Frequenting casinos or gambling at an online casino in Australia real money is surely fun. But as always, when a human brain enjoys something, receiving juicy doses of dopamine, it tends to crave more. And who can blame it?
When we are experiencing something pleasant like eating a delicious piece of cake, unwinding in virtual reality, making love with the most desirable person on this planet… Or when we just start anticipating an enjoyable event – hitting the jackpot, for instance – all these stimuli trigger dopamine rushes comparable to what alcohol and drugs do.
In a situation like that, it is not always easy to see when enjoying yourself stops being enough and becomes a little too much; the easy part is getting hooked on those positive rushes.
That is why mindfulness and self-reflection are so crucial: we need to know what causes our actions – the primary reasons behind them. Spoiler alert: they are usually psychological. Suppressed emotions, dissatisfactions, social interactions, etc.
So, we would like to offer you a few moments of self-reflection. Answer the seven questions below, be sincere, and read our comments at the end of the article. We hope they will help you find out something new about yourself and maybe start a deeper inner conversation.
Answer the following questions to find out whether you have some degree of predisposition to gambling addiction.
- How quickly does monotonous and tedious work exhaust you?
- How do you tolerate loneliness? Do you feel bored when you are alone: just you and yourself – no gadgets, no TV, nothing? If you get easily bored, what do you do to have fun?
- If you find a suitcase full of money, will you keep it or try to find the owner and return it?
- Have you ever done anything that you are still very ashamed of?
- Can you say that the things your significant others may ask for from you are more important than your own needs?
- Do you tend to multiply pleasures? (For example, you are not just watching a movie, you are watching it, eating your favorite nachos, and drinking beer. You are not just walking in the park: you are also smoking, drinking coffee, scrolling your favorite social media, etc…)
- Do you drink alcohol when you are feeling down? Or do you treat yourself to something delicious to feel better?
Now, read the comments given by a psychiatrist to each of the questions above and take some time to self-reflect.
We want to get pleasure from as many things we do daily as possible. Any psychologist or guru will tell you that the meaning of life is enjoying it. Our work is a huge part of life, and it is a great source of everyday pleasures.
However, when our life doesn’t bring us enough pleasures (for instance, there are no pleasures at our work at all), our dopamine neurons are not regularly stimulated. Then, we tend to look for ‘cheap’ pleasure sources: processed food, refined sugar, addictive activities like gambling… They give us fast positive emotions, they are an accessible and easy compensation.
When people are left alone, they may start feeling sorry for themselves or get bored. Clearly, a person wants to change it and feel better. An addiction is a cycle: there is an inner discomfort (frustration) – the person wants to release it – he/she gambles/smokes/drinks alcohol to feel better – the person understands that what he/she has done is wrong (yes, all the addicts realize that their addiction is doing a lot of harm to themselves and the people around) – they end up frustrated again.
A person with an addiction can’t refuse the positive stimulus because no other pleasure can be compared to it. Overcoming addiction is a breakage of some kind, and only by having survived it, you can get rid of compulsive behavior.
The worst thing that can happen to a young person at the very beginning of their life journey is snatching a huge jackpot. When you really need money and you win it, you will never truly be happy. The jackpot is a strong stimulus that will make you buy all the ‘cheap’ pleasure sources: alcohol, parties, food, cars… And at some point all that will stop bringing pleasure. The person will need more and more money to get that positive stimulus again, while the things that used to be enjoyable (cycling, spending time with a pet, watching a movie, a sunny day) start to devalue. The ending here will be a depression. And all the smaller freebies (discounts, bonus offers, gifts in video games) work in the same way: you can easily get hooked on them.
Those who answered that they would keep the money suitcase look for fast and ‘cheap’ pleasure sources and might develop an addiction.
A lot of addictions are built on guilt.
When a person wins an impressive sum, he or she may feel proud and powerful. Very often, these people don’t feel like that about themselves in their everyday life, they think that there’s no reason why someone can love them. The grounds for such perception of themselves may be strong guilt or self-devaluation.
People get addicted to other people’s attention and appreciation. If you answered ‘yes’ to this question, you probably need to look for ‘pleasure sources’ outside relationships and learn to love and appreciate yourself with no regard to who is next to you and what they say about you.
Multiplied pleasures are super stimuli. They are not healthy because when we stimulate ourselves too much, we stop enjoying simpler things. And our everyday life is a sequence of those things: a compliment, a hug, a friendly conversation. Nice things that are supposed to make us happy are not able to compare with those super strong stimuli.
Everyone knows that the French or Italians drink alcohol regularly at dinner. It is a tradition. They are less likely to have an addiction because they know that they will drink their glass of wine, no matter how they are feeling. But when a girl drinks after every break-up to feel better, she attaches emotions to the process. This is dangerous. If gambling for you has become a medicine for a bad mood, you should be careful.
Admitting that you have a problem, seeing signs, and taking preventative measures are a solid basis for fighting an addiction or avoiding it. It will not be possible if you don’t know yourself well enough, and we hope that our article has done something helpful in that area.