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DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria: Gambling Disorder

  1. Persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as indicated by the individual exhibiting four (or more) of the following in a 12-month period:
    1. Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement.
    2. Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.
    3. Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling.
    4. Is often preoccupied with gambling (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble).
    5. Often gambles when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed).
    6. After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses).
    7. Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling.
    8. Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling.
    9. Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling.
  2. The gambling behavior is not better explained by a manic episode.
  3. Specify if:
    Episodic: Meeting diagnostic criteria at more than one time point, with symptoms subsiding between periods of gambling disorder for at least several months.
    Persistent: Experiencing continuous symptoms, to meet diagnostic criteria for multiple years.

    Specify if:
    In early remission: After full criteria for gambling disorder were previously met, none of the criteria for gambling disorder have been met for at least 3 months but for less than 12 months.
    In sustained remission: After full criteria for gambling disorder were previously met, none of the criteria for gambling disorder have been met during a period of 12 months or longer.
    Specify current severity:
    Mild: 4–5 criteria met.
    Moderate: 6–7 criteria met.
    Severe: 8–9 criteria met.
From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (section 312.31).

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