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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


ALEGRIA, Analucía; BERNARDI, Silvia  and  BLANCO, Carlos. Pathological Gambling: obsessive-compulsive disorder or behavioral addiction?*. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2010, vol.39, suppl.1, pp.133s-142s. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: There has considerable debate about the appropriate conceptualization of pathological gambling (PG) and its place in psychiatric nosology. PG has been hypothesized to represent both an Obsessive-Compulsive spectrum disorder (OCD) and a behavioral addiction, that is an addiction without a drug. Conceptualization of pathological gambling is vital to guide research strategies and the development and testing of effective treatments we will review the existing research supporting the non-pharmacologic addiction model and that supporting the obsessive-compulsive spectrum conceptualization. Objetive: To review the conceptualization of PG and the aspects associated with the OCD or a behavioral addiction. Results and Conclusions: Although PG resembles OCD in some domains, the majority of the existing data suggests substantial differences between them. Findings from phenomenology, epidemiology, treatment response, and imaging study appear to support that PG resembles more closely an addiction. Nevertheless, despite the progress over the last decade in understanding addictions, PG, and OCD, existing data are often limited and include methodological concerns that complicate interpretation and comparisons across subject groups.

Keywords : Pathological gambling; treatment; obsesive-compulsive disorder.

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