Brain Factors In Gambling
The growth of gambling problems has become controversial which has significant impact to the society. The progression of an entertainment gambler into a compulsive gambler affects the entire family of the gambler with extended effects to the society. The treatment for gambling is basically more of counseling approach as gambling can also be likened to a mental illness with psychological factors that affect a compulsive gambler’s behavior.
Several studies were conducted to understand the gambling behaviors of a person. The basic premise would be due to the fact that gambling can become an outlet for a person to release stress and anxiety. The effects of winning can also be very rewarding to the gambler. This makes a gambler cling to the notion of earning fast money. The concept of winning fast and big cash through gambling can provoke a gambler to bet more. The psychological aspect of attaining the reward of big prizes can make a gambler push their selves beyond their limits. Greater satisfaction is felt when this goal to win is achieved.
Gamblers gamble for varied reasons. The mind of a gambler is complex that different reasons may motivate a gambler to indulge in gambling. Some would like to satisfy their needs to belong. The sense of belongingness can be satisfied through gambling where gamblers gain recognition upon winning big cash prizes and from the complimentary returns issued to valued patrons by a gambling establishment that makes them feel important and valued.
Gambling can also become a source of escape from certain situation such as anxiety, boredom and loneliness. The complex behaviors seen from gamblers are also highly influenced by some brain factors. These brain factors can be traced from the nerve impulses that signal the brain to order the manifestations of different emotional psychological and behavioral actions.
There are 3 identified neurotransmitters that influence the transmission of these impulses to the brain waves. The dopamine released in the brain is mainly responsible for the satisfying feeling a gambler felt upon winning from their wagers. Any increase of dopamine release can motivate a person to place more bets in order to win big and to attain a better satisfying feelings.
The serotonin in the brain can be considered as the villain on the various emotional behaviors seen from gamblers. Failure to participate in gambling can attack the gambler with different emotional feelings of anxiety and stress with the feeling of increased desire to gamble in order to escape a stressful situation.
The norepinephrine in the brain greatly influences a gambler to respond to the remorse feeling felt by a gambler such as loneliness, great boredom and anxiety. It influences the brain’s decision to remedy the stressful situation of the gambler being the “flight and fight” system of the brain. A gambler who lacks control of themselves can turn to gambling activities to fight over the emotional turmoil they felt to escape. While other gambler whose minds are able to manage to maintain composure to refrain from using gambling as an escape and instead turn to doing other recourse to remedy their problems such as prayers, meditation, relaxation and exercise.