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.