Problems with gambling can happen at any time. This is the moment when the game goes from a harmless joke to a big obsession with serious consequences. Gambling problems can interfere with your personal relationships, your work, and impair your financial health.
This scenario is characteristic of the compulsive disorder known in psychology. If you know someone who can’t control the need to gamble and spends much of his income on betting, he’s probably dealing with someone who is sick and needs help right away. Here’s how to identify a compulsive gambler.
How to Recognize Addiction
- Preoccupation with the Game: People who like to place bets are overly preoccupied with the game. They spend a good part of the day looking for new ways to get more money for matches.
- Keeping Secret: All game and betting information is secret. This is to avoid problems with friends and family by giving you advice about over-staking in your life.
- Unsuccessful Control: players often want to stop betting, but end up giving in to the addiction. This is a condition often associated with compulsion.
- Personal Problems: Addicted people end up facing serious personal problems. Often this involves work and consequently job loss. All this brings new complicated situations, such as relationship problems and even depression.
If you identified with this condition or know someone who is exhibiting these behaviors, know that it is important to seek help. All people involved, family members, need treatment to overcome the situation.
Why Some People Take Risks
There is no specific factor for people to take risks, but a series of them that increase the chances that the disorder will progress. Some brain mechanisms are involved, as is genetic predisposition.
While you’re emerging a slot machine, for example, a neurotransmitter known as dopamine will leave you with a feeling of pleasure as the reels spin. This feeling is reinforced by victories and, after a defeat, the organism yearns for new moments of pleasure.
Other factors can also be considered in this regard. For example, such as using the game as a defense mechanism against external pressures or problems of social acceptance. Upon entering the online world, we transform ourselves and we can transform ourselves into whatever we want. People with low self-esteem are generally more likely to develop problems with games.
How Does Mental Arousal Affect the Body?
Emotions affect our body too much and these experiences include “butterflies in the stomach”, sweating and weakness, for example. This means that the brain has released a series of substances that stimulate emotions. This release puts us in a sense of readiness for action. The flow of adrenaline, consequently of glucose and oxygen, modify the immune system to allow for physical action. Studies show that the release of dopamine during play takes place in the same areas of the brain that are responsible for drug addiction.
Repeated exposure to gaming uncertainty can even change the way you react to loss. Counterintuitively, in individuals with gambling problems, losing money ends up causing a rewarding release of dopamine to about the same degree as winning. For this reason these people continue to play more and more.
Unfortunately we are talking about gaming addiction, a desolate and lonely experience. It is possible to know several stories of compulsive gamblers who ended up taking their own lives. That is why we must always be on the alert to avoid reaching the point where addiction can be a point of no return.