Impulse Control Disorders Symptoms - Pathological Gambling

Pathological Gambling Symptoms

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

  • 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)
  • needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement
  • has repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling
  • is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
  • gambles as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)
  • after losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even ("chasing" one's losses)
  • lies to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling
  • has committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling
  • has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling
  • relies on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling

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

Criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.