The Psychology of Gambling: Separating Facts from Myths

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

QWhat does gambling do to your brain?
A

In the psychology of gambling, new research shows that gambling overstimulates your brain, which is designed to seek reward. Eventually, the “boost” you receive from gambling gets weaker (as does the reward system), which is why you need to take greater risks to achieve the same high. This mechanism closely resembles substance addiction. You basically condition your brain to yearn for dopamine to set off its reward system. Like other addictions, gambling disorder is considered a chronic progressive mental illness. If you’re suffering from it, you can find help through professional treatment.

QWhy do people gamble?
A

Whether you gamble online (an activity that can lead to online gaming psychology problems) or fancy a game of cards with friends on a lazy afternoon; whether you play for fun, pleasure, to make a living, or to escape something in your life, there’s one thing you should be aware of: Gambling sells you a game that’s designed for you to lose in the long run. Is it really worth it?

QIs gambling considered a mental illness?
A

Gambling in itself is not a mental illness, but gambling addiction – classified as an impulse-control disorder – is a progressive addiction with many adverse psychological, physical, and social consequences.

QCan you make a living from gambling?
A

Many gamblers dream of escaping their boring regular job and gambling for a living, but only a small percentage of them are actually able to do it. Despite numerous challenges, if you’re capable of taking the pressure and learning how to place the right wagers, you may be in for the big game. Most importantly, you need a bankroll, as you’re not going to win all the time, and the psychology of gambling shows that compulsive gambling involves more cons than pros.

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