Pathological gambling: Psychosomatic, emotional and marital difficulties as reported by the spouse
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Two parallel self-administered surveys were distributed at three conferences of Gamblers Anonymous. One survey was for members of Gamblers Anonymous and the other was for members of GamAnon. Approximately 500 respondents completed the surveys, with 215 having completed the questionnaire for the spouse. This article is a report of some of the data from the spouse's survey. This survey focused on two time periods of the spouse's life — during the “desperation” phase of the gambler's illness (Custer, 1982) and the phase following a period of abstinence from gambling. Specific areas covered in this report focus on the psychosomatic problems and emotional difficulties encountered by the spouse, marital and familial estrangement, financial management, and the need for mental health services. It is anticipated that some of these needs can be met through training or therapy sessions in professional gambling treatment centers and at Gamblers Anonymous conferences.
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