Suicide and gambling: psychopathology and treatment-seeking

Psychol Addict Behav. 2010 Sep;24(3):541-7. doi: 10.1037/a0019041.


The aim of this study was to evaluate suicides with a history of problem gambling (PG) and others with no such history (NPG) and to compare the two on mental health problems and service utilization. Data on a sample of 49 PG suicides and 73 NPG suicides were obtained from informants and hospital records. Psychopathology was prevalent in both groups, but problem gamblers were twice as likely to have a personality disorder. Moreover, PG suicides were less in contact with mental health services in their last month, their last year, and their lifetime. NPG suicides consulted specialized services from 3 (last month and last year) to 13 times (lifetime) as often as their PG counterparts. Lower service utilization associated with PG suicides argues in favor of stepping up detection, engagement in care and treatment with respect to problem gambling, especially when comorbidity is present.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gambling / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Medical Records
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data