Problem gambling may affect only a relatively small number of players, but it can be a very serious problem indeed. It can wreak havoc on players’ finances, on their mental and physical health, and on personal and business relationships.
For a long time, the causes of problem gambling were something of a mystery. However, some interesting links have been found between it, hormones, and mood disorders.
It turns out that some hormonal imbalances and mood disorders could lead affected players to develop a gambling addiction. Find out more about the links between these various issues, and what sort of help is available.
Addiction and Dopamine
We found out that the hormone dopamine is linked to all types of addiction, including problem gambling. More specifically, the link is connected to dopamine imbalances.
Dopamine is involved in human responses to rewards of various kinds. If you like something, such as playing bingo, and you see a PJP and the potential jackpot it offers, it stimulates dopamine production. However, if the bingo game is made unavailable to you, or if you fail to win the jackpot, your dopamine levels drop, and you are left feeling irritable and annoyed.
This means that, in order to once again feel good, you would either seek out another bingo game, or trying playing for the jackpot again. The constant changes in dopamine levels mean that you enter a vicious circle of highs and lows.
Problem Gambling and Mood Disorders
We also found out that, in addition to hormonal imbalances, manic mood disorders can also play an important role in the development of gambling addiction. Research has shown that mood disorders affect approximately one third of players who are addicted to gambling.
Players who have manic mood disorders often alternate between feeling very happy, irritable, or paranoid. Furthermore, these intense moods are usually accompanied by feeling invincible, or by behaviour such as being very talkative, or foregoing sleep.
Manic mood disorders can also manifest as a compulsive desire to indulge in risky behaviour. For such players, playing casino games provides them with a way to cope with sleeplessness, as well as with risky behaviour in which they may feel that they cannot be conquered.
Problem Gambling and Health
We were also concerned to find out that, in addition to the more obvious effects problem gambling has on players’ finances, it can also lead to serious health issues if left untreated.
High blood pressure, ulcers, chronic insomnia, and heart disease are among the physical conditions that could be caused by problem gambling. Among the psychological conditions are anxiety and depression, drug addiction, and alcoholism, as well as excessive guilt.
Help is Available
The links between hormones, mood disorders, and problem gambling may make it sound like players with a gambling addiction are a lost cause. We want to assure you that this is simply not the case, and that help is available.
12-step programmes such as Gamblers Anonymous can provide you with support and tools to deal with problem gambling. You may also wish to seek out a psychologist or psychiatrist who can help you deal with behavioural patterns or hormonal or chemical imbalances linked to the problem.
We also provide tools that you could use to limit your playing. You can essentially ban or exclude yourself from the online casino for a certain period of time.
Remember, playing bingo is supposed to be fun. The games should never be a source of unhappiness or turmoil. If gambling has become a problem for you, do not be afraid to seek the help you need.