Is Compulsive Gambling An Illness

Is Compulsive Gambling An Illness
  1. Is Compulsive Gambling An Illness Definition
  2. Is Compulsive Gambling An Illness Test
  3. Is Compulsive Gambling An Illness Symptoms

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Last updated: 04/1/2019
Author: Medical Review

Reading Time: 3minutes

Compulsive, also called problem, gambling may be a different disorder entirely from pathological gambling. Depending on your habits, you may be able to tell if you are a compulsive or a pathological gambler and where you should go to find help.

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Compulsive Vs. Pathological Gambling

Problem or compulsive gamblers are individuals whose betting activities have become controversial, perhaps even dangerous. Their habits have likely led them to making mistakes, whether it is forgetting to pick up their children or taking care of something at home, calling into work so often their boss notices, or spending money meant for other things on wagering. However, they may be able to cut back on these activities if they realize the damage it is causing in their life.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Pathological gambling is being unable to resist impulses to gamble, which can lead to severe personal or social consequences.” This also causes many issues in the individual’s life, but unlike the former disorder, pathological gamblers cannot stop these dangerous habits, even if they try. They will need serious professional help in order to do so, and they may need to stop gambling and cease any other activities related to it in order to avoid any issues in the future.

Which Type of Gambler Am I?

A gambling problem can lead to financial issues and even bankruptcy.

Ask yourself the questions below. Make sure to answer truthfully in order to find out which disorder is more likely associated with your behavior and how serious your problematic wagering has become.

  • Do you ever lie to others when you are going out to gamble?
  • Would you always prefer to be betting, wagering, or playing instead of doing something else?
  • Do you sometime feel bad after wagering too much or losing money?
  • Do you ever use money meant for other things when you place bets?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be a problem or compulsive gambler. You will likely be able to cut back on your habit with the help of your loved ones. However, it is also important to ask yourself the questions below as well:

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  • Do you feel restless, sad, anxious, or irritable when trying to cut back?
  • Have these feelings caused you to go back to gambling?
  • Have you ever committed a crime to get more betting money?
  • Do you engage in these activities to escape your problems or the negative feelings you experience?
  • Do you bet large sums of money to try and “make up” for past losses?
  • Have you ever lost a job, relationship, education, or another important opportunity in the past due to this habit?
  • Are you constantly preoccupied with how to make more money or win back your loses?
  • Have you tried to quit or cut back more than twice and not succeeded?
  • Do the other people in your life refuse to give you money?

If you answered yes to these questions, it is likely that you have an addiction and have become a pathological gambler. You will need professional addiction treatment in order to stop.

Last updated: 08/5/2019
Author: Medical Review

Reading Time: 3minutes

Even without the physical triggers so commonly associated with drug addiction, gambling disorders can wreak just as much havoc in a person’s life. While drug addiction works as a substance-based disorder, gambling addictions have more to do with a lack of impulse control.

Gambling addiction often affects people who also struggle with alcohol abuse.

Ultimately, it’s the loss of control that defines addictive behavior regardless of the substance or activity involved. Gambling addiction statistics present this “loss of control” factor in a stark and alarming light.

Gambling addiction statistics show how problem gambling can up-end a person’s life in more ways than one. Not unlike other types of addiction, people most susceptible to gambling also suffer from other disorders of which they may or may not be aware.

Is compulsive gambling an illness meaning

Probably the most glaring revelation to be had from gambling addiction statistics lies in the consequences that result when gambling disorders go untreated.

Is Compulsive Gambling An Illness

1. Gambling Trends

As with all types of data, certain trends or patterns of behavior start to surface within a given population. Gambling addiction statistics are no different. Some of the more prevalent gambling trends show:

  • The likelihood of developing a gambling addiction increases 23-fold for people affected by alcohol use disorders
  • Over 80 percent of American adults gamble on a yearly basis
  • Three to five gamblers out of every hundred struggles with a gambling problem
  • As many as 750,000 young people, ages 14 to 21 have a gambling addiction

2. Gambling & Criminal Activity

As far as gambling and criminal activity goes, gambling addiction statistics reveal a direct correlation between the severity of a gambling addiction and the likelihood of committing crimes. Rates of gambling addiction for criminal offenders far exceed rates found among non-offenders. On average, an estimated 50 percent of those affected by gambling problems commit crimes in order to support their addiction.

3. College Gambling

Gambling addiction statistics show people between the ages 20 and 30 have the highest rates of problem gambling.

  • 75 percent of college students report having gambled during the past year
  • The risk of developing a gambling addiction more than doubles for young adults in college settings
  • An estimated six percent of American college students struggle with gambling problems

Is Compulsive Gambling An Illness Definition

4. Gambling & PTSD Trends

People affected by post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD live with high levels of stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Gambling addiction statistics show high rates of gambling addiction among PTSD sufferers.

Is Compulsive Gambling An Illness Test

  • PTSD symptoms affect anywhere from 12.5 to 29 percent of problem gamblers
  • 34 percent of those who seek treatment for gambling addiction exhibit symptoms of PTSD

5. Gambling & Mental Illness

As addictions, in general, alter brain chemical functions in destructive ways, people struggling with gambling addiction have a higher likelihood of developing mental disorders. Gambling addiction statistics show a high incidence of certain types of mental illness, some of which include:

  • Depression disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Anti-social personality disorder

Is Compulsive Gambling An Illness Symptoms

As with any other type of addiction, a gambling addiction can only get worse when left untreated.