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Essential Feature of Pathological Gambling

Essay by   •  June 13, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,357 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,030 Views

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8.1

The essential feature of Pathological Gambling is recurrent maladaptive behavior (Criterion A) in all facets of gambling which disrupts life from the workplace to the home to casual social relationships. It is important to differentiate gambling in a recurrent manner versus the behavior as explained by a person in a mania (APA, 2000). This description and the subsequent disorder I have witnessed firsthand.

Being in the New York City area I have perhaps had more exposure to certain peoples and cultures prone to this sort of behavior. I would be interested to do a demographic study to see where the heaviest population of this disorder is present. However how many people suffering go unreported will make that type of study on this subject very difficult. Anyhow, the person or persons I suspect suffered from PG was a work colleague, we will call him Jon, and a good friend, T. Bothe of these people had a drive to gamble which at first began as an earnest interest with amounts they could swallow if lost which quickly became an obsession and wagering bigger money, often on margin, "the need to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desire excitement" (DSM, p. 672). Once the issue became larger and we began paying more attention to it, I noticed how, especially with my friend as I was closer to him, he would quickly try to 'cover his losses' with more gambling. He usually never gave it a day, he would bet an event, any event, which was possible to wager on just to cover. He usually lost these bets and the cycle plundered downward. As is stated in the DSM, "chasing" one's losses may develop, with an urgent need to keep gambling (often with larger bets or the taking of greater risks) to undo a loss or series of losses. The individual may abandon his or her gambling strategy and try to win back losses all at once" (DSM, p. 673)

The issue for my co-worker got very ugly and his lost his job. He actually slowly lost it as he began to be consumed by the disorder and it eventually made him consistently late to work because he was up late betting on west coast games and generally miserable due to his ever present anger because he often lost. So he meets the criterion of major life entanglement with the job loss. I am not sure what has happened to him since.

My friend went through a very trying period with his family as he went into debt and threatened to lose a fair portion of the family savings. He kept his job but created major havoc in their relationship. He has since recovered but I suspect he is back, but I am not sure with what severity. It is my evaluation that both of these men were pathological gamblers.

8.2

Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa comprise the two largest and most significant areas of eating disorders associated with psychological maladaptation's. The nature of Anorexia can be generalized as a disorder which afflicts those with severely damaged perceptions of the self (Maine, 1999). Persons with the disorder often find their bodies grossly overweight and feel compelled, with behaviors similar to obsessive compulsive types, to lose weight no matter the cost. As the DSM describes it some individuals have an obsessive thought pattern related to food and compulsively do not east to maintain what they see as fit (APA, 2000). What is most disturbing and often most dangerous is that people suffering from Anorexia are usually not satisfied with weight loos yet that will compel them to lose more. It is unexplainable but the loss of weight leads them, as in Body Dysmorphic disorder, to see more unwanted body fat and compel them to lose more weight, hence the cycle spirals out of control and the health of the patient is in jeopardy. (Maine, 1999).

Bulimia can follow a similar pattern but the main defining feature differentiating the two is that while Bulimic patients do purge their food, they go on huge binge eating spurts followed by mass purging. The difference is a large one; Bulimics can maintain their weight so gross weight loss and all the physiological and psychological factors accompanying emaciation does not exist (APA, 2000).

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