TOP5 Reasons Why You Can’t Stop Playing from an Expert
Some of online casino players often cannot stop playing even when they are clearly on a losing streak and start making weird unreasonable decisions that cost them money and nerves. You must understand that such behavior is always a consequence of an addiction. Any addiction is a psychological problem that can have a comfortable and reasonable solution. We decided to ask several psychologists about additions and why they affect people who enjoy visiting online casinos every once in a while.
There is a difference between joyful recreational gambling and obsessive addiction that destroys lives. Sadly, unfortunate aftermath of such addictions is one of the reasons why our industry in such a weird gray area without proper control and supervision. Regulations, rules, and market standards shapeshift rapidly. Understanding how to avoid becoming an addict is exactly what we are going to try today with some help from people who know a thing or two about various mental issues related to gambling in particular and addictions in general.
We have 5 questions for 2 different professionals. Hopefully, we can all learn something from them.
How Do We Develop Addictions?
“There are those heroin junkies who roam dirty dark streets at night and try to get a dose,” tells us doctor Alma Karaeva, a specialist in a rehabilitation center for heroin addicts, “heroin is a very dangerous drug and it will create a very strong addiction in a shot span of time due to chemical hooks. This is a very interesting process but it will occur only in people who use drugs recreationally. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of people who are given pure heroin in hospitals to fight pain and they do not end up as junkies in streets.”
“Addictions are very often consequences of social problems and can be caused by the lack of socialization and meaningful relationships. There is a famous study that many psychologists use as an example. During the Vietnam war many American soldiers used heroin to relief stress from constant fighting, loneliness, homesickness, and death. Despite using huge amounts of heroin, soldiers immediately stopped doing drugs when they returned to a friendly environment to their families. This is not a singular case. The same happened to soviet soldiers who went to Afghanistan. We develop addictions due to stresses and bad environment.”
Is There a Specific Mechanism?
“All addictions are quite similar in essence,” continues dr. Karaeva, “they develop due to a reward mechanism that has been described in the experiment called “Skinner Box” in which a rat was trained to do something for a reward. Our brain functions really simply and it wants you to repeat something that makes you feel good. You learn a simple pattern and quickly identify what makes you feel good. This triggers a psychological mechanism that we call addiction. You want to keep repeating the process to receive the reward.”
“Heroin, for example, is a very strong drug and will make you “high” for a brief period of time,” continues dr. Karaeva, “the euphoric feeling will last for some time and then it will be replaced with a depressing “low”. Leave a junkie craving for another period of euphoria and you will witness a harsh abstinent reaction that will frighten you. This is how strong the pattern of action/reward/punishment becomes.”
How Is It Related to Gambling?
“Gambling is an addictive activity for a good reason,” answers Dr. Evan Coen, a practicing psychiatrist, “every time you win, you will receive a small portion of dopamine released in your brain. This is a way for our nerve system to reward you for winning. The more frequently you win, the more you get used to regular rewards in a form of dopamine release. This is something that sweet tooths know all too well. You become really attached to the immediate release of hormones and get used to craving for the thing that makes you feel good.”
“Online casinos also use this knowledge to their advantage and design games in such ways that make you receive small wins over a long period of time making you familiar with the pattern. After a long enough streak of repetitions, a person develops a habit of receiving a small dose of dopamine each time something flashy happens on his screen. This is why slot games can be addictive and should be approached with responsibility.”
How Can We Avoid an Addiction?
“The best way is to prevent it.” Answers dr. Coen, “Fighting a developed addiction is like beating a concrete wall with a wet towel. You cannot destruct it; you will have to learn how to walk nearby without getting crushed by its weight. People who lose weight, stop eating sweets, quit smoking, quit doing drugs, and otherwise get rid of various habits and addictions spend their whole lives struggling against their demons. The best way to win such battles is to avoid them altogether.”
“My patients are usually good people with really boring lives. The lack of activities and socialization leads them to places where they can get that instant gratification and enjoy sudden bursts of dopamine without leaving their houses. Recreational gambling is a great thing and people who go to Vegas every once in a while receive a lot of emotions and spend their bucks happily. They also return home without an unhealthy habit of wasting thousands in slot games. Gambling must be recreational and fun, not life ruining and addictive.”
Is There a Problem in the Industry?
“We live in a very strange world,” says dr. Coen, “where we are exposed to advertisements and rarely have enough information about places where we can get help. Also, people must understand that asking for help is not a weakness. Those who feel an urging desire to get that “kick” of dopamine from a sparkly video game, must be able to ask for assistance and be ready to change their lives for good. I personally think that the industry does not have a problem, but rather irresponsible and confused gamblers who are too stubborn to quickly identify an addiction.”