Gambling Disorder

Gambling Disorder 150 150 Tony Guo

Gambling Disorder

  • Persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior that intensifies when the individual is under stress.
  • As the need to gamble increases, the individual may use any means required to obtain money to continue the addiction.
  • Gambling behavior usually begins in adolescence, although compulsive behaviors rarely occur before young adulthood.
  • The disorder usually runs a chronic course, with periods of waxing and waning.
  • The disorder interferes with interpersonal relationships, social, academic, or
    occupational functioning.

Predisposing factors to Gambling Disorder

  • Biological influences
    • Genetic: Increased incidence among family members
    • Physiological: Abnormalities in neurotransmitter systems
    • Dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems.
    • Biochemical theories suggest that both winning and losing may stimulate the reward and pleasure centers of the brain, which could contribute to a persistent and repeated desire to gamble even though one is not winning.
  • Psychosocial influences
    • Loss of a parent before age 15
    • Inappropriate parental discipline
    • Exposure to gambling activities as an adolescent
    • Family emphasis on material and financial symbols
    • Lack of family emphasis on saving, planning, and budgeting

Treatment Modalities for Gambling Disorder

  • Behavior therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Psychopharmacology
    • S S R I’s
    • Clomipramine
    • Lithium
    • Carbamazepine
    • Naltrexone
  • Gamblers Anonymous
    • Organization modeled after A A
    • Only requirement for membership is an expressed desire to stop gambling
    • Reformed gamblers help others resist the urge to gamble.

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