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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 62-63

Management of gambling addiction

Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Ajeet Sidana
Department of Psychiatry, Level-5, Block-D, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector-32, Chandigarh - 160 030
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-8990.182093

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Gambling is defined as staking something on a contingency. Many traders are gambling without even knowing it. Health professionals need to consider the harmful effects of gambling considering that gambling can destroy families and has medical consequences. A 40-year-old bank manager diagnosed initially with mood disorder with two attempts of self-harm in the past 3 years was eventually diagnosed as a case of gambling addiction using both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition criteria and Problem Gambling Severity Index. The participant's gambling urges were not caused by any “trigger” incident, were independent of mood disorder, and were so severe to lead him to deliberate self-harm. Even after adequate trial of two mood stabilizers from different classes including lithium, the patient neither showed improvement in mood symptoms nor his gambling behavior; however, patient's gambling behavior and mood symptoms both showed marked improvement following start of naltrexone up to a dose of 100 mg/day and were maintained at 6-month follow-up with gradual decline in craving for gambling as monitored on Problem Gambling Severity Index. Gambling addiction appears to be a very serious problem and can cause significant problems in the lives of people it affects and their family members.

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