This is what happens in the brain when you are addicted to online gambling. Lifestyle – 9 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Gambling has been around for hundreds of years. In modern times, gambling has developing into a source of entertainment that can be enjoyed from the palm of your hand.

However, as gambling becomes more popular, it causes significant financial losses as well as psychological and physical problems.

Timothy W. Fong, clinical professor of Psychiatry at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, discusses how gambling can affect the mind, body, and brain.

“There are various consequences that arise from gambling disorder (formerly called gambling addiction or problem gambling). As with any addiction, the damage can impact a person’s body, brain or mind,” said Dr. Fong as reported UC Health.

“But the common problems we see when people come for treatment are things like large financial debts, lost time, lost productivity and damaged relationships,” he added.

Dr. Fong notes that research finds when people struggle with gambling disorder, they are more likely to have related health problems stemming from stress, lack of sleep and even heart problems.

Most of these health problems are related to large debts incurred due to gambling and neglecting one’s health.

The effects of gambling on the human brain

A semi-live gaming facility is demonstrated at Gaming Expo Asia in Macau, China May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby YipPhoto: REUTERS/Bobby Yip
A semi-live gaming facility is demonstrated at Gaming Expo Asia in Macau, China May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Gambling has the same effect as cocaine, heroin, nicotine and alcohol, activating the ‘reward’ system in the human brain. This system gets its power from dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that strengthens sensations of pleasure and links these sensations with certain behaviors or actions.

However, Dr. Fong highlights the significant differences between gambling and drugs.

“Gambling, unlike other addictions, is associated with cognitive distortions. People say, ‘If I keep gambling, I will eventually win.’ “You don’t say the same thing when you’re addicted to alcohol, tobacco or cocaine,” he said.

Fong further said that cognitive distortions often occur in people who lose a lot of money or other assets due to gambling. Sometimes pride, ego, or a sense of desperation drives them to gamble more, in the hope of recouping their losses.

What causes gambling addiction?

Online Gambling Illustration (CNBC Indonesia/Muhammad Sabki)Photo: Online Gambling Illustration (CNBC Indonesia/Muhammad Sabki)

There are several reasons why someone can become addicted to gambling.

“It’s the same as other causes of addiction. This is a combination of biological risk factors, psychological risk factors, and social risk factors,” said Dr. Fong.

Fong explained that gambling addiction sufferers psychologically view gambling as the answer to their problems. When they are at the point of addiction, gambling is no longer seen as entertainment.

They now view gambling as a means of dealing with anxiety or stress, or as a primary source of income.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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Originally posted 2023-10-18 04:05:06.