Pathological gambling is an addictive disorder that has been recognized in medical books since 1980. Individuals who suffer from this disorder become dependent upon gambling and lose the ability to control their impulses to gamble. This behavior often results in enormous financial difficulties, marital and family problems and legal and job performance issues. These individuals often develop symptoms of major depression and are even at risk for suicide.


  • Gambling makes home life unhappy
  • Feeling remorse after gambling
  • Preoccupation with gambling
  • Borrowing money to gamble
  • Gambling to escape worry or trouble
  • Changes in sleeping/eating habits
  • Losing work time due to gambling
  • Gambling to obtain money of debts
  • Considering or committing an illegal act to finance gambling
  • Missing work or school due to gambling
  • Celebrating good fortune by gambling
  • Thoughts of suicide


Gamblers Anonymous offers the folowing questions to anyone who may have a gambling problem. These questions are provided to help the individual decide if he or she is a compulsive gambler and wants to stop gambling. 

Y / N - 1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gamling?

Y / N - 2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?

Y / N - 3. Did gambling affect your reputation?

Y / N - 4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?

Y / N - 5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?

Y / N - 6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?

Y / N - 7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?

Y / N - 8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?

Y / N - 9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?

Y / N - 10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?

Y / N - 11. Have you ever sold anything to finance your gambling?

Y / N - 12. Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?

Y / N - 13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?

Y / N - 14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned? 

Y / N - 15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?

Y / N - 16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?

Y / N - 17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

Y / N - 18. Do arguments, dissapointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?

Y / N - 19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate good fortune by a few hours of gambling?

Y / N - 20. Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?


Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.