Pathological gambling / gambling disorder

The Cyprus Addictions Authority (NAAC) treats pathological gambling in a balanced and comprehensive way, based on the philosophy of dealing with addiction in general.

What is 'pathological gambling' or 'gambling disorder'

According to DSM-IV, pathological gambling is classified under the impulse control disorders, referring to people whose main characteristic is their inability to resist the urge to do something that is harmful to themselves and/or others. This is still one of the main personality traits of pathological gamblers, while in the DSM-V, it is classified as a "gambling disorder" and transferred to the category of addictive disorders, which includes alcohol and illicit psychoactive substances.

Gambling addiction follows the same pattern as addiction on psychoactive substances, as there is an increasing amount of research in the areas of neuroscience and psychology, which show that there are common elements between gambling addiction and other addictions.

According to DSM-V, a "Gambling Disorder" is defined as the persistent and recurring problematic gambling that results in clinically significant deterioration or emotional distress, as seen in a person who has four (or more) of the following characteristics, over a period of 12 months:

1) He/she feels the urge to bet increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement.

2) He/she is anxious or irritable when trying to reduce or stop gambling.

3) He/she has repeatedly attempted to control, reduce or stop gambling, without any success.

4) He/she often thinks about gambling (i.e. persistent thoughts about reliving an old game, planning the next game, thinking of ways to make money so he/she can gamble).

5) He/she often plays when he/she feels bad (i.e. weakness, guilt, stress, depression).

6) After losing in gambling, he/she often returns the next day to regain what he/she lost ("chasing" the losses).

7) He/she lies to hide the extent of his/her involvement with gambling.

8) He/she has endangered or lost an important relationship, job or educational opportunity because of his/her involvement in gambling.

9) He /she follows a trend of borrowing money to address the bad financial situation caused by gambling.

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