Historically, since ancient times mankind around the globe has resorted to gambling behavior in one or other form, there is no specific cause for gambling addiction. Like other addictions genetic, biological, psychological and environmental causes play a part. Often competitive workaholics are drawn to gambling. Drugs like levodopa for parkinsonism may increase gambling behavior. Gambling is more common in younger individuals with no difference between sexes. Gambling has similar reward pathways as for other addictions and has impulsive and compulsive quality. These individuals show preoccupation with gambling, seek thrill from it, hide or lie about losses and at times experience remorse or guilt and try unsuccessfully to cut down and often chase their losses with a hope to “hit a big jackpot”. Diagnosis is based on DSM-5 criteria. Certain scales can be used to assess its severity. There are no known proven preventive strategies for gambling. Also there are no approved pharmacological interventions, however research favors therapeutic value of SSRIs, mood stabilizers and opiate antagonists . Like for other addictions gambling and related disorders also benefit from motivational enhancement, individual, group, couple and family therapies as well as self-help groups like Gambling Anonymous (GA).
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