Gambling addiction or pathological gambling is an addiction characterized by the inability of a person to resist the impulse for gambling or betting despite a desire to stop or serious negative consequences of a personal nature, in the family or social environment.
There is no definite consensus on the term. The American Psychiatric Association believes pathological gambling to be an impulse control disorder rather than an addiction, while according to the DSM 5.0 criteria pathological gambling is counted as an addictive and not an impulse-control disorder.
There is no one particular cause for such behavior. In each individual case, reason to play can be different. However, most people are trying to divert the attention of others or demonstrate a feeling of malaise. Some of them play in order to experience a great success. For others gambling is a method to express anger and rebellion or to evade painful emotions. For those with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorders the game, the same as cocaine or amphetamines, has a sedative effect. Finally, the game can also be used to extend the «manic” phase of manic depression.
There exist a variety of treatments for pathological gambling including counseling, peer-support, self-help groups, step-based programs, and psychiatric medication (however, there are no drugs for the treatment of pathological gambling approved by the US Food and Drug Administration). As none of the above listed method is sufficiently effective, it is recommended to use a combination of these.
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