Gambling is an activity that can quickly become addictive. When individuals cannot control their gambling habits, it can severely negatively affect their mental and physical health. Fortunately, resources are available to those struggling with gambling addiction, and ceasing gambling can positively impact their brain chemistry. This article will discuss what happens to your brain when you stop gambling and how it can improve your mental health.
The Role of Dopamine in Gambling Addiction
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. Dopamine is released during activities that are considered rewarding, such as gambling. A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that gambling activates the same areas of the brain that are activated by drugs and alcohol, thus creating a feeling of reward. This feeling of reward encourages the individual to continue engaging in the activity, leading to a cycle of gambling and dopamine release.