cases, the problem may go undetected until finances become a major issue. Gambling can destroy relationships, but it is possible to rebuild trust and rebuild finances. No gambling problem has to be permanent.

Integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders offers specialized treatment for problem gamblers. A co-occurring disorder happens when someone suffers from more than one problem, such as gambling and anxiety, or gambling and depression … Help is available.

Please Visit or Call Today …



The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700). The network is a single national access point to local resources for those seeking help for a gambling problem. The network consists of 28 call centers which provide resources and referrals for all 50 states, Canada and the US Virgin Islands.  Help is available 24/7 and is 100% confidential.

The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network also includes text and chat services. These features enable those who are gambling online or on their mobile phone to access help the same way they play. One call, text or chat will get you to problem gambling help anywhere in the U.S. 24/7/365.

Help is also available via an online peer support forum at





The In-Depth Stats – Facts – And More! My New Radio Interview on Mental Health News Radio and Sharing The “UGLY SIDE” About Gambling and Becoming Addicted.

The In-Depth Stats – Facts – And More! My New Radio Interview on Mental Health News Radio and Sharing The “UGLY SIDE” About Gambling and Becoming Addicted.

“We Can Come BROKEN From Gambling Addiction Into RECOVERY And Become FREE From This Deadly DISEASE”…

I was so excited to share some of my story and advocacy with Kristin Walker, Host of Mental Health News Radio last month. It was an amazing conversation about gambling addiction, myths, misconceptions, and sharing hope and recovery from this deadly addiction. We need to hear how it is negatively impacting our communities and pulling families apart. So if you or someone you love and care about has a gambling problem? Please take some time to listen and learn we can recover and how you can help them get their lives back! It is the first interview I share my feelings and thoughts about “The Las Vegas Shooting”… My thoughts and prayers are still with all the families who were “touched” by this tragedy.

LINK To SHOW: GAMBLING: The Underground Addiction



Catherine Townsend-Lyon is the best-selling Author of her shocking debut Memoir “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat. She has fast become well known in the addiction & recovery communities. Her book shares her raw, unedited and haunting past of gambling addiction, living with mental health challenges, a childhood trauma, and abuse survivor, as she helps many in recovery and advocates about these important issues to Shatter Stigma, Raise Awareness, and Educate the public, and those who have been ‘touched’ by the same. Her mission is to spread HOPE to others looking to recover and warn that suicide is not an option or answer for someone with a gambling addiction.

“I’m just a regular woman who wanted to share my personal story about a very big addiction.” NO, I am not rich, famous, or a reality star, I just wanted to share what I’ve been through so others can have more understanding of problem & addicted gambling, and how devastating and cunning this disease is as it devastates your life and how you can recover!”

“Gambling addiction is the hush, hush addiction no one talks about. That now needs to change when 2.9% of our population are problem gamblers thanks to the expansion of Indian casinos and state lotteries in the US. GAMBLING ADDICTION IS currently the highest ‘Suicide Rate’ than any other addiction.”

PSSS…My New E-Book is now released! A new compilation book of REAL STORIES of Addiction and Recovery available on Amazon Kindle!

“These STORIES will touch your HEART”  ~ “TEN THE HARD WAY”

Ten the Hard Way: True Stories of Addiction and Recovery (Ten the Hard Way; True Stories of Addiction and Recovery Book 1)

Sharing Some Recovery Friends, Facts, & Stats….

Hello Friends, Welcome New Visitors,

Sundays are my usual day that I like to surf the web, check on new websites of new friends I have met on maybe Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, & other recovery authors and such. I also do some research for my 2 books I’m currently trying in VAIN to finish. I came across an interesting “Article” on “USA Addiction Statistics of Addicted Gambling” and some of the percentages are SHOCKING, and some maybe off a bit. Here is a share of a few articles about addicted gambling facts & stats:

USA gambling addiction statistics

The biggest and the most powerful country always tends to have the biggest amount of both positive aspects in different life spheres and negative ones. Speaking about the gambling industry, everybody knows that it’s essence of such games that leads to negative consequences.

Affected Americans

According to American statistics of National Council, 3 million of adults are addicted to gambling. Another four to six part of Americans ~~ 13 million are just the mere problem gamblers, who are in one step from being addicted.  Today half that number is now college age young adults & late teens. This is really lamentable to hear, but what to do, if the inhabitants don’t see the limit of consumption, that must be balanced and controlled by them. Another unpleasant fact is that 50% of addicted gamblers are women; yeah, these weak creatures are involved in the gambling sphere, maybe because of relationship ruination or some other factors.

It’s really hard to abstain from gambling, if you see the signs of it everywhere: on the shelves of the supermarket there are lots of gambling books, that promise to reveal all the secrets to you and make you a millionaire; on TV there are hundreds of different shows, that also try to make you go to the casinos; and even the video games are rated “E”, which means, that everybody has a possibility to play. In the USA gambling has just become a glamorize action that swells everybody’s status.

Such names as Joseph Hachem that succeeded to be a great poker winner in 2005; Chris “Moneymaker” that has beaten the World Series of Poker in 2004 and Jamie Gold that took $12 million  in the casino, make others believe that it’s quite possible, and the greed get its way.

  • The most innocent gambler has to remember that he has 5% of chances to risk something that will change his\her life.
  • In the USA there twice as more addicted gamblers, than cancer patients.
  • Americans that live within 50 miles near the casino, have the doubled rate of going there and becoming addicted.
  • Each compulsive gambler in the USA just costs the economy approximately $16, 000 per year.
  • 25% of addicted gamblers have tried to commit suicide, and Nevada has been the center for such attempts for the last 12 years.
  • Harvard research presents that 92% of 80 addicted gamblers tend to relapse.
  • Between 4% and 8% of American youngsters become addicted nowadays.
  • 672, 000 American college students and 35 millions of teens are addicted to gambling.

American lifestyle is really dangerously affected by gambling. It increases another negative statistics in the USA, such as crime, fraudulent, and it is known that in the USA the cases of bankruptcy are double, due to gambling. Split families, a number of divorce cases all the negative outcomes will keep increasing, if the society keeps accepting gambling addiction.

Addicted gamblers’ zone risk

All the addiction types in general, whether it is alcohol, a drug or something else presuppose the greatest control disorder, abnormal behavior and just mind distraction.

Gambling is a real drug for addicted players, who continue returning back to the casino every day and wasting all money there. And they don’t care about the spouses, that have already packed their luggage to leave, or children who don’t eat much because of money deficiency.

Identification of addicted gamblers:

  • Addiction is like a competition, where you have to pursue great effort sin order to receive the winning prize. Almost each addict will be helped by the relatives and friend sand a specialist who will be curing them. But how to detect this illness? If you want to test yourself, whether you are in the risk zone of gambling addiction, first of all, you have to admit it, because the main problem of all the gamblers that suffer from this disease is that they really reject to accept the fact of addiction. The identification of addiction phases and types will help the doctors to cure the person in the appropriate way.
  • Identify, whether you are or somebody else is addicted by means of passing the best and the most credible addiction test,  which will help you to sort out your hesitations, by answering the simple questions. And then, you’ll have to do the next steps to the right and opportune treatment.

Addiction signs and symptoms:

Addicts can feel the symptoms of problem gambling themselves: it’s like a general condition of soul and body in the defined moments of life that is really noticeable. Do you conceal the fact of gambling? Has it become uncontrollable? Do you realize that you have started borrowing money without returning it? That’s bad.

  • The surrounding people will definitely detect the addiction to gambling, if they notice several signs. Change in mood, gambling preoccupation, tolerance and withdrawal are the visible display of the addicted gamblers……

 *Here is the MOST INTERESTING Article of them ALL….WHY?  Because I have what my “psychiatrist” calls “Addiction Depression” &  is also where my Agoraphobia disorder came from when AFTER I went into Treatment & into Recovery from my Gambling Addiction*….


Who is guilty? Addiction Depression

Just think a little bit, what the first was: is addiction the main cause of depression or vice versa – depression is the main reason of addiction? They are intertwined so much, that this issue is really intricate to be completely discerned.

Dual diagnosis

Everybody, who has encountered problem gambling  on his life way, has felt the devouring depression, which can lead to the most negative consequences. And this depression can also start the compulsive gambling addiction, being the main reason of it: for example, if the particular gambler had suffered too much, he/she decided to escape from the reality into the particular betting establishment.

Depression doesn’t always accompany each gambler in the gambling disease: during the winning stage, the players don’t feel depression or stress; on the contrary, they are very happy because they have, at last, found the quiet shelter, where they are valued and pleased.  During the losing stage of the addiction phases, the player begins to feel a nonstarter syndrome, quilt and remorse in “one pile”. Such depression causes negative consequences, concerning both financial and social problems; complications can destroy a person completely: his/her psychological, emotional backgrounds’ spring.

As it was stated above, depression may be the first factor, which has caused gambling addiction: individual could have been depressed before because of some affliction, which led him into the gambling abuse. But this frames are so slight, it’s really hard to differentiate both states. Just take a look: gambling addiction is isolating disorder of demoralization; depression has exactly the same characteristic. But for the right treatment, the first thing, that must be done, is still to figure out, which came first. In this case, everything depends on an addict – he/she must tell everything, what he/she felt, why he/she felt it, and what feelings are roaming in his/her head at the moment.

All the feelings of addiction depression are really horrifying:

  • Stress, chaos
  • Despondency
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Helplessness, along with hopelessness
  • Self-esteem disappearance
  • Devouring sadness
  • Thought of suicide

The list may be everlasting, because, unfortunately, there are lots of negative feelings and states, which people can experience. The ruining combination of addiction and depression is very hard to cure. In this battle, the first one, which must be battered, is depression.  Such dual diagnosis, as addiction depression, which has its gambling as its cause, must be treated only by a specialist and with the full recovery program.
***Yes, the beginning of Article 1 says that 50% of problem & addicted gamblers are WOMEN!  I was doomed in the very beginning of my gambling for just the “FUN & ENTERTAINMENT”value. SADLY, on the issues of a CURE from Addicted Gambling?
There is NONE. WE LEARN in Gamblers Anonymous Meetings that: “Gambling addiction can NOT be CURED, but can be Arrested”~~~ In closing, let me SHARE with you a REAL WOMAN’S SHORT STORY OF  HER ADDICTED GAMBLING EXPERIENCE. IT is a SHARE from my Good Friend & Author “Marilyn Lancelot’s” Website for Women Addicted Gamblers AT:  *News & Support for Female Gamblers in Recovery* Here is a little about my good friend & Author, “Marilyn Lancelot”….

My name is Marilyn Lancelot and I am a recovering compulsive gambler. I visited my first casino in 1984 at the age of 53. For seven years, my boyfriend and I made the four-hour trek from Yuma, AZ to Laughlin, NV every weekend. I learned early on how to lie to my family and friends and how to sign my employers’ name to company checks. I considered suicide and planned it so it would like an accident.

Then one day the auditors discovered my embezzling. Horrified, I watched seven police cars pull into my driveway to take me away in handcuffs. I lost my job, home, life savings, my retirement, and my freedom. I had progressed from a Mrs. Cleaver type housewife to a Ma Barker type criminal. The judge entenced me to two years in prison and I’ll be paying restitution to my former employer for many years.

Until the morning of my arrest, my family had no idea of my gambling addiction. I remembered a statement I heard in AA years ago: If I did not take care of my problem, society would. And society had. The closest GA meeting was in Phoenix so we moved there so I could attend GA. I told myself that if I got sentenced to prison, I would some day go back to Yuma and start a GA meeting.

I spent ten months in an Arizona State Prison where there were no GA     meetings. I vowed that one day I would return to prison and start a GA meeting. After my release, I watched new women struggle at the regular GA meetings, unable to identify with the card playing, sports betting male gamblers. One day another gal and I started a women’s meeting in my     apartment and the women came and the women stayed. They felt comfortable at the women’s group.

I returned to Yuma with GA friends and started a meeting there and also at the Perryville prison. With the help of GA sisters, I publish a Women Helping Women Newsletter on the Internet. I try to give back to GA what the program has given me. I retired at the age of 72 and I’ve worked part-time for several years after my retirement to re-pay my victim. I now have more than sixteen years of recovery, “One Day at a Time”……

..ONE WOMAN’S STORY ~~ A Share From Marilyn’s Website….

I’m a newbie! 

I don’t have years or months free from my gambling addiction, but I am a gambling addict addicted to slots with 22 days of  freedom. I’m a 54-year-old female who had my first trip to a casino over 10 years ago to celebrate my brother in law’s birthday.
Wow, it was exciting to say the least. Over the next 10 years or so my gambling trips increased and the amount of money spent also increased. I was told over and       over again in the casino by my husband that “I” have a big problem and have become someone he does not recognize while in my gambling frenzy.

Of course I say, “Well it’s no big deal.” I brush it off in my own manipulating way and convince him all is well. I am in total denial, I just can’t admit I have a problem, not me! I can quit anytime I want to.

So I tried and tried on my own so many times without any success. Today as I write this I have lost my health, my job of 11 yrs, our home, all of our money and most importantly I have pushed most if not all of my friends and  family away to make room for my addiction. None of my friends or family have any idea of why I have become so distant, I tell them it’s from being depressed which is a truth without the whole truth. It is a very lonely place to be.

After crying and hitting an all time low I finally prayed and asked God to please help me. I searched the internet for a GA meeting place and found none in or around where I live. So I then sought reading material which included the books “Addicted To Dimes” by: Catherine Lyon, “Gripped By Gambling” by: Marilyn Lancelot, and some GA materials. Such powerful stories.

At the end of Marilyn Lancelot’s book “Gripped By Gambling“ it talked about her website “Women Helping Women” and  I looked it up . After reading stories and articles I put aside my way and started to correspond with Marilyn and admitted I needed help. It is the best decision I have ever made. These women have been here for me nonstop since my first email, with a loving support and a hope for better days ahead. All I had to do was let go of my pride and ask.

I’m not stupid, I know a long hard job lay ahead of me, but I’m so ready to have the help. Thank you, God. And thank you Marilyn for reaching out and calling me personally with sweet words of encouragement, the women here, and the GA program for my 22 days. I have a hopeful beginning taking it one day at a       time. My goal here is to reach out to a newbie who may be hesitating like I did at first glance to ask for help. I’m so glad I did. We’re all newbie’s at one time.

God Bless you all and me. Linda in MI


*I can not tell all my friends here how much this letter TOUCHED MY HEART! I have no idea who this wonderful woman is, but to know she took the time to read my book, is a true testament, and WHY I WROTE my book in the first place, TO HELP THOSE WHO SUFFER from this *CUNNING DISEASE* & WE never know……it can SAVE A LIFE! I was very much like the woman myself. When my Gambling addiction, at the end, had ME on MY OWN knees wanting to just die, and attempted it! I don’t EVER want another Human Life be taken AGAIN because of Addicted Compulsive Gambling Addiction..*

God Bless ALL, and THANK YOU for coming by!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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