Why Do I Gamble Until I Lose?

It seems to happen each and every time you venture into a casino or login to your online gaming app of choice. You hit a bit of a hot streak, and the angel on your left shoulder tells you to walk away with your winnings, while the devil on your right whispers the opposite. The latter always wins, along with the House. The good news, is that this time it’s different. Instead of saying it to yourself as your leave the casino defeated, you’ve typed the words “why do I gamble until I lose” into your Google search bar. This means you’re ready to find answers and ultimately get help. While you can call our helpline right away (1.877.426.4258) we encourage you to read ahead.

3 Reasons Why You May Continue to Gamble Until You Eventually Lose Your Winnings (and more)

Chasing Those “Feel Good” Chemicals

Have you ever continued eating after you were full, knowing that doing so is to your detriment? Of course! We all have. You may have chalked this behavior up to the fact that a given dish was too tasty to push away, but there’s actually a chemical reaction occurring.

Like many pleasurable activities such as sex and euphoria-inducing substance use – eating can trigger the release of dopamine. Dopamine is “feel good” neurotransmitter in your brain. Gambling can also raise dopamine levels which can cause you to keep gambling even when you know that you should cease and collect your winnings. Moreover, research finds that losing can trigger a release of dopamine to almost the same extent as winning, which is why you may stay in the casino after dropping a few hands. Your body also produces adrenalin and pleasurable endorphins throughout the win/lose gambling cycle.

Now here’s the real kicker. Your brain and body become accustomed to this psychological and physiological response. Consequently, habitual behavior is formed and the concept of winning is no longer the primary motivating factor. It’s a lose/lose scenario no matter how you look at it.

In knowing that your brain and body are playing tricks on you, you are armed with the intelligence needed to take steps to take control over your domain. Call 1.877.426.4258 to get help, or keep reading for further insight into what may be occurring.

You May Have Co-occurring Conditions

There are links between compulsive gambling and other mental and behavioral health concerns along with other factors. Co-occurring conditions include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcohol use disorder. If you exhibit (or suspect that your exhibit) one or more of these conditions, you may have just gained the added insight you need to understand why you gamble until you lose, and beyond. Learn more about why you may be more vulnerable to problem gambling than others.

Taking Medications?

This possible answer will likely surprise you as much as it does nearly everyone who finds out about it. It’s rooted in an actuality that prescription medications may make you gamble. The use of certain prescription medications commonly used to treat a wide range of health conditions have been linked to an increased risk of developing disordered gambling. Included in this list are dopamine agonists, atypical antipsychotics (i.e. Aripiprazole), and stimulants that are typically used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. If you gamble compulsively, are taking a prescription medications, and are not sure about what the ingredients may be, it’s worth investigating right away. Call 1.877.426.4258 to discuss options with a Kindbridge care coordinator.

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