Gambling Addiction - Diagnosis And Treatment

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Gambling Addiction - Diagnosis And Treatment
Gambling Addiction - Diagnosis And Treatment

Video: Gambling Addiction - Diagnosis And Treatment

Video: Gambling Addiction - Diagnosis And Treatment
Video: Gambling Addiction Disorder - Symptoms and Treatment 2023, September

Gambling Addiction: Diagnosis & Therapy

Pathological, compulsive gambling is listed as an independent disease in the ICD (International Classification of Diseases) under "Pathological gambling". In compulsive gambling, gambling is repeated and episodic. This is at the center of the life of those affected and leads to social and professional decline as well as serious family and financial problems. A psychiatric examination is necessary for an exact diagnosis and clarification of any other mental illnesses…


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Features of pathological gambling
  • Test: Are You At Risk?
  • Therapy for gambling addiction
  • What can I do as a relative?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

Features of pathological gambling

Pathological play is one of the so-called impulse control disorders. The following characteristics can occur:

  • Gambling as the “center of life” - everything revolves around the “one thing”, how to get money, how to win and how to make up for losses.
  • The stakes are getting higher and higher so that the desired arousal occurs.
  • If gambling activity decreases, those affected become irritable and restless.
  • Ongoing failure to give up gambling on your own.
  • Gambling is used to "reduce stress" and to escape from other problems.
  • Attempts are made to cover up the behavior, and lies pile up.
  • The professional and private situation is put at risk. Employers and families etc. are confronted with serious problems.

Test: Are You At Risk?

You can perform a gambling addiction test on the Styrian gambling addiction website. Depending on the result, advice may be recommended. The gambling addiction service in Vienna also offers an online test and tips on first aid measures in a folder.

A very simple test to identify problematic or pathological gambling is the lie / bet screen. It consists of just two questions:

  • Question 1: Have you ever felt the need to wager more and more money while gambling?
  • Question 2: Have you ever had to lie about the extent of your game?

If one or two questions are answered with “yes”, professional help is required.

Therapy for gambling addiction

At the beginning of therapy there is a willingness to do so and a certain insight into the disease. The way there is often long and rocky. Starting treatment as early as possible is an advantage. Therapeutic measures for gambling addiction are diverse, eg psychiatric treatment, psychotherapy, etc. They include information about the illness and consideration of social aspects, eg debt counseling as well as advice to relatives.

In psychiatric treatment, drugs may be prescribed to help relieve cravings for gambling (anti-craving drugs). In psychotherapy (individual psychotherapy or group psychotherapy), work is carried out on getting by without gambling - for example through alternative courses of action (e.g. more space for other interests, etc.). In addition, those affected can find out how it got to this point and how they can take countermeasures in the future.

In addition, other treatment measures are used, e.g. exercise, music therapy, art therapeutic approaches, etc.

In some cases, inpatient therapy is necessary.

What can I do as a relative?

The Spieluchthilfe Wien informs relatives in a folder on its website and shows what they can do themselves to better cope with this difficult situation (including first aid tips). Contact points for gambling addiction usually also offer advice for relatives.

Whom can I ask?

Contact points for gambling addiction in the federal states are listed on the website of the Ministry of Finance. In addition, the Addiction Help Compass offers support in the search for professional help.

How are the costs going to be covered?

For information, see Dependency: Benefits and Costs.