Beyond addiction or compulsion: The continuing role of environment in the case of pathological gambling

Abstract

Comments on an article by N. el-Guebaly et al. (see record 2012-24821-004). Debates as to whether pathological gambling (PG) is closer in nature to substance abuse disorders (SUDs) than obsessive compulsive disorders (OCDs), as well as discussions regarding the appropriateness of concepts such as addiction, impulsivity and compulsivity in describing the disorder, are timely and interesting in the context of the DSM-V's proposed reclassification of the syndrome. This broader perspective also has implications for interventions. Debates about the relative merits of OCD and SUD as applied to PG are interesting, but their value will be diminished if they are not considered alongside these wider environmental perspectives.

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