Problem Gambling


This article looks at Problem Gambling, its symptoms, and treatments. It will also provide a brief overview of some of the research and literature on this issue. It should serve as a useful guide for people who may be tempted to join a gambling club or gamble for fun. It will also give you some tips to help you recognize the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction. Here are some resources you may find useful:

Problem gambling

The term problem gambling is used to refer to compulsive behaviors that lead to a loss of control. It has existed for centuries, and the first description of it was made by Emil Kraepelin. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association published the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III), which developed symptom criteria based on Robert Custer’s research. Currently, problem gambling criteria are based on a more evaluative process involving surveys of 222 compulsive gamblers and 104 substance-abusing social gamblers.

Most treatment for problem gambling involves counseling, step-based programs, self-help, and peer-support. Medication is a relatively new treatment for problem gambling, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medications specifically for this purpose. The best way to treat problem gambling is to seek out help for yourself or a loved one. While the treatment process itself can be difficult, it is important for loved ones to be aware of the options available.


Gambling is a highly addictive activity. There are several telltale signs that indicate a problem. One of the first is the occasional gambling spree. As the addiction becomes a habit, the gambling activities become an addict’s lifeline. In extreme cases, an addict might commit a crime, steal money or even kill someone to satisfy his or her addiction. When an individual starts gambling in a serious manner, it may be time for help.

Other warning signs of gambling addiction include compulsive mood swings and a double life. This is when the person gambles to win money and conceals the activities from family and friends. As a result, mood swings are often mistaken for normal emotional upsets. This is a sure sign of gambling addiction. It’s important to recognize these warning signs, and to seek help for it. Ultimately, there are several ways to tell if a person is suffering from a gambling addiction.


A survey of gambling symptoms in high-frequency US gamblers found that nearly one in four (34%) reported experiencing the DSM-IV criterion for restlessness/irritability. Further, more than one in four gamblers reported experiencing additional withdrawal-like symptoms. The highest percentage of endorsements was for feelings of guilt and disappointment in oneself, which were the most common symptoms. Other symptoms included anger, somatic complaints, depression, and shame.

There are many factors that may trigger a person’s gambling habits. Many people will eventually overcome their problem by recognizing and treating the symptoms, which may include compulsive gambling. First, it tends to run in families. Second, it may be a result of environmental factors. Third, it is more common in childhood and adolescence. However, people who experience gambling symptoms may attempt to stop. They may lie to themselves or others to cover up their behavior.


Therapy for gambling addiction may include medications, lifestyle changes, and a 12-Step program. Some forms of problem gambling are a symptom of a disorder such as bipolar disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, focuses on changing unhealthy gambling behaviors and thoughts. It may also include learning how to regulate one’s emotions and the ability to control impulses. These therapies may include counseling sessions, as well as family therapy.

To overcome this addiction, it is important to establish a strong support network. Friends and family members can help, and the individual can even start making new friends outside the gambling world. Peer support groups are an excellent option. A 12-step recovery program such as Gamblers Anonymous, which follows the same principles as Alcoholics Anonymous, can be helpful in this process. Each individual in the group must have a sponsor, a fellow gambler who can offer support and guidance.