Men's Mental Health Awareness and the Links to Gambling

June is a month to celebrate many exciting holidays, the biggest being pride month, however, there are a few others that are celebrated this month as well. In this post, we will be highlighting mental health in men who have a gambling addiction. The month of June is to bring awareness to men's mental health and to end the stigma that past societies have passed down the generations. It is now time to break the trend of men needing to be strong and emotionless who are weak if otherwise. If you have come to our PAHM from one of our socials that were posted this blog will be in the same order as the posts were put.

Statistics about Gambling and Mental Health of Men

Most people see gambling as gender-neutral, but that men participate more often than women. Those people would be right especially for Pennsylvania after online gambling and sports betting were made legal in 2017.

For men, we know that they are more likely to participate in betting of some sort due to being naturally more impulsive which causes excitement to encourage them. However, it does not remain that way, because what happens when the rush of gambling is no longer fun?

In Pennsylvania, 70% of callers that made the call for help to 1-800-GAMBLER were made by men only.

Another is from a study in 2013 where 59% of gambling disorders/ abuse were men who many did not believe had a problem in the first place.

Not only are men at risk of getting into financial, mental, or life trouble from gambling excessively, but they also need to worry about abusing other things around them. 80% of gamblers were at risk for alcohol or drug use/ dependency.

In one study they found that for every 100 people who gamble 3-5 of them would fall under the category to have a gambling addiction.

Online gambling makes the temptation worse for these men. Based on the analytics of online gambling apps it was found that 78% of active accounts were part of male demographics. To go along with that statistic they also made up 94% of the gambling apps' revenue and of all high betting accounts that spend much more, 95% were male demographics.

Mental Health Care Stigmas Lead To

To start this is some perspective to know what these numbers are compared to for the US the average death by suicide rate per day is 130 people.

In 2020, men were 3.88 times more likely to commit suicide than women and men made up 70% of all suicide deaths that year

To help give a better understanding, in 2021 these rates increased to males committing suicide 3.9 times more than females, which minute-wise would look like for comparison:

  • Female suicides per minute in the U.S.
    • 55.9 minutes
  • Male deaths per minute in the U.S.
    • 14.4 minutes
Signs that Someone may have a Gambling Addiction
  • Feeling the need to gamble with a higher stake each time to feel the rush
  • Being preoccupied with the other important things in their life to either gamble online or go in person
  • Trying and not succeeding to quit or take a break from gambling or making bets
  • Getting irritable by people trying to stop you from betting more
  • Lying to their loved ones or putting distance between them and their family or friends to avoid attempts to stop them from gambling
  • Lying or stealing to be able to gamble more
  • Gambling when stressed or feeling down to try and cope with/ escape any negative feelings
  • Asking others to bail them out of financial issues 
  • Tips that Could Help their Mental Health and/or Their Gambling Addiction

    There are many resources for people to go to or read, however, men typically veer away from getting help. So we created some tips for both mental health and ways to cut back/ quit gambling.

    Take a Deep Breath

    When feeling anxious, overwhelmed depressed or anything that does not make you feel well a good method is a deep breathing method that will help you calm down and think clearer rather than impulsively.

    1. Find somewhere that you will not be bothered and you feel comfortable, even if it is a bathroom.
    2. Sit straight up with your shoulders squared/ back and relaxed so that your diaphragm is open.
    3. Begin to breathe through your nose slowly for as long as you feel is good.
    4. Then exhale slowly as well, but through your mouth, and continue to do breathing like this.
    5. As you breathe allow your mind to clear, collect your thoughts calmly and balance your emotions with each breath.
    Relax your Muscles

    Naturally when we are upset or stressed we do not realize how much tension that we are holding in our body. To help this here is an idea:

    1. Just as before find a quiet area that you can relax and remain unbothered.
    2. Close your eyes while slowly imagining your stress and tension as a physical element in your body and mind.
    3. Once you can do this begin to feel it leave starting from the top of your head to your ears and shoulders and everywhere else.
    4. At the end imagine pushing the tension out through your fingertips and stay as long as needed to fully relax.
    Writing

    Writing how we feel has always been a great way to let out frustration, sadness, grief or even happiness. Try writing how you feel in certain situations. This can be a classic journal, notes on a phone or laptop or even a sticky note that gets crumpled up and thrown away after. 


    There are so many small things to help a person feel just slightly better. However many are not targeted towards men who need to also do things to feel better and not bottle their feelings in. Due to today's social norms men are less likely to seek help, which causes them to refuse to talk, make their problems seem like nothing important and bottle everything up until they break. A survey asked Americans if this could be fixed easily if men were not ostracized for being human and it was a 98% strong yes.

    "Take the steps towards your future and away from stigmas, showing the true strength of a man, is the ability to ask for help"

    CD

    At PA Health management we strive to help those suffering and for years men have suffered silently thinking they couldn't ask for help without looking a certain way in the eyes of others. That's why we are here to help with our Drug & Alcohol Programs to help individuals with addiction.

    Call or Email us or go to our services tab on PAHM.org to schedule a free consultation!

    #RecoverWell with PAHM Drug & Alcohol Programs

    Quality, person-centered, Judgement-free care.
    Men's Mental Health Awareness and the Links to Gambling
    Ashlyn Pieri 16 June, 2022
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