Gambling Addiction in South Florida

Those who experience an urge to gamble, even though they’re aware of the negative consequences and/or have a desire to stop, are struggling with a gambling addiction.  Problem gambling tends to be defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behavior.  In some instances, severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical, pathological disorder.

Gambling addiction can typically be described as any gambling that causes harm to the gambler or someone else in any way.  These definitions are usually combined with descriptions of the type of harm, or through the use of a diagnostic criteria.  The DSM-IV defines pathological gambling as distinctly different than someone who is gambling excessively due to a manic episode brought on by a condition like bipolar disorder.  It is only when gambling occurs independent of other impulsive, mood or thought disorders that it is considered its own diagnosis.

A person diagnosed with a gambling addiction must have at least five of the following symptoms:

  1. Preoccupation: individual has frequent thoughts about gambling experiences, be it past, present or fantasy.
  2. Tolerance: similar to drug tolerance, an individual requires larger or more frequent wagers to experience the same rush.
  3. Withdrawal: restlessness and irritability are associated with attempts to stop or reduce gambling.
  4. Escape: individual gambles to improve mood or escape from problems.
  5. Chasing: subject attempts to win back gambling losses by gambling more.
  6. Lying: attempts to hide the extent of his or her gambling by lying to family, friends, therapists, etc.
  7. Loss of control: unsuccessfully attempts to reduce and/or stop gambling.
  8. Illegal acts: laws have been broken in order to obtain gambling money or recover gambling losses.  These acts include theft, embezzlement, fraud or forgery.
  9. Risked significant relationship: gambles despite risking or losing a job, relationship or other significant opportunity.
  10.  Bailout: turning to family, friends, etc. in hopes of getting financial assistance as a result of gambling.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with a gambling addiction in South Florida, seek help today.

The Delray Center for Healing offers many treatment options, including both individual behavioral therapy and group therapy that are beneficial in treating gambling addiction and other process-related disorder. Please contact us today at 888.699.5679 for an initial consultation.


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