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Pathologic Gambling

Pathologic Gambling (PG) has often been described as a “behavioral addiction” and is now categorized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DMS-IV-TR) as an Impulse-Control Disorder (ICD). Accurate understanding of the disease process requires recognition that sometimes these behaviors are manifestations of other primary psychiatric diseases (e.g., Mood Disorders, Schizophrenia, etc.). Regardless of the label, all patients suffer from the inability to resist the impulse to gamble or stop gambling prior to incurring negative consequences. Similar to Substance Use Disorders, patients with PG often experience withdrawal, craving, and tolerance. Successful recovery requires a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and multi-discipline treatment approach.

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