What’s in a Name?
May 22, 2013
Perhaps…HOPE, HELP and ultimately enhanced UNDERSTANDING and TREATMENT
Clinicians have long-awaited the release of the DSM-5, with the resultant recategorization and change in nomenclature for Gambling Addiction, from Pathological Gambling, Gambling Addiction, Compulsive Gambling and a variety of terms used to discern the varying degrees of severity of addiction, to the newly endorsed term of “Disordered Gambling.“
For those who suffer from a gambling addiction, or “Disordered Gambling” ….the name doesn’t matter. The category doesn’t matter. What matters is..access to treatment, being cared for with dignity as one who suffers from a serious illness versus an individual of weak morals and even weaker character. Gambling addiction is a progressive illness. By the time the afflicted individual reaches out for help, financial resources are decimated, familial relations are strained and help of any kind is hard to come by. There are a few low-cost outpatient treatment services available and, in most states, residential treatment, if available at all, is cost prohibitive and not underwritten by insurance or social services.
The American Psychiatric Association just released the long-awaited Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders – 5th Edition (DSM-5). With the medical community now recognizing Disordered Gambling as a serious mental health disorder and an addiction vs. an impulse control disorder; with the scientific community advancing studies of the brain circuitry of disordered gambling rather than simply “treating the symptoms” the DSM-5 may indeed answer the question “What’s in a Name?” Hopefully the answer is “Everything.”