Gambling:Cultural Attitudes, Motivations and Impact on Quality of Life
Gambling Disorder, or pathological gambling, is a psychiatric condition characterized by persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behaviour. Previously considered among impulse control disorders, the new DSM-5 considers Gambling Disorder as a behavioural addiction, sharing neurobiological and clinical similarities with substance-use disorders. However, although Gambling Disorder is a medical illness and as such can be treated, it is crucial to gain a wider perspective on the theme, taking into account all the cultural attitudes, motivations behind its diffusion and relative consequences on the quality of life. But why gamble? Among the wide variety of the material and symbolic functions of gambling, there are the desires for relaxation, excitement, socialization, challenge, and an aesthetic quest. Gambling can also be perceived as an escape from difficult situations. Generally, however, the hope for significant gains to improve the economic situation constitutes the leading motivation. In some cases trying to gamble may represent a tentative to establish a relation with something that is transcendent. In this book the proposed perspectives differ from that of schoolchildren and adolescents to females and indigenous populations. There is an emphasis on important issues as the psychopathological assessment, the availability of treatments and rehabilitation options, the presence of specific temperament and character traits, and other possible consequences of gambling directly depending on the poor quality of life, such as the suicide risk.