Last updated: 10/25/2018
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Picking up on the different gambling addiction symptoms can be almost impossible if you do not know what to look for. For the most part, the symptoms of a matured gambling addict are often hidden from the general public. A struggle with gambling is not entirely uncommon, statistics show that over 85 percent of the adult population has gambled at one time or another.Only a small percent of this group will develop a real gambling problem from these activities. However, according to the US National Library of Medicine, up to 30 percent of the people that suffer from drug or alcohol addiction also suffer from gambling addiction as well.
DVM-IV Defines Gambling Addiction Symptoms
The DSM-IV uses a checklist of criteria to identify whether or not someone truly as a pathological gambling problem. In order to qualify as a pathological gambler, the subject typically has to identify with at least five of the criteria on the list. One of the first one the list inquires whether or not the subject is preoccupied with gambling or reliving past experiences. Is coming up with different gambling strategies a prevalent train of thought?
Assessing the Character
The next criteria suggest that the subject needs to continue to increase the amount the wager in order to relive previous thrills or levels of excitement. The next criteria inquires about whether the subject has previously had unsuccessful attempts with reducing or quitting gambling. On a related train of thought, the next criteria inquires if the subject grows irritable or uneasy when they are unable to gamble or not able to gamble as much as they’ve grown accustomed to. The next criteria on the list inquires on whether or not the subject is using the gambling to escape reality or relieve negative feelings.
The DSM-IV also identifies chasing losses the next day as another potential sign of someone with a pathological gambling problem. People that feel the need to lie, conceal or deny their gambling activities may often have a pathological gambling problem as well. People that have defrauded, embezzled, stole or committed other crimes it finance gambling actives is another one of the criteria according to DSM-IV as well. Problems in relationships or with work due to gambling is also one of the criteria listed by the DSM-IV. People that rely on friends, family and other people to survive or support their gambling actives are also clear candidates for having a pathological problem.
Anytime someone shows recurring issues with any of the criteria above, its reasonable to wonder if they may have a serious gambling problem. It’s not about one thing or another, or any particular time, more so it’s about compounding issues resulting from a recurring or frequent pattern of behavior.