Original ArticlesLinguistic Analysis of Self-Narratives of Patients With Gambling DisorderAltavilla, Daniela PhD*; Acciai, Alessandro MSc*; Deriu, Valentina MSc*; Chiera, Alessandra PhD*; Adornetti, Ines PhD*; Ferretti, Francesco PhD*; Bassi, Alessia MSc†; Colonna, Zaida MSc†; De Luca, Vanessa PhD†; Canali, Stefano PhD*,†Author Information *Cosmic Lab, Department of Philosophy, Communication and Performing Arts, “Roma Tre” University, Rome †International School for Advanced Studies–SISSA, Trieste, Italy Supported by Monitoring centre on addiction of Regione Friuli-Venezia Giulia-Azienda per l’Assistenza Sanitaria n.2 “Bassa Friulana-Isontina.” The authors declare no conflict of interest. Correspondence to: Daniela Altavilla, PhD, “Roma Tre” University, Via Ostiense, Rome 234 00146, Italy (e-mail: [email protected]). Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment: December 2020 - Volume 19 - Issue 4 - p 209-217 doi: 10.1097/ADT.0000000000000229 Buy Metrics Abstract Aim of the present study was to investigate affective and cognitive processes underlying self-narratives of patients with gambling disorder through a verbal language analysis. A semistructured interview was administered to 30 patients with gambling disorder (GD) (24 males and 6 females; mean age: 46.63±9.08) concerning the various thematic areas of their condition: definition of addiction, onset and maintenance of the addiction, relapses, desire, loss of control, control strategies, and treatment. Word usage in the self-narratives was categorized using James Pennebaker’s Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) text-analysis software. Specifically, variables analyzed were emotion-related words, the use of pronoun-related words, and tense-related words. The findings showed a higher percentage of negative emotion-related words in the thematic areas of the definition of addiction, maintenance, and loss of control compared with other areas, which may suggest an emotional dysregulation; a higher percentage of first person singular-related words than other person-related words which decreases in the thematic areas of the desire, relapse, and loss of control, which may suggest dissociative phenomena; lastly, a high percentage of present tense-related words, which suggested a static and rigid representation of one’s dependency condition in GD patients and a difficulty to self-project into the future. Overall, the linguistic analysis revealed critical issues in affective and cognitive processes in specific phases of addiction in GD patients which could help guide treatment. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.