Many people who have a gambling addiction do not understand the psychology behind their addiction. They simply know that their craving to gamble is overwhelming. What they do not realize is that it is not the gambling itself that is addictive. It is the risk taking element. Taking risks is part of human nature. There are healthy risks to take and unhealthy risks to take. Those who are addicted to gambling are addicted to risk taking, regardless of how calculated the risk is. Risk is exciting and creates the pleasure chemical dopamine, which a person will attempt to generate again and again despite negative consequences.
We all know that taking risks is exciting. Taking risks is in our psychological make up. We are meant to get a thrill from taking risks that are calculated in a healthy, moral frame of mind. However, some people discover the pleasure that can be found in risk taking and lose all ability to exercise control over it. They love the rush they receive from it and begin to take risks that are purely motivated by pleasure seeking, lacking any intelligence or foresight.
The reason that risk taking gives people such pleasure and excitement is because it produces dopamine. Dopamine is the brain chemical that is released when people discover a substance or process that gives them pleasure. When people who are prone to addiction discover something that rewards them with dopamine, they quickly become hooked on it. Dopamine is something that everyone should be able to enjoy in moderation, but it is problematic for people who struggle with addiction.
These types of people tend to become addicted to gambling when they discover it. Despite it being too great a risk, people will invest everything they own into it and end up losing it all, which frequently jeopardizes their careers, reputations and relationships. Gambling is an addiction that can unravel your life and even end it if you borrow money to gamble with from the wrong people. If you or someone you care about are addicted to gambling, do not hesitate to receive treatment.
Not all gambling is done at a craps table. Gambling can be done with any assets a person possesses, both personal and corporate, and sometimes gambling is even done under the guise of business. People with wealth and power can and do gamble with their personal and corporate assets, even if other people’s investments are tied to them, which is both unethical and unlawful. The fact of the matter is that we know how to identify a gambling addict who is of a simple nature, playing the slot machines and tables in Vegas. But we do not know how to identify high functioning gamblers who put their professional and personal assets on the line for the sake of a thrill.
When someone gambles with their personal assets, they typically leverage things such as houses, vehicles, boats and other major investments. They gamble with these assets in a number of money making efforts, such as flipping houses, betting on the stock market and making deals with other investors. Anywhere someone stands to make a financial gain, there is risk involved. Where there is risk involved, people need to put something of value on the line. For high rolling gamblers, this can easily include their life investments.
It is one thing for a person to gamble with their personal assets, but some gamblers take it to the next level and gamble with their corporate assets. These are people who are executors of company accounts and stocks. It is unethical and often illegal to tie these assets up in risky ventures, but it is done regardless. Some of these gambles are made with an appropriate amount of calculated risk, while others are driven by compulsive gambling tendencies. When a compulsive gambler makes their way into a position of power, they are undoubtedly going to make poor financial decisions with money that many people depend on.
The thrill of gambling is a legitimate addiction that requires treatment, regardless of what level it is carried out at. A compulsive gambler in front of a slot machine has just as much of a problem as a person with far more money and assets to gamble with.
Gambling addictions are more psychologically complex than they may seem. Those who do not understand a gambling addiction are usually trained to judge those who are gambling addicts and treat them like they are degenerates. This is a very shallow estimation of who gambling addicts are. Every form of addiction can be traced back to a neurological chemical reward. When we encounter something pleasurable, our brain lets us know through a chemical response. Those who have an abnormal chemical response may be prone to addiction. The similarities that addiction has with disease are remarkable.
The underlying cause of any gambling addiction, and arguably any addiction period, is an affinity for risk-taking. Being attracted to risk-taking has everything to do with the evolution of our brains and our psychological make-up. The pleasure chemical that our brains release is called dopamine, and once we know how to achieve it, we regularly go back for more of whatever triggered it. Some people’s brains have stunted dopamine production, which causes them to repeat the trigger activity heavier and more frequently than the average person would. This is where the addict stigma comes in.
The addict’s brain and the highly functional person’s brain are actually of the same composition. The urge to pursue great feats in order to achieve the chemical dopamine is the same urge to pursue heavy immersion in addiction because initially, they achieve the same result. Obviously, over time, addiction proves to be unmanageable and devours the person’s life, where as the pursuit of incredible feats returns great rewards to the individual.
This all comes back to risk-taking behavior. Gambling, whether it is on a small scale in front of a slot machine or large scale with a multi-million dollar stock market investment, satisfies the need to take risks that serves as many people’s means of achieving dopamine. In essence, it is simply how some people feel alive. We need this type of person in the world because they are responsible for so many great achievements. We simply need to help encourage them back to their potential when they become too immersed in their addiction.
Gambling addictions are one of the most common forms of addiction in the world. Gambling addictions are spawned by an addiction to risk taking, which is inherent in many different types of people. This addiction is one that is frequently not taken as seriously as addictions that pose an immediate threat to the addict, such as substance addictions. A gambling addiction can prove disastrous to a person’s life if it is left untreated, however, and warrants urgent attention. People often mistake it for a non-serious addiction, but the draw that is has over its victims is its own kind of chemical addiction.
The best thing a gambling addict can do for themselves and their loved ones is submit to addiction treatment. Professional addiction treatment for compulsive gamblers has been proven to have more success than any other remedy for gambling addiction. Checking into rehab to end compulsive gambling can prevent you from destroying your finances, losing personal relationships and being a detriment to your own well-being. Addiction treatment accomplishes this by helping you change your thought and behavioral patterns to stop perpetuating your addictive behavior. You will come to understand what underlying causes make you gamble in the first place and will reverse them through cognitive behavioral therapy treatment. After treatment is complete, support will still be provided to you in the form of counseling and sponsorship in order to ensure your recovery’s success.
Do not be overtaken by a gambling addiction. Even if you have lost considerable investments to a financial gamble, you need to know that you did so due to certain neurological and chemical patterns that are not your fault, but that you can and should learn to change. You can take control of your life and your future by enlisting the help of a quality addiction treatment facility today.
A gambling addiction is not something that is unheard of. The term draws to mind images of a disheveled, red-eyed person nervously going back and forth between a bank machine and a blackjack table, sorrowfully losing their kid’s college money to a casino. However, this is not the only face of a gambling addiction. Gambling, by definition, is deliberately taking a risk in hopes of a desired result; something that creates an ample amount of dopamine (the chemical that tells us we are having fun) within the brains of certain types of people. For the stereotypical addict, a slot machine or card table is enough of a draw. For a white collar addict, much larger scale financial investments are required.
The stigma of an addict as a broken person remains in our culture even as psychology identifies that some of the most successful personality types are prone to addiction. When people cannot stop themselves from pulling the handle of a slot machine, they are labeled addicts. When a wealthy man cannot take his attention away from the stock market rising and falling, he is labeled as a smart investor. In fact, there are many avenues for a gambling addiction to rear its head among the wealthy: getting thrills from risky business mergers, addictively flipping houses, obsessively trading stocks and so on. Any risk taking behavior that consumes a person is a type of gambling or adrenaline addiction and should be addressed for what it is.
Addiction is identified by certain signs and symptoms that indicate an unhealthy immersion into an activity or substance. A life of balance is healthy where as a life of obsession and addiction is unhealthy. If you believe that you or someone you care about is addicted to gambling, despite their outwardly successful appearance, reach out for help to a gambling addiction counselor or a gambling addiction treatment.
For some people, investing is their career. Stock brokers, shareholders and even people who flip houses make investments with the intent of turning those investments into a profit. Few of these investments are insured. Most involve some element of risk. A stockbroker may put money into a bad stock and lose it. A house flipper may invest in a property that they are unable to turn around and sell. Gambling is a part of professional investing, but just like gambling at a slot machine or a card table, people can become addicted to making large scale financial investments. Every kind of gambling offers the gambler a thrill, and for some, that thrill is irresistible.
Addiction to gambling begins when a person discovers that gambling gives them feelings of pleasure. Gambling is meant to be fun and many people enjoy it without becoming addicted to it, but for some, gambling becomes much more than fun. The chemical in our brains that is generated when we are experiencing pleasure is called dopamine. While the average person’s brain creates a rush of dopamine in response to a pleasurable experience, a person’s brain who is prone to addiction cannot create as much dopamine so they overindulge in the thing they find pleasurable in order to achieve a normal amount of dopamine. Some people achieve dopamine by taking exciting risks, such as gambling, which is why this activity is so often overused.
Large scale gambling, with the stock market or a number of other gambling mediums, can provide the same satisfying thrill that what we traditionally think of as gambling provides. Even making a risky business venture can be thought of as gambling, and if a CEO or an executive becomes addicted to this feeling, they might take unnecessary risks or jeopardize themselves or their company. All forms of gambling addiction can lead to personal ruin. Gambling addiction damages finances, relationships and professional standing, sometimes past repair. It is a psychological addiction that can be beaten with will power and addiction treatment. If you or someone you love is addicted to gambling, reach out to a mental health professional today to take your life back.