A Gambling Disorder is a behavioural addiction diagnosis introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition or DSM-5. This is the first formal recognition of behavioural addiction in the psychiatry text, which is considered the “gold standard” in the field of mental health.
The parallels between gambling addiction and drug addiction have been drawn by experts for decades, although whether behavioural addictions share similar characteristics to substance addictions has always been controversial.
What is now unquestioned is that gambling behaviours can become compulsive, can lead to major financial and emotional problems, and are treatable using similar approaches to the treatment of substance addictions. This has been repeatedly demonstrated by research, and as a result, gambling is now fully recognised as an addictive disorder