Pathological gamblers 'more likely to commit suicide than non-betters'

Washington, Nov 24 (ANI): A new Montreal inter-university study has shown that pathological gamblers are three times more likely to commit suicide than non-betters.

The study also indicated that these gamblers are also plagued by personality disorders. These findings may have implications for developing improved targeted suicide prevention programs.

"The World Health Organization estimates that suicide is one of the top ten causes of death in the Western world," said study co-author, Richard Boyer a Universite de Montreal professor and researcher at the Centre de recherche Fernand-Seguin at the Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital.

"In addition, pathological gamblers account for five percent of all suicides. These staggering statistics motivated us to study the difference between gamblers and non-gamblers."

The study examined 122 suicides between 2006 and 2009, of which 49 were pathological gamblers. Data from the coroner's files were compiled and psychological autopsy interviews with families and friends of the deceased were completed.

"Our findings showed that those gamblers who commit suicide had twice as many specific personality disorders as other suicide victims," said co-author Alain Lesage, also from the Universite de Montreal.

"These personality disorders seem to significantly increase the risk of suicide for compulsive gamblers," said Boyer.

"Three lethal elements are generally recognized: depression, alcohol or drug consumption and a personality disorder. These psychiatric disorders can in-turn interact with each other. For example, the depression can lead to the alcohol or drug consumption, which in turn leads to greater financial problems, which amplifies the depression."

The study has been published in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. (ANI)

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