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  • Gambling addiction - A chemical imbalance? Interesting research regarding the reward system in gambling addict's brains

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    Senior Member
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    Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 4:34 am

    Gambling addiction - A chemical imbalance? Interesting research regarding the reward system in gambling addict's brains

    Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:52 am

    I realise a lot of gamblers do so to escape. Honestly, though, I don't really feel like I fall in that category at all.

    I can very much relate to the research below.


    In a nutshell, "It was a new finding that people with gambling problems had a higher activation in the reward areas when expecting potential wins in comparison with persons without gambling problems."

    For me, gambling is about anticipating the win and the actual win. It is all about money. It seems like our brains are wired differently.

    My question is though, is this because of the gambling exposure? The more you get into debt, the more it creates that false hope. You expect the win because there is no other way out of this hole you've dug yourself in. Or is this something you're born with?

    Food for thought.
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    Noah (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 308
    Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:53 pm

    RE: Gambling addiction - A chemical imbalance? Interesting research regarding the reward system in gambling addict's brains

    Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:12 pm

    Hi David,A very interesting question you raise. There are theories about this... There is a very good journal article that addresses this question Called: A Pathways Model to Problem Gambling by Alex Blaszczynski & Lia Nower: http://www.uv.es/~choliz/ModeloJuego.pdf The whole article is worth a read but in terms of your question check out Page 491 under the heading 'A Pathways Model to Gambling'.
    Be interested to hear what you think...
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    Junior Member
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    Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:35 am

    Re: Gambling addiction - A chemical imbalance? Interesting r

    Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:32 am

    I can't help but be reminded of my time in pain management. It was a revolutionary concept for me when I first heard it.

    Basically if you are left in pain for an extended period of time, it becomes a permanent fixture. Your brain chemicals alter and miss fire leading you to believe that you have re injured yourself on a constant basis. No the pain isn't all in your head, though it is at the same time. The pain you experience is physically real though the signals are being sent from your brain.

    I suppose that addiction is meted out in a very similar way.

    Do something (or feel it) often enough it becomes habitual. I learnt through that early phase that pain let's me know I am alive. If I feel it then I exist regardless of where it comes from. I now understand the mechanisms of chronic pain better and know that sometimes the pain I feel is not from hurting myself, in fact some of my worst pain episodes stem from an emotional stance. The more anxious I feel, the more I tense, the more I tense the more I constrict my movements leading to a massive pain break out, which reinforces the pattern in my brain of pain (sorry for rhyming).

    Now to translate that same thought pattern to my gambling demon.

    Thanks for the 'food for thought'
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