Compulsive gamblers are individuals who gamble without restraint. Pathological gamblers can’t control their impulses. Pathological gamblers gradually lose the ability to control the urge to gamble. Compulsive gamblers gamble even when they know they are risking their careers, families or financial well-being.
Compulsive gambling is described as a behavioral addiction. Compulsive gamblers fall into 4 main categories, according to their personality type.
Gamblers who exhibit personality traits such as being disorganized and emotionally unstable belong to one group. Gamblers who adapt poorly to situations in their lives belong to another group of persons who exhibit problem gambling. Gamblers who exhibit this personality trait also try to avoid harm to themselves and are socially distant.
The personality traits of the compulsive gamblers who are disorganized, have difficulty adapting or are emotionally unstable lead them to have difficulty controlling their responses. Gamblers who have a globally adapted personality and gamblers who have problems controlling their alcohol use are the other two groups.
The personality traits of the compulsive gamblers lead to problem gambling in over 6 million people in the United States. Marriage and family therapists can help families cope with the effects of pathological gambling.
This article was previously published on Healthmad on Oct. 17, 2010 and on Expertscolumn on Aug. 11, 2011.
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