If you recognize that you may have a problem with your gambling, talk with your primary care doctor about an evaluation or seek help from a mental health professional.

To evaluate your problem with gambling, your doctor or mental health professional will likely:

  • Ask questions related to your gambling habits. He or she may also ask for permission to speak with family members or friends. However, confidentiality laws prevent your doctor from giving out any information about you without your consent.
  • Review your medical information. Some drugs can have a rare side effect that results in compulsive behaviors, including gambling, in some people. A physical exam may identify problems with your health that are sometimes associated with compulsive gambling.
  • Do a psychiatric assessment. This assessment includes questions about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns related to your gambling. Depending on your signs and symptoms, you may be evaluated for mental health disorders that are sometimes related to excessive gambling.
  • Use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association, lists criteria for the diagnosis of gambling disorder.
Oct. 22, 2016
  1. Gambling disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Sept. 17, 2016.
  2. Domino FJ. Overview of gambling disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 17, 2016.
  3. What is gambling disorder? American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/gambling-disorder/what-is-gambling-disorder. Accessed Sept. 17, 2016.
  4. Help and treatment: Choosing a treatment facility. National Council on Problem Gambling. http://www.ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/choosing-a-treatment-facility/. Accessed Sept. 29, 2016.
  5. Hennessy G. Can medications help people with gambling disorder? Psychiatric News. http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.pn.2016.PP4a1. Accessed Sept. 17, 2016.
  6. Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 29, 2016.