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Problem gamblers share similar characteristics to people with personality disorders

A new research has revealed that problem gambling and personality disorders often go hand in hand.



Washington: A new research has revealed that problem gambling and personality disorders often go hand in hand.

The study at Monash University in Australia showed that problem gambling creates a multitude of intrapersonal, interpersonal and social difficulties for the roughly 2.3 percent of the population internationally that suffers from this behavior.

Previous research has shown that people with gambling problems suffer from a range of psychiatric disorders affecting their mood, levels of anxiety and their use of substances.

Meredith Brown and her colleagues reviewed existing research to establish patterns and factor that link problem gambling and various personality disorders and found that people with gambling problems share similar characteristics to people with antisocial, borderline, histrionic and narcissistic personality disorders.

The review shows that the same biological and social factors are at play in causing problem gambling and personality disorders, which include poor parental relationships during childhood, possible abuse, difficulty in controlling emotions, substance abuse, depression and anxiety disorders.

Members of both groups, who are also emotionally more vulnerable and struggle with anger issues and feelings of shame, tend to be socially isolated, have problematic relationships with their peers, lower self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness and dissociation.

Brown added that the fact that problem gambling and high levels of psychopathology often go together indicates a need to undertake routine and systematic screening and assessment of problem gamblers who sign up for treatment because the clinical picture of people with gambling problems who also suffer from personality disorders is more complicated, their successful treatment is also more difficult.

The study is published in Springer's Journal of Gambling Studies. 

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