Gambling is a fun pastime for many people, but it can also be addictive and lead to financial ruin. A lot of people can easily walk away from a game of poker or a spin of the Roulette wheel, but others cannot and may become dependent on gambling for their happiness. Some of the causes behind this depend on how their brains work and some of the social factors that can influence their behaviour.
Some people are genetically predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviours and impulsivity, and studies reveal that different parts of the brain process reward information differently, which can affect how they make decisions and control their impulses. These differences in how the brain works, plus environmental influences, can contribute to the development of gambling disorder.
Another factor is that gamblers often attempt to ‘make up’ for their losses by gambling more and trying to overcome the emotional impact of losing. This is a self-destructive cycle and leads to a downward spiral of debt, loss of self-control and ultimately a lack of motivation for other activities in life. People can get stuck in this cycle of gambling because they have a less active prefrontal cortex, which controls their emotions and decision-making.
A major problem with gambling is that it takes up a lot of people’s time, which can be a significant drain on their personal and professional lives. This can lead to family breakdowns, strained relationships and even job losses in some cases. Gambling also generates a lot of revenue for businesses, but this is not enough to offset the negative impacts on individuals and society as a whole.
The other thing to consider is the fact that gambling can send massive dopamine surges through your brain. This can make you feel happy, but it will not motivate you to do the things you need to do for survival, like working or eating. In addition, it can become less effective over time and you will need to gamble more and more to feel the same effect.
Gambling can also be an exciting hobby and a way to test your skills, especially if you’re playing skill-based games. These games force you to devise tactics, learn how to count cards and even read body language. The best part is, you can also win real money if you succeed. But, the risks are always present and you must take responsibility for your actions.
Whether you’re betting on a football team or buying a scratchcard, every event is subject to chance. Whether you’ve lost seven times in a row or won the same amount, the odds of winning still only remain at 50%. This is because you’re placing your bet on a specific outcome, rather than just ‘flipping the coin’. So, if you lose your money, don’t be angry at yourself, blame Lady Luck. If you’re having trouble controlling your gambling habits, seek help from a trained professional. Our Safeguarding Courses can provide you with suitable training to help you understand this issue and what you need to do to protect vulnerable adults from gambling-related harm.