Many mental health professionals have created criteria for identifying problem gambling. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a standard reference for diagnosing psychological disorders and lists gambling disorder among these. Those who meet the criteria for this disorder are often at risk of developing addictions to gambling. They have made repeated attempts to control their behavior, but the urge to play has not been controlled. A person with gambling disorder may experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.
The study’s strengths lie in the large sample size, good response rates, and the fact that the participants were assessed on both regular and past-year participation in gambling. The researchers also found that participation in gambling was associated more closely with PG than past-year participation. They recommend that these data-driven studies be expanded to include both regular and past-year participation in gambling. For many people, it will take a strong support system to overcome gambling addiction.
A gambler’s problem can get worse if bailing them out of debt makes their gambling problems even worse. The gambler may hide the problem, lie about their gambling habits, or even up their bets to surprise others. Gamblers may also have problems controlling their impulses, which may lead them to gamble to the last dollar, or to try to win back lost money. It’s difficult to tell if an individual is gambling to get money or to make amends for a previous gambling experience.