Compulsive gambling

From ArticleWorld

Compulsive gambling (or clinical pathological gambling), is severe problem gambling, that meets certain criteria.

Mental disorders

Compulsive gambling is an impulse control disorder that is chronic, and progressive. There is a list of symptoms defined in the DSM-IV. The symptoms must not be better explained by a possible manic episode, and a person must meet at least five of the criteria, before being diagnosed with this mental illness. In many cases, the South Oaks Gambling Screen is the instrument used to diagnose pathological gambling.

  • Preoccupation - The subject has frequent, and persisting, thoughts about gambling experiences, whether past, future, or fantasy.
  • Tolerance - As with alcohol or drug tolerance, the subject requires larger or more frequent wagers to experience the same thrill.
  • Withdrawal - Restlessness or irritability associated with attempts to cease or reduce gambling.
  • Escape - Subject gambles to improve mood or escape problems.
  • Chasing - Subject attempts to win back gambling losses, with more gambling.
  • Lying - Subject attempts to hide the extent of his or her gambling, by lying to family, friends, or therapists.
  • Loss of control - Subject has unsuccessfully attempted to reduce gambling.
  • Illegal acts - Subject has broken the law in order to obtain gambling money, or recover gambling losses.
  • Risked significant relationship - The subject gambles despite risking, or losing, a relationship, job, or other significant opportunity.
  • Bailout - Subject turns to family, friends, or another third party for financial assistance as a result of gambling.