This can provide a sense of community, however damaging the associated behaviours.Social meaning and acceptance by others are important to us all and for the compulsive gambler these can be found in virtual gaming rooms, real casinos, bookmakers and so on.This is further compounded by the chemical changes in our brain that accompany these experiences.All compulsive behaviours have social, psychological and biological origins.Gambling brings us into contact with others, even if we are using internet gaming rooms.At the biological level, compulsive behaviours can have a direct effect on the brainâs dopamine reward system.This system regulates our responses to natural rewards like food, sex and social interaction.People may no longer respond normally to rewards such as food, sex and social interaction, and instead depend on gambling for their sense of reward.
Gambling also changes how we feel psychologically as well as socially.
It allows us to escape our normal lives and the everyday struggles we experience.
During a period of gambling our mind is occupied by the odds, the bet, the race, the actions of other gamers, the run of the cards and so on.
It can be all-consuming and therefore provides an engaging, exciting escape from ordinary life.
Repeated compulsive behaviours can act on this system with a power and persistence that changes its cells chemically and structurally.
This in turn can have an overwhelming effect on our well-being.