Gambling: The Causes and Effects
The causes for a gambling addiction are related to the reward pathway. It is estimated that around 2-4% of the population in America have a gambling problem. Gambling addiction is not a kind of disorder by itself but it is rather characterized as a problem of impulse control. As people gamble, they get a rush as they watch the dice roll, roulette spin, draw cards, etc. and cause a rush of dopamine in their system. The brain continuously looks for this rush of dopamine and hence they get addicted to the action that gives them the excess dopamine, in this case it’s gambling.
The effects of gambling aren’t so much dangerous to physical health but social health. As gambling problems progress, an individual begins to spend more time gambling and most often begins to lose money. The individual becomes more distant from their family and friends and they begin to lie about how much time they spend gambling. He or she begins to take more time thinking about how to make more money to gamble and they start taking larger bets to try and gain the money they lost. They even gamble when in times of sorrow or depression to get the dopamine rush from the reward system to try and balance out their emotions. The whole mind becomes focused on gambling as the brain becomes dependent on the dopamine rush.