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 occurs when harm happens either to the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behavior. In some instances, severe problem gambling may be a 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 in combination with descriptions of the type of harm, or through the use of 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 the gambling occurs independently 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:
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 disorders. Please contact us today at 888.699.5679 for an initial consultation.
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.