Addiction Glossary

The Pathological Gambling and Addiction Glossary has been written to help increase the awareness of problem gambling. Poker players are just as likely to develop a gambling problem as any other type of gambler; often poker players will develop addictive gambling tendencies that lead to a serious gambling addiction and ultimately an unfulfilled life.



A

Abstinence
The act or practice of refraining from indulging a desire to gamble

Addictive Gambling
Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habitual gambling activity or gambling activities

Anxiety
A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome

Attribution
Believing that winners occur due to the gambler's efforts and not by chance

B

Bailout
Dependency on others to overcome a difficult situation caused by gambling e.g. unable to pay bills or rent

Bet
An amount staked

C

Chasing
Losses are chased by gambling more to try and recoup initial losses

CNWL National Problem Gambling Clinic
The National Problem Gambling Clinic treats problem gamblers living in England and Wales aged 16 and over. The team assesses the needs of problem gamblers as well as those of their partners and family members.

Codependent
Of or relating to a relationship in which one person is psychologically dependent in an unhealthy way on someone who is addicted to a drug or self-destructive behaviour, such as chronic gambling.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
A highly structured psychotherapeutic method used to alter distorted attitudes and problem behaviour by identifying and replacing negative inaccurate thoughts and changing the rewards for behaviours

Compulsive Gambler
Resulting from or relating to an irresistible urge to gamble

D

Deceitful
Deceiving or misleading others to get ones own way

Degenerate
Having fallen to an inferior or undesirable state, especially in mental or moral qualities

Depression
Severe, typically prolonged, feelings of despondency and dejection

Dopamine
A brain chemical, classified as a neurotransmitter, found in regions that regulate movement, emotion, motivation, and pleasure

Dysphoric
Generalised feelings of distress e.g. helplessness, anxiety and depression

E

Escape
To gamble as a way of escaping from life and problems

F

Freedom
The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved by a way of life that leads you to want to act out by gambling

G

Gamble
To take a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage or a benefit

Gamblers Anonymous
Fellowship of men and women who have joined together to do something about problem gambling and to help others do the same

GamCare
A charity that provides support, information and advice to anyone suffering through a gambling problem

H

Helplessness
Powerlessness revealed by an inability to act

I

Impulse Control Disorder
Failure to resist a temptation, urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others

J

K

L

Ludomania
Otherwise known as Problem Gambling; an urge to continuously gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop

M

Magical Thinking
A belief that thinking a certain way will bring about a win or that random outcomes can be predicted

Mental Illness
A condition which causes serious disorder in a person's behaviour or thinking.

N

O

P

Pathological Gambling
An impulse control disorder, with sufferers exhibiting many similarities to those who have substance addictions

Preoccupation
Frequent intrusive thoughts about gambling experiences i.e. living in the past or thinking about future gambling

Q

R

Recovery
A process of overcoming physical and/or psychological dependence with a commitment to abstain

Rehabilitate
To restore to good health or useful life, as through therapy and education

Relapse
A deterioration in someone's state of health after a temporary improvement

S

Selective Recall
Gamblers often exaggerate their wins and forget their losses

Self Exclude
To exclude self from betting for a period of time

Stimulus
A thing or event that evokes a specific functional reaction e.g. walking past a casino could be perceived as the stimuli

Suicide
The act of intentionally ending your life; rates of depression and attempted suicide among gambling addicts are around double the national average (Source: NHS)

T

Tolerance
A need to increase gambling activity, typically the amount staked to gain previous level of excitement

U

Urge
A strong desire or impulse to act out

V

W

Wager
An act or undertaking of uncertain outcome; a risk

Withdrawal
Symptoms that occur after chronic use of a drug or excessive gambling activity is reduced abruptly or stopped.

X

Y

Z