The DSM-5 is a classification system for psychological disorders, and the fifth edition lists Gambling Disorder as one of them. Its clinical expression, origin in the brain, and physiology make it similar to other addictive behaviors. It’s also related to other addictive behaviors, such as alcoholism. However, there are differences between the two disorders. In both cases, the symptoms of gambling disorder are similar. The gambler has made repeated attempts to control his or her behavior, but has been unsuccessful.
The urge to gamble may have many causes, including financial, emotional, and social. The urge to gamble must be resisted and the money needed to fulfill the desires must be controlled. For this reason, it’s important to cut up your credit cards or to have someone else manage them. You can also set up automatic payments with your bank, and close any online betting accounts you may have. Then, only carry cash on your person. If you’re an avid gambler, the urges to gamble might be more frequent and intense.
Gambling is often organized by commercial enterprises, like casinos. Such establishments will be able to acquire a portion of the money wagered by patrons. However, some large-scale gambling activities may require a commercial or professional organization. Some countries have legalized casinos, but many more do not. For example, the Gambling Commission of the United Kingdom estimates that the legal gambling industry was worth $335 billion in 2009.
While bailing out a problem gambler may feel rewarding, it may also make the problem worse. It can make the gambler lie about their gambling habits, or they may only gamble to surprise friends and family. If this is the case, there are many ways to deal with gambling disorders. In addition to seeking help from professional organizations, you can also engage in physical activity. Finally, consider the consequences of your gambling, and decide whether it is really worth the risks.
Once you’ve realized you have a problem gambling, it’s crucial to strengthen your support network. Talk to your friends and family members and find ways to avoid the situations that lead to temptation. Joining education programs, volunteering for a cause, or joining peer support groups are all positive steps. Additionally, you may wish to consider joining Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step recovery program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. To become a member of Gamblers Anonymous, you must identify a sponsor who is an ex-gambler. Your sponsor can act as a guide for you.
While there is no definitive diagnosis for pathological gambling, there is a wide spectrum of symptoms that define it. Some people with gambling problems run up huge debts, destroy relationships, and even kill themselves. However, the definition of pathological gambling is changing in the DSM, and the DSM-IV describes this disorder as a disorder of impulse control. There is no clear-cut answer to what constitutes a pathological gambler, but the diagnosis is still important.