Explanatory essay of gambling addiction.

Essay by mental_unmadeCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2005

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It's a rush, putting money to the felt and threatening the cards to obey. Gambling is quickly becoming one of the favorite activities for many Americans. Where else could you have this kind of excitement with the potential to make money instead of lose it? Only amidst the flashing and heat of the casino lights can a person really let their money turn their brain into an emotional feeding frenzy. This rush, like any other high, has psychological and chemical impacts to a person. You could link gambling to any other drug that equates to the violent excitement. This is exactly what the brain does, represents an action with a feeling, and for many people these feelings become an addiction. Compulsive gambling is a serious affliction that affects many people. While it may seem perverse to consider this a serious disease, realize that the consequences of compulsive gambling can dwarf that of any other addiction.

For these people, once they start they just cannot stop, and like any addiction they build up a tolerance and experience symptoms of withdrawal when trying to abstain from gambling. For most people we can abide by certain guidelines, quell the whispers of our brain telling us to go for it and bet it all on this hand. What causes compulsive gamblers to lose control? There is no one reason to satisfy this question. However, with study patterns emerge, and we can recognize the psychological and chemical reasons for this handicap.

So why the rush when instead of betting five dollars this hand you bet twenty? It has to do with drugs; specifically those produced naturally by your brain, which affect mood, emotions, etc. A recent study found that "Hemodynamic responses in the sublenticular extended amygdala (SLEA) and orbital gyrus tracked the expected values of...