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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-54

Role of exercise in the treatment of gambling disorder

Department of Physical Activity and Health Promotion, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Chidiebere Emmanuel Okechukwu
Department of Physical Activity and Health Promotion, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier, 1, 00133 Roma
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njecp.njecp_11_19

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Gambling disorder(GD)is a behavioral addiction recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders 5th version and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases 10th version (ICD-10). GD according to the ICD-10 is characterized by maladaptive and recurrent pattern of gambling behavior that persists despite the negative consequences for the individual and his family. GD is a rising global health issue, and its consequences are family problems, substance abuse, suicide ideation, suicide attempts, suicide, and criminal behaviors such as theft and drug trafficking to raise money for gambling activities. Mood disorders such as major depressive disorder, anxiety, obsessions, and personality disorders are comorbid with GD. Papers were searched using key terms indicating addiction, exercise, physical activity, and GD on PubMed, Science Direct, Psych INFO, Medline, and Google Scholar database. Exercise is effective in the prevention and treatment of depression in addition to psychotherapy and antidepressant drug therapies. Pathological gamblers who are not physically active are expected to have poor cardiovascular and mental health, lack of physical fitness, and low quality of life compared to healthy controls who exercise regularly. There is a need to include a standard exercise program in support of psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatment of GD because of the benefits of regular exercise in the improvement of cardiovascular and mental health, lifestyle modification, and in the primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases. Exercise was found to be effective as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of GD and co-occurring psychiatric disorders.

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