We all know that gambling is addictive, in fact, addiction has existed for almost as long as the human race it self…and the primary reason is because, simply put, we’re human. Which means we’re susceptible to all manner of pit falls and bad habits that our animal cousins are lucky enough to be able to avoid.
There is a legitimate reason for this though, it’s not because those who get addicted are “bad” people, or “weak”, or anything near as simple as that – our brains are very complex devices, and they operate based around patterns we learn. Those patterns can either be good or bad in nature, and the bad ones are patterns we seek to avoid at all costs, by training our selves what is in fact bad for us in the first place. When we see somebody with a knife, we know to avoid them. When we stand on top of an incredibly tall building, we know to avoid the edge. When we jab our finger on a needle, we know to avoid the point in the future…
This same principle applies to positive situations too, whereas if we do something we find enjoyable, we actively seek to pursue this activity repeatedly so that we can experience the positive energy it provides again and again. This positive feeling comes from the release of endorphins within our brain, and endorphin release makes us feel REALLY good – so naturally, anything that leads to this release is then deemed to be a “good” activity by the brain, and as such, we seek to repeat it at every available occurrence. The problem with this is, endorphin release DOES make us feel good, but it isn’t exclusive to actions that are actually GOOD for us. So in short, you can actually partake in a negative activity and achieve a positive effect on the mind as a result.
This is how and why gambling addiction ends up taking place, we might play bingo repeatedly and lose, in fact, that’s the most likely outcome with most games…but once in a while, you’ll come close to that jack pot. Your brain knows that winning the jackpot will make you feel brilliant, and as a result, you constantly chase it. Even coming close to winning brings you close enough to the goal that you get a sizeable endorphin release comparable to that you would find with a legitimate win. In other words, the thrill of the chase is almost as exhilarating as the win it self. Even worse is the fact that after repeatedly chasing the prize, you’ll no doubt eventually win it, which really complicates things, because it’s this victory that provides the ULTIMATE release. When you think about it, whether or not you win or lose, you still release a constant stream of endorphins that are frequently telling your brain that the activity at hand is providing your mind with an experience that it wants to keep repeating. Getting into debt doesn’t matter, because you’ll STILL crave the endorphin release you’ve come to love in an attempt to alleviate yourself from the negative energy you’re feeling as a result of money troubles.
See how it’s so easy? It’s a vicious cycle that simply continues to feed into it self and sustain its own eco system – don’t make the mistake of thinking that all drugs are narcotic based or come in pill form. The human body is wholly capable of synthesizing its own potent highs that will keep you coming back for more regardless of the circumstances you may be in at the time. Play with what you can afford to spare and learn to separate your self from your brain signals and KNOW when you’re in too deep – that’s the key to playing for fun, rather than playing out of necessity.