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     Gambling Problem?
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Gambling Problem?

Sports betting can be a fun and profitable venture. However, like most good things in life there are pitfalls to be aware of. You should be able to enjoy many positive experiences as long as you bet in moderation and under control.

We know you have heard this before but it definitely bears repeating: donít bet money you canít afford to lose, either emotionally or financially.

Please be aware of the following:

The American Psychiatric Association classifies compulsive gambling, also called pathologic gambling, as an impulse-control disorder. It says the disorder has strong parallels to substance dependence. To meet the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic criteria for compulsive gambling, one must show persistent gambling behavior as indicated by at least five of the following:

1.Being preoccupied with gambling (e.g., preoccupied with reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble).

2.Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve desired excitement.

3.Having repeated unsuccessful efforts to cut back or stop gambling.

4.Being restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.

5.Gambling as a way of escaping problems or of relieving dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression).

6.After losing money gambling, often returning another day to get even ("chasing" one's losses).

7.Lying to family members, therapist or others to conceal extent of involvement with gambling.

8.Having committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling.

9.Having jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling.

10.Relying on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling.

These criteria - published in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, 1994 - also say that to meet the definition of compulsive gambling, the gambling behavior must not be related to an underlying manic disorder.

If you or someone you know shows many of the above characteristics please take the necessary steps to find help. Here are a few places to start looking:

Gamblers Anonymous www.gamblersanonymous.org

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