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What You Need To Know About Gambling Disorders


Early this year, a middle aged Kenyan man committed suicide following Arsenal’s loss to Bate Borisov. The man identified as Duncan lost Ksh60,000 after three successive bets of Ksh20,000 each.

He is not the first case, neither is he the last.

In September 2018, another one committed suicide after losing the same amount in a Kenya vs Ghana match, with Kenya hammering Ghana 1-0.

The disorder does not only affect the ‘commoners’. Former England midfielder Paul Merson says he is “taking one day at a time” after revealing he is again struggling with gambling addiction.

Merson, 50, who is a regular TV pundit, said his life has “fallen apart” due to gambling on upcoming ITV documentary Harry’s Heroes: The Full English.

In the past Merson has admitted drink, cocaine and gambling addictions.

“Thank you for the supportive tweets, means the world to me,” he tweeted on Thursday.

“Taking one day at a time but it’s getting better for me,” he added.

These are just two cases in the many that have wrecked familiea and destroyed lives of people looking for easy money.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), such cases are as a result of gambling disorder, a mental condition that captures your mind.

Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

Read: Ex-Arsenal Midfielder Paul Merson Struggling With “Worst” Gambling Addiction

“For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months,” says WHO.

WHO says that they included gambling disorder among world’s major threats after development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world.

“Studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital- or video-gaming activities. However, people who partake in gaming should be alert to the amount of time they spend on gaming activities, particularly when it is to the exclusion of other daily activities, as well as to any changes in their physical or psychological health and social functioning that could be attributed to their pattern of gaming behaviour,” adds WHO.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email

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