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Gambling Addiction Help
Pathological gambling is a brain disease that seems to be similar to
disorders such as alcoholism and drug addiction.
These disorders likely
involve problems with the part of the brain involved with behaviors
such as eating and sex. This part of the brain is sometimes called the
"pleasure center" or dopamine reward pathway.
In people who develop pathological gambling, occasional gambling
leads to a gambling habit. Stressful situations can worsen gambling
People with pathological gambling often feel ashamed and try to
avoid letting others know of their problem. The American Psychiatric
Association defines pathological gambling as having 5 or more of the
- Spending a lot of time thinking about gambling, such as past experiences or ways to get more money with which to gamble
- Needing to gamble larger amounts of money in order to feel excitement
- Having had many unsuccessful attempts to cut back or quit gambling
- Feeling restless or irritable when trying to cut back or quit gambling
- Gambling to escape problems or feelings of sadness or anxiety
- Gambling larger amounts of money to try to make back previous losses
- Lying about the amount of time or money spent gambling
- Committing crimes to get money to gamble
- Losing a job, relationship, or educational or career opportunity due to gambling
- Needing to borrow money to get by due to gambling losses
Source: The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
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