Gambling disorder and Lockdown

It strikes me, these days labeled as the first of the long-awaited phase 2, to hear a word frequently spoken by patients being treated for Gambling Disorder"let's hope…". 

"Hopefully", a simple word, in common use which, however, within the exceptional context that is the treatment path of a form of addiction so underestimated, is full of meanings that dwell behind the eight letters.

Sometimes it's the “let's hope"Disengaged from whom avoid the thought of tomorrow how it would avoid any fatigue of the body and spirit; sometimes it's the "let's hope”Panting for whom it requires more time to accumulate energy and security to oppose the pitfalls that will arise; other times it is the "hope" of those who have not gambled for months and months, but still asks for a guide, an authoritative reference, an owner of trust, reason and strength.

That "let's hope", For us operators involved in the treatment paths, it becomes work material, a lever to raise words like"motivation","awareness","prevention","risk”, To reveal unprocessed fears, to expose distorted thoughts related to chance and the game still surviving, to reinforce still weak reasons, to experiment with new solutions

Yet between one interview and another, you can see in that "let's hope"The meaning that connotes the contexts in which diseases of the body and psyche are treated; contexts in which relapse would mean resuming strenuous treatment cycles not knowing whether it is possible to get out of it healed, safe or even alive.

It is in these moments that the truth of gambling disorder as a disease and not as a vice, the first major conceptual turning point to continue sharing and telling until it is clear to everyone.

Gambling proposals built on the basis of profiling of "consumers" to offer pervasive gaming opportunities (in places and times) they fuel the spread of risk-related diseasesalso worsening the condition of those who have already developed them. 

For at least a decade, professionals and operators in the care sector, bodies, committees, associations, including PsyPlus Onlus, have been committed to ensuring that gambling is regulated. 

"To hope"That this silent epidemic is answered in regulatory policies that are truly based on protection of public health it is not enough: it is necessary to ask forcefully that the gambling sector (which obviously is not one of the "essential activities") should be rethought, reduced, and brought back to a more aware and responsible public management. 


Daniele Manasse


* Notes on the author. Daniele Manasse is a psychologist and psychotherapist. As a Psyplus Onlus member, he coordinated the Gambling Area within the association from 2013 to 2019, participating in clinical, research and awareness-raising activities regarding gambling-related disorders. Since January 2019 he has been collaborating as Psychologist Psychotherapist with Ser.D. of Via Fornovo 12 (Asl Roma 1) within the implementation of treatment courses aimed at individuals with gambling disorder, specifically dealing with the reception of requests for help, motivational interview, evaluation and diagnosis of gambling disorder gambling, individual psychotherapy, co-management of the group for family members and of the relapse prevention group.


hazard, gambling, game, Coronavirus, lockdown

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