Gambling is persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior
that disrupts personal, family, or vocational pursuits. The individual
may be preoccupied with gambling (e.g., reliving past gambling
experiences, planning the next gambling venture, or thinking of
ways to get money with which to gamble). Most individuals with
Pathological Gambling say that they are seeking an aroused, euphoric
state that the gambling gives them which appears more exhilarating
than the money. Increasingly larger bets, or greater risks, may
be needed to continue to produce the desired level of excitement.
Persistent, maladaptive gambling is expressed by 5 or more of
the following. The patient
put increasing amounts of money into play to get the desired
Has repeatedly tried (and failed) to control or stop gambling.
Feels restless or irritable when trying to control gambling.
Uses gambling to escape from problems.
Often tries to recoup loses.
Lies to cover up the extent of gambling.
Has stolen to finance gambling.
Has jeopardized a job or important relationship.
Has had to rely on others for money to relieve the consequences
Is preoccupied with gambling.
A Manic Episode
doesn't better explain this behavior.
Medical Conditions that are associated with stress
Abuse or Dependence
Some disorders have similar or even the same symptoms. The clinician,
therefore, in his/her diagnostic attempt, has to differentiate
against the following disorders which need to be ruled out to
establish a precise diagnosis.
gamblers were found to exhibit certain physiological traits, such
as high energy levels, hyperactivity and high tolerance of stress.
The sociological view that pathological gamblers have positive
rewards convincing them of the benefits of gambling was supported
with evidence of a big win early in the career of the pathological
gambling is very similar in definition and symptoms to substance
dependence. Various studies of pathological gamblers in treatment
reveal that approximately 50 percent have histories of alcohol
or drug abuse. In males, the disorder typically begins in adolescence.
Females typically start gambling later in life, are more apt to
be depressed, and gamble as a means of escaping the depression.
It is not unusual for male gamblers to have a history of 20 to
30 years when they seek treatment, compared with three years for
for the person with compulsive gambling begins with the recognition
of the problem. It is often associated with denial, allowing the
person to believe there is no need for treatment. Most people
affected by compulsive gambling enter treatment under pressure
from others, rather than a voluntary acceptance of the need for
treatment. Addicts to gambling need professional help and they
should get behavioral therapy. Often this happens too late and
the patient has already accumulated large debts.
options include individual and group psychotherapy, and self-help
support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous. Abstinence principles
that apply to other types of addiction, such as substance abuse
and alcohol dependence, are also relevant in the treatment of
compulsive gambling behavior.