Pathological gambling is an increasing public health problem.
This is due to the symptomatology of the disorder resembling an addiction not dissimilar to that of substance-abuse. And according to Hans Breiter, co-director of the Motivation and Emotion Neuroscience Center at Massachusetts General Hospital"monetary reward in a gambling-like experiment produces brain activation very similar to that observed in a cocaine addict receiving an infusion of cocaine.
There are three important points discovered after these antidepressant studies: Pathological gambling, as the part of obsessive-compulsive disorder, requires the higher doses of antidepressants as it usually required for depressive disorders.
In cases where participants do not have or have minimal symptoms of anxiety or depression, antidepressants still have those effect.
A limited study was presented at a conference in Berlin, suggesting opioid release differs in problem gamblers from the general population, but in a very different way from alcoholics or other substance abusers. These authors point out that social factors may be a far more important determinant of gambling behaviour than brain chemicals and they suggest that a social model may be more useful in understanding the issue.
There is a partial overlap in diagnostic criteria; pathological gamblers are also likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs.
The "telescoping phenomenon" reflects the rapid development from initial to problematic behavior in women compared with men. This phenomenon was initially described for alcoholism, but it has also been applied to pathological gambling.
Also biological data provide a support for a relationship between pathological gambling and substance abuse. The study links problem gambling to a myriad of issues affecting relationships, and social stability. The council also said that suicide rates among pathological gamblers were higher than any other addictive disorder.
Second, some individuals use problem gambling as an escape from the problems in their lives an example of negative reinforcement.
Third, personality factors play a role, such as narcissismrisk-seeking, sensation-seeking and impulsivity. Fifth, problem gamblers represent a chronic state of a behavioral spin process, a gambling spin, as described by the criminal spin theory.
It consists of ten diagnostic criteria. The VGS has proven validity and reliability in population studies as well as Adolescents and clinic gamblers.
Treatment[ edit ] Most treatment for problem gambling involves counseling, step-based programs, self-help, peer-support, medication, or a combination of these.
However, no one treatment is considered to be most efficacious and no medications have been approved for the treatment of pathological gambling by the U.
Only one treatment facility  has been given a license to officially treat gambling as an addiction, and that was by the State of Virginia. Modeled after Alcoholics AnonymousGA uses a step model that emphasizes a mutual-support approach.Although genetic or other biological factors may contribute to vulnerability to the condition, many social, psychological, and environmental factors have a powerful influence on substance use.
Due to recent changes of gambling laws, accessibility to gambling has become more widespread and thus, there has also been an increase in the prevalence of pathological gambling (PG). The wide range of social, economic, and psychological problems associated with PG are well known.
Problem gambling (or ludomania, but usually referred to as "gambling addiction" or "compulsive gambling") is an urge to gamble continuously despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop.
Problem gambling is often defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler's behaviour. In the s, while updating the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) officially classified pathological gambling as an impulse.
4 Research on the Origins of Pathological and Problem Gambling Etiology is the study of causal pathways. Because of the complex analyses and study designs that must be used, this type of research represents the crown jewel of health research.
The available literature suggests that both biological and psychological factors play a role in the etiology of pathological gambling, and that further research on its competing conceptualizations is needed to clarify its place in the psychiatric nosology.