Compulsive Gambling, which is also known as gambling addiction, is usually described as a type of impulse-control disorder. The basic attributes of compulsive gamblers include their inability to control the impulse to gamble, even on knowing that the addiction is hurting them as well as their loved ones. Helplessly, gambling appears to run in their blood and they continue to gamble irrespective of the mental, emotional and financial state they are in. Needless to say, compulsive gambling can be grave, especially if it becomes uncontrollable. The negative impacts can result in disrupting the gambler’s life severely. To know what causes compulsive gambling, read on.
The exact reasons for gambling addiction cannot be specifically determined. However, it is believed that it bears relation with the chemicals in the brain. The naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain are supposedly the driving force behind engaging in compulsive gambling. Particularly, neurotransmitters, serotonin, norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and dopamine are believed to be responsible. Neurotransmitters generally act as chemical messengers, which enable nerve cells (neurons) to communicate.
For this purpose, neurotransmitters are released into the gaps between nerve cells in the brain, so that the messages can flow from one cell to another. In fact, if neurons do not produce these chemicals in sufficient quantity, the communication of messages becomes ineffective. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain, which plays a key role in regulating mood and behavior. Further, norepinephrine is a hormone, which is released when an individual undergoes stress and anxiety.
It has also been significantly linked with the arousal and risk-taking capabilities in compulsive gamblers. Dopamine is released by the brain cells as a part of the reward system, via which a person learns to pursue things that provide pleasure, such as food and sex. Thus, dopamine has also been found to contribute to the problem of addiction, which translates it as an activity-providing pleasure. Together, all these chemicals and hormones set the stage for compulsive gambling or gambling addiction.