Gambling disorder is a new psychiatric diagnosis in the DSM-5, edited by Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., and published by American Psychiatric Publishing. Like other substance-related disorders, gambling disorder shares physiology, comorbidity, and clinical expression. Gambling is also an impulse-control disorder, which means it is not entirely unlike a substance-use disorder. However, unlike substance abuse disorders, gambling disorders can lead to addiction, and may require treatment.
Problem gambling is an impulse-control disorder
The inclusion of pathological gambling in the DSM-III was a watershed event in the field of gambling studies. Its inclusion is attributed to the advocacy of Robert Custer. Various sources, including the literature and popular opinion, credit Custer for his advocacy of the condition. For his study, the author reviewed the APA’s records and the records of Gamblers Anonymous, and interviewed Custer and other key participants. In the end, he concluded that the disorder is a descendant of the early nineteenth-century classification of monomania.
It can happen to anyone
While gambling is considered fun, problem gambling can turn into a serious issue. While some people can control their impulses and win at games, others become obsessed with the activity. The problem can affect a person’s personal relationships, work and finances, and even cause serious legal and financial consequences. Regardless of the type of gambling, the following steps can help a person control their behavior:
It is a risky activity
Many people participate in gambling activities for fun, but there are some things to keep in mind before participating. Gambling involves putting a value on something, usually money or things of value. Some people lie about their losses and continue to gamble even after they have lost money. Some people even rely on other people to make money while they’re gambling. Although there are a few benefits to gambling, the risk of losing money is very high, so be cautious and set limits.
It can lead to addiction
The first step toward recovery from a gambling addiction is to become aware of the signs. If your gambling habit becomes more than just a passing hobby, it may become a serious issue. When you lose control over your emotions and become obsessed with gambling, family, friends, work, and school events can suffer. Your moods may fluctuate, and you may experience bouts of rage. If you begin to withdraw from your friends and family due to gambling, it’s time to seek treatment.
It can be treated
There are many ways in which gambling addiction can be treated. The first step is to recognize that your problem is pathological and reach out to your family and loved ones for help. Another option is to join Gam-Anon, a self-help group for pathologic gamblers. Regardless of the treatment method used, you should be sure to finish the program and remain clean and sober. There are several steps in treatment for pathological gamblers, including self-monitoring and treatment plans.