Epidemiological data have suggested that the prevalence of co-occurring personality disorders is particularly high in people with gambling disorder (GD). Among the personality disorders, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) appears to be the most common problem. The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical presentation of GD with and without co-occurring OCPD.
We studied 25 subjects with current GD and lifetime diagnosis of OCPD. They were matched for age and gender with 25 individuals with current GD but no lifetime diagnosis of any personality disorder.
Subjects with GD and OCPD demonstrated (a) lower severity of gambling symptoms, (b) slower progression from recreational gambling to full-blown GD, (c) preferred individual forms of betting, (d) identified more triggers to gambling (specially the availability of money and stress); and (e) reported less negative impact on relational problems due to GD.
Our research provides further insight on GD co-occurring with OCPD, such as increasing social support and improvement of coping skills, especially to deal with financial difficulties and stress. Our findings may lead to more customized and effective therapeutic approaches to this frequent comorbidity.
Gambling disorder (GD) may have its onset in a wide range of ages, from adolescents to old adults. In addition, individuals with GD tend to seek treatment at different moments in their lives. As a result of these characteristics (variable age at onset and variable age at treatment seeking), we find subjects with diverse duration of illness (DOI) in clinical practice. DOI is an important but relatively understudied factor in GD. Our objective was to investigate clinical and neurocognitive characteristics associated with different DOI.
This study evaluated 448 adults diagnosed with GD. All assessments were completed prior to treatments being commenced.
Our main results were: (a) there is a negative correlation between DOI and lag between first gambling and onset of GD; (b) lifetime history of alcohol use disorder (AUD) is associated with a longer duration of GD; (c) the presence of a first-degree relative with history of AUD is associated with a more extended course of GD; and (d) there is a negative correlation between DOI and quality of life.
This study suggests that some important variables are associated with different DOI. Increasing treatment-seeking behavior, providing customized psychological interventions, and effectively managing AUD may decrease the high levels of chronicity in GD. Furthermore, research on GD such as phenomenological studies and clinical trials may consider the duration of GD in their methodology. DOI might be an important variable when analyzing treatment outcome and avoiding confounders.
Previous analyses have highlighted significant associations between gambling disorder (GD)/subsyndromal GD and increased rates of anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders relative to the general population. However, less is known about how anxiety symptoms influence the clinical presentation of gambling problems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between anxiety symptoms, gambling activity, and neurocognition across the spectrum of gambling behavior.
The sample consisted of 143 non-treatment-seeking young adults (aged 18–29 years), in which 63 individuals (44.1%) were classified as recreational gamblers, 47 (32.9%) as having subsyndromal GD, and 33 (23.1%) met criteria for GD.
The main findings were: (a) there was a positive correlation between anxiety severity and gambling severity measured by the number of DSM-5 GD criteria met; (b) there was a positive correlation between anxiety severity and attentional impulsiveness; (c) subjects with suicidality presented higher levels of anxiety; and (d) the severity of anxiety symptoms was negatively correlated with the quality of life.
Discussion and conclusions
This study suggests that anxiety may be associated with relevant clinical variables in the broad spectrum of gambling activity. Therefore, proper management of anxiety symptoms might improve the clinical presentation of gamblers in different areas.