Gambling addiction is a destructive impulse-control disorder. People who are addicted to gambling increase their gambling to achieve the same “high” as before. This process leads to an endless cycle of increasing craving, reduced ability to resist, and weakening control over the urge to gamble. Problem gambling can negatively affect a person’s life in many ways, including their social, professional, and psychological functioning. The article discusses some ways in which someone can tell if they are prone to this condition.
Problem gambling is an impulse-control disorder
Often classified as an impulse-control disorder, problem gambling can affect a person’s mental and physical health. The addictive behavior can lead to financial and legal problems, as well as emotional distress. Problem gamblers may even resort to self-harm or suicide. While problem gambling can be mild or severe, it’s common for it to deteriorate over time. Previously, problem gambling was called pathological gambling or compulsive gaming, but it was recently recognized as an Impulse Control Disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.
It is associated with nongambling health problems
Despite rapid growth in legalized gambling in the past decade, few studies have examined the relationship between gambling and health. Problem and pathological gambling are both associated with nongambling health problems. In this article, we describe the relationship between gambling and health and review screening and treatment options for pathological and problem gambling. We conclude by suggesting a role for generalist physicians in assessing patients with these conditions. The research presented here demonstrates that gambling addiction is not a simple health issue.
It is common in older adults
While the vast majority of older adults gamble with little or no ill effects, the high prevalence of gambling addiction in older adults presents particular risks. In addition to age, older adults tend to view gambling as the least treatable disorder and are more likely to see it as morally wrong than younger adults. Additionally, some Parkinson’s disease patients have developed a gambling problem as a side effect of the drug Mirapex. The first author has extensive experience with qualitative methodology and used this knowledge to design a study to investigate the prevalence of gambling among older adults.
It is associated with thoughts of suicide
A new study has shown that problem gamblers have a 15-fold increased risk of suicide. This risk remains elevated even after accounting for other factors, such as depression or substance abuse. The findings are especially disturbing, because people with gambling addictions can also be struggling with other problems, including financial problems. So, how can we help people avoid the risk of suicide? Read on to learn more. The article “Gambling and Suicide” provides insight into the connection between gambling and the mental health of problem gamblers.