Pathological Gambling

What is Pathological Gambling? A disorder which is now recognized clinically as a mental health disorder. It is where an individual is unable to resist the impulse to play games for money. When the fun stops for many is when they start to develop problems within their own personal life. Those problems can be things such as; relationship, financial, legal or overall health strains. Some even explain that because they are unable to give into their desires, that they often think about committing suicide.

Pathological gambling is a condition that effects as many as one in five. The condition knows no gender and can effect both men and women at different parts in their lives. For men, the symptoms can arise in early adolescence and in women, anywhere between 20 and 40 years of age. The cause of this specific illness is unknown and for many, it goes unnoticed until others around them will point it out. This specific problem involves repetitive behavior. Those who suffer lack the ability to pass up an opportunity to gamble.

Those who suffer from this condition will have an array of symptoms that correlate with other conditions like obsessive compulsive disorder. It can also force the person suffering to mimic the behavior of an addict. Some of the symptoms of pathological gambling include; lying about the time or money spent gambling. This is one of the minor symptoms whereas others are the sufferer committing crimes to get more money to spend at a casino. Identifying someone who might have a problem with gambling is quite easy, are they borrowing money to gamble? Are they wagering bigger bets to keep the thrills coming? Or are they spending time thinking about gambling when they aren’t actually in a casino?

When it comes to gambling problems, the diagnosis is usually made by a psychiatrist. They will use a screening tool to access and decide if the person needs help or will need help in the future. The treatment for pathological gambling isn’t as straight forward as one would think. It may including things like; self-help support groups, cognitive behavior therapy or even the use of medications and sometimes a mixture of medications and therapy.

For the most part, treating this disorder and others like it, the prognosis depends upon what the person is willing to go through and take on in order to become cured. Sometimes there are big consequences if a person decides to quit cold turkey. Some of those complications include; anxiety, depression, heart attacks and suicide attempts. When none of those are a factor and the treatments go well, the person’s prognosis is generally very good and they will go on to lead a normal, healthy life.

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