Gambling is an example of an addictive disorder.

Gambling refers to one risking one’s assets on an outcome partially or entirely controlled by chance, including:

  • Recreational gambling (recreational and does not affect everyday life, e.g. footy tipping)
  • Problem gambling (moving toward pathological)
  • Pathological gambling (medically diagnosed, significantly affects everyday life)

For diagnosis, a ‘problem’ gambler will satisfy at least two of the criteria below, and a ‘pathological gambler’ will satisfy at least five.

  • Lying (especially to loved ones)
  • Illegal activity (in order to make the activity possible)
  • Loss of control (limits are rendered useless)
  • Salience (thoughts and feelings are dominated by the activity)
  • Tolerance (become accepting of negative consequences of the activity)
  • Escape (using the activity as a means of avoiding reality)
  • Bailout (financial reliance on others due to the activity)
  • Withdrawal (ill-effects from not partaking in the activity)
  • Risked relationships (and social isolation due to the activity)
  • Chasing (trying to recover lost funds due to the activity, by partaking in the activity more)

An addiction refers to an activity that people are completely absorbed in and pursue, regardless of potential (or probable) negative consequences. (Grivas, 2010)

An addictive disorder refers to a physical and mental state of dependence. (Grivas, 2010)