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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