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Classification of Pathological Gambling as an Impulse Control Disorder

Mark W. Langewisch, G. Ron Frisch


The purpose of this paper is to examine the appropriateness of the current classification of pathological gambling as an Impulse Control Disorder. Controversy over the current categorization is as heated as it has ever been with more research suggesting that gambling is in fact not strictly an impulse-driven behaviour. Research also shows that pathological gambling is similar in presentation and treatment outcome to other addictive behaviours such as alcohol and substance abuse. Given such findings, it is arguable that pathological gambling needs to be re-examined in terms of where it fits into a psychiatric classification system.

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