The term “gambling addiction” is a more colloquial name for a clinical condition known as ludomania. To describe this condition simply, it refers to a situation where a person continues on gambling despite knowing fully of its negative impacts and wishing so hard to quit. The urge is so strong that it defies even the strictest plan of quitting. In problem gambling, a gambler’s behavior is not an important factor to take into consideration when structuring the condition’s definition. The most apparent indicator of a problem gambling is the harm a gambler experiences and the effect it has on other people around the gambler.
Formerly, gambling addiction was categorized more as a disorder of impulse control. This means that someone has a poor control over his/her urge to gamble and not at all correlated with addiction of any kind. However, further observations turn in new evidences that show that a gambling addict displays similar indicators that mimic those addicted to substances. As such, the condition has since been categorized as clinical addiction. In order that a person can be categorized as a gambling addict, he/she needs to meet the following factors throughout last 12 months:
1. Restlessness and irritability when trying to quit,
2. The presence of needs to gamble with the amounts of money that increase significantly,
3. Being unable to stop over and over again,
4. Excessive thoughts about gambling,
5. Using gambling to escape depression,
6. Attempting to “avenge” yesterday’s losses,
7. Lying about gambling
8. Ruining a relationship, losing a job, skipping education, and passing on a career opportunity, and
9. Overreliance on other people to get some cash.
Click: What is Gambling Problem?
One only needs to display at least four of the above mentioned symptoms to be treated for gambling addiction. Antidepressants are the most common medication used in treating problem gambling. The dosage can be increased depending on the severity of the case. This condition also oftentimes leads to other serious problems. The shortage of cash could make someone end up developing kleptomania in order to relieve financial problems.
The cascading effects also extend to substance abuse and disorders of moods, personality, and anxiety. However, the scariest thing about problem gambling is its ability to cause suicidal tendency. Those who developed addiction at early age tend to have increased risk of suicide. However, gambling-related suicides are more common in older people. Either way, it should be clear that left untreated, problem gambling will only lead to more problems.