A compulsive, or pathological, gambler is someone who is unable to resist his or her impulses to gamble. This leads to severe personal and, or, social consequences. The urge to gamble becomes so great that tension can only be relieved by more gambling.
There is a very fine line between problem gambling and gambling too much. The critical sign of problem gambling is often hidden from awareness, with denial. Many gamblers typically do not know they have a problem. Admitting you have a problem, or may have a problem, is the first step to recovery. Unfortunately this realization normally only surfaces when a problem gambler hits rock bottom.
Compulsive Gambling. Last reviewed 12/31/1969
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- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Revised.
- National Institutes of Health - National Library of Medicine