A numbers game is a popular pastime for many people. In most cases, gambling is a social thing, and the risk versus reward aspect offers participants a tiny surge of adrenaline, even if they don’t win, and it’s appreciated more often than not.
However, like with many pleasurable activities and drugs – such as shopping, smoking, and drinking – going a bit overboard may turn what could have been a one-time pleasure into a mental addiction.
As of 2014, DSM-5’s section on drug abuse and dependence had been revised to reflect the most recent research. Compulsive gambling was once thought of as a compulsive behavior fueled by a need to alleviate stress.
What Is It About Gambling That Makes It So Alluring?
Rather than just saying, “People enjoy making a lot of money and winning it through a game of chance even more, therefore they go crazy,” the real explanation is more complicated.
Gamers are typically genetically or psychologically predisposed to gambling heavily, and compulsive gambling can influence the way the mind communicates chemical impulses. These circumstances might spark a person’s downhill spiral towards addiction.
When the brain is trained to crave more and more of the things that activate its reward system, the wiring in the brain is permanently damaged, and returning it to its original state can take weeks, months, or even years.
What happens to the brain when there is an addiction to online gambling?
Learning about the way our brains naturally operate when we engage in activities that are rewarding can provide some insight into the phenomenon of gambling addiction.
Our brain contains a system that consists of a network of connections called the reward system. They are connected to a wide variety of regions of the brain, including the centers for motivation and reward.
For instance, neurotransmitters are released when we receive a compliment from another person or have an intimate encounter with another person. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that either stimulate or depress neurons in the mind.
Reward System for Dopamine
Dopamine is the primary receptor in the reward system. We sense happiness and motivation when we have enough dopamine produced by engaging in exciting and rewarding activities.
If you use drugs, you will notice an increase in the release of dopamine in the incentive system up to a factor of ten times more than what you would get from natural rewards. Gambling might also lead to this. Dopamine can also be produced through several physical activities such as playing a musical instrument or even doing yoga.
Can online gambling be done in a responsible manner?
Like everything in life, if something is done in moderation, it shouldn’t be a problem. In order to have a safe online gambling experience, you must be self-aware of your gambling habits. You should always slow the pace if you catch yourself playing too often or losing too much money. You must first set a budget that you can afford to lose.
The second step is finding a good online casino that won’t be too pushy and won’t constantly make you play more. If you want some more information regarding good and trusted online gambling sites you can check this comprehensive guide about the best new online gambling houses reviewed by sportslens which is a trusted site for casino reviews.
The Process of Getting Addicted to Gambling
The following are the four stages of gambling addiction as defined by the Illinois Center for Dependence Recovery:
The Phase of Succession
A significant victory often kicks off the winning phase, resulting in enthusiasm and a good outlook on gaming. Problematic gamblers feel that they possess a particular talent for gambling and that their winning streak will continue indefinitely. They subsequently begin to spend more time and money on gambling as a result of this.
Gambling addicts get more and more addicted to gambling as they lose more and more money. They begin to play alone, skip work, borrow more money, lie to relatives and friends, and fail to pay their bills, all of which are signs of a gambling problem. Their losses could also begin to be chased.
Phase of Desperation
It becomes more difficult for them to keep their hands off the wheel. Despite their feelings of humiliation and remorse, they are unable to quit. In order to fund their habit, they may deceive or steal. It is possible that they will be fired, divorced, or even jailed if the repercussions of their compulsive gambling catch up with them.
Phase of Hopelessness
Gamblers reach “rock bottom” when they’ve run out of options. They don’t think aid is available or that anyone is concerned about their plight. For them, life or death is no longer an issue. Because of this, it’s possible that they’re turning to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. Unfortunately, many gambling addicts contemplate or actually carry out suicide attempts. After this phase is when gambling addicts start to seek out help and go into an addiction recovery program to turn their life around.