How Gambling Affects Your Brain

It’s no secret that the act of gambling activates the brain’s reward center, triggering the release of dopamine. This chemical makes people feel good and leaves them craving more. But how exactly does this effect your brain? According to psychologist Luke Clark of the University of British Columbia, when a person plays gambling, blood flow increases to the prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum, two areas that regulate reward pathways.

When you play gambling, your brain releases dopamine, a happy chemical that creates new neural networks. Dopamine is produced in a higher amount when a person takes risk, but after a while, this level of dopamine becomes insufficient. To increase dopamine secretion, the gambler must increase risk by increasing bets and switching to high-risk games. In some cases, this increases the amount of dopamine released into the brain.

Gambling addiction can negatively impact a person’s marriage. According to the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health, compulsive gamblers experience higher divorce rates than nongamblers. Problem gamblers have increased betting amounts and a higher tendency to neglect responsibilities. However, scientists agree that the disorder tends to develop in people with a personality disorder. This suggests that gambling addiction affects a person’s brain chemistry, making it difficult to break the habit.

Problem gamblers may even commit crimes to keep themselves addicted to gambling. Some even commit suicide. Thankfully, problem gambling is treatable when it is discovered and recognized. But, in the meantime, it is important to seek professional help for help if you are suffering from gambling addiction. The good news is that despite the risks and negative effects, it is highly treatable. With proper treatment, it is possible to overcome the problem and live a stress-free and rewarding life.

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