Course and prognosis

The natural history of pathological gambling is one characterized by exacerbations and remissions, often related to life events. Important elements in this are relationships within the family, especially with the spouse/partner. An example of this is the not infrequent sequence of an exacerbation of heavy gambling in the husband, coterminous with the wife's first pregnancy.

The outlook in pathological gambling is usually determined by the integrity of the underlying personality. In those in whom the condition appears as a symptom of a neurotic disorder or depression, the prognosis depends on that of the underlying disorder.

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