How Does Gambling Affect the Brain?

How Gambling Affects the Brain - Banner Image


How does gambling affect relationships?

A spouse or partner of someone with a gambling habit may demonstrate feelings of distance, neglect, stress, and differences in mood and behaviour. Friendships, families, workplace relationships, and romantic relationships are all affected by any addiction and are also often the strongest sources of support in an addict’s community. The more support an addict has from their community, the easier the experience of quitting will become. Having a positive role model increases those chances significantly.

Why is gambling addictive?

The neuroscience behind addiction of any type is extremely complex. Still, gambling, like any other addiction, produces a brain reward system in which the chemical increase caused by both wins and losses, in effect, forms withdrawal symptoms when not satisfied. However, this also does not mean that a gambling addict who ends many nights as a winner will simply pack up their bags and quit. In fact, it will likely reinforce their desire to continue.

What can I replace gambling with?

Many activities and strategies can replace the satisfaction of gambling; healthy things such as exercise, meditation, new hobbies, spending time in nature, or just spending time out of the house have all shown signs of improving an addict’s chances of recovery. A plethora of models in psychology supports the replacement of negative addictions with more positive ones.

How can I control my mind while gambling?

Understanding your own pleasure response systems will most likely result in a higher probability of your ability to control your gambling impulses. Whether a feeling is positive or negative, it is important to be aware of your brain’s responses to inputs that cause a rush of dopamine or serotonin.