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Gambling Addiction Diagnosis

(Also Known As: Gambling Diagnosis, Gambling Problem Diagnosis, Gaming Diagnosis, Gaming Addiction Diagnosis, Addiction Diagnosis, Compulsion Diagnosis, Impulse Control Disorder Diagnosis)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

How is Gambling Addiction Diagnosed?

To diagnose gambling addiction the following are criteria to be met as set forth by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association. At least five of the following symptoms must be present to confirm a diagnosis:6

  1. Gambling with increasing amount of money to fulfill the feeling of excitement.
  2. Preoccupation with gambling to relive their past gambling experiences and planning ways how to get money for gambling.
  3. Failure to cut back their gambling activity
  4. Experience irritability upon attempts to cut down on gambling
  5. Chasing losses or gambling more to recoup their losses
  6. Lying to family members and therapists to hide the extent of their gambling
  7. Gambling to escape problems as a way to relieve or escape the feeling of sadness or helplessness
  8. Committing fraud or illegal acts for the game of gambling
  9. Jeopardizing important relationships, career and educational opportunity, or employment due to gambling.
  10. Turning to others for money when they are in desperate financial need.

Addiction to gambling can also be an associated behavioral problem involved with bipolar disorder and other mental health illness, which healthcare providers need to rule out when making the diagnosis.

Could You Have Gambling Addiction?

Gambling Addiction Topics

Related Conditions

Alcohol Addiction – alcohol abuse, withdrawal, dipsomania, alcohol dependence, tolerance
Impulse Control Disorder – pathological gambling, compulsive gambling, obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder – extreme anger, uncontrolled rage, mood changes, sudden outbursts, impulsive behavior
Kleptomania – Urge to hoard things, inability to resist the urge to steal something, urge to commit theft, paranoia
Pyromania – impulsive desire to start fire to relieve tension, obtains self gratification after setting a fire, euphoria, psychosis