The 10 criteria for diagnosing gambling addiction

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In our previous post, we highlighted some facts and statistics on gambling addiction. One of these facts was on the criteria for diagnosing gambling addiction. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, there are at least 10 indicators used in the criteria for diagnosing addicts in gambling. As a rule, when a patient presents at least five or more of these indicators then it’s a sign of gambling addiction.

Here is the full list of the 10 indicators.

1 A preoccupation with gambling

When a person frequently finds themselves preoccupied with gambling to a point that this preoccupation disrupts them from doing important things like school or work then there is a potential addiction that’s developing.

2 The inability to stop gambling

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When a person simply can’t stop gambling despite some of the best efforts, then there is a potential addiction that’s developing.

3 Irritability when trying to cut back on gambling

In a person’s efforts to cut down on gambling, when you realize that some form of irritability is forming as a direct result of a reduction in their gambling activities then it may be an indication that they are or have developed a gambling addiction.

4 The need to wager larger sums

When you notice that a person is beginning to raise the stakes more and more by increasing the amount of money they wager over time, then this may indicate the onset of a gambling addiction.

5 Engaging in gambling to relieve stress

As is with most addicts, their drug of choice is usually used as a means for an escape from the stressors of life. Therefore, when you notice a person using their gambling as an escape from their problems, then this may indicate that they have developed an addiction.

6 Gambling more in an attempt to recover losses

One of the major red lights to indicate a possible addiction is when a person keeps wagering more money in an attempt to recoup their losses. This often results in the falling deeper and deeper into debt but they still don’t admit to having a problem.

7 Lying to people close to you about the severity of your gambling problem

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An addict will seldom admit to having a problem therefore the moment a person opts to lie to those close to them about the severity of their problems be they financial or relationship as a direct result of their gambling, then they could be addicts.

8 Borrowing money to settle gambling debts

When you notice that a person has begun a habit of borrowing money frequently for the purpose of settling gambling debts, then it may be a tell-tale sign that you are dealing with an addict.

9 Putting your personal or professional relationships at risk for the sake of gambling

For an addict, getting the high takes precedence over everything else including their jobs or their family. This is the same for gambling addicts as they are always likely to put their relationships on the line just to get their gambling fix.

10 Committing crimes to enable gambling

As is the case with any other addiction, a gambling addict may resort to breaking the law for instance stealing money or any other valuables to get money to gamble with.

Checking 5 or more of these is a clear sign that you are dealing with a gambling addict.

Do share with us your experiences with regards to gambling addiction.

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5 Gambling Addiction Stats and Facts you Should Know

fbf - 5 Gambling Addiction Stats and Facts you Should Know

When talking about gambling, you can’t fail to talk about gambling addiction otherwise referred to as compulsive gambling which is a global problem faced by many gamblers. This is basically an insatiable desire to keep gambling in spite of negative effects that may result from the person’s gambling habit. Psychologists list gambling as a chronic mental condition that is in the same line as alcoholism and drug addiction.

Here are 5 gambling addiction stats and facts you should know.

#1 The prevalence of gambling addiction

In the United States of America, it’s estimated that gambling addiction is experienced by about one per cent of the population. This is equal to about two million Americans. In addition to this, it’s estimated that two to three per cent of Americans which is equivalent to four to six million Americans are at risk of turning their gambling into an addiction as their gambling habits have already started affecting their day to day life.

#2 The gambling addiction time frame

In most cases, psychologists believe that male gambling addicts will begin presenting signs of their addiction early in their teen years, whereas women will begin presenting signs much later, mostly between ages 20 to 40 year. It’s however noteworthy that compulsive gambling may affect someone at any age.

#3 The criteria for diagnosing gambling addiction

According to the manual of mental disorders that is referred to by mental health experts, there are at least 10 indicators used in the diagnosing of addicts in gambling. As a rule, when a patient presents at least five of these indicators then it’s a sign of gambling addiction.

#4 The complications associated with gambling addiction

When a person is addicted to gambling, it’s common for them to experience mental disorders not limited to depression and anxiety. As a matter of facts, they may end up experiencing much sever problems such as alcohol, drug and other substance abuse and in extreme cases even attempt suicide. This is usually because they are unable to bear the financial stress on themselves and their families.

#5 The treatment for gambling addiction

Professionals in mental health disorders will affirm that it’s a known fact that gambling addicts tend to live in denial and will resist treatment. In most cases, it’s only pressure from their friends and family that will make them admit to having a problem and accept treatment. All in all, it’s possible to treat it as long as the affected person receives adequate support and is determined to go through the treatment program.

We trust that this is helpful information that will make your gambling experience much more knowledgeable. Feel free to share with us your thoughts.

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