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Diagnosis of Pathological Gambling

Individuals with this Impulse-Control Disorder recurrently fail to resist gambling to such an extent that it leads to disruption of major life pursuits.


Diagnostic criteria for 312.31 Pathological Gambling


A. Persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior as indicated by five (or more) of the following:


(1) is preoccupied with gambling (e.g., preoccupied with reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble)

(2) needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement

(3) has repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling

(4) is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling

(5) gambles as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphonic mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)

(6) after losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even ("chasing" one's losses)

(7) lies to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling

(8) has committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling

(9) has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling

(10) relies on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling

B. The gambling behavior is not better accounted for by a Manic Episode.


Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth Edition. (DSM-IV) Copyright 1994 American Psychiatric Association