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Gambling Problem?There is no shame in being addicted to something. Nature has given us all the ability to become hooked upon a given thing, and each and every one of us engages in addictive behaviors to some degree. Although no level of addiction can be said to be a good thing, the real problem occurs when an addiction interferes with our lives in a negative manner. People who have a gambling problem are very likely to fall into this category, as gambling may leave a person emotionally numb and financially drained.
The good news, however, is that brain, mind, and behavior specialists are discovering many things about addiction that could help the average person. With help from neuroscience, molecular biology, pharmacology, psychology, and genetics, they're challenging the popular assumptions about addiction. They are using new imaging techniques to see what addiction looks like and where cravings reside in the brain and mind. And thankfully, they are finding that things are far from hopeless as they rapidly replace conjecture with facts.
The fact is that nature gave us the ability to become addicted to things because the brain needed to evolve a reward system for us to become “addicted” to food, water, and other basic necessities of our survival, such as sex. So basically, what we now call addictions are merely cases of an incredibly useful function of our minds that has been taken hostage by unforeseen human-made stimuli, with terrible social and medical consequences.
Most people will insist that addiction is a failure of morality, a spiritual weakness, a sin, or a crime by people who simply don’t take responsibility for their own behavior. But the truth is, we simply do not have the knowledge to cope with our addictions… until now.
We must recognize that addiction is the result of demonstrated physiological occurrences and cease to identify ourselves with these chemical cravings. Only then can we make the decision to ignore these cravings. The fact that you are reading this page means you really want to stop gambling. However, there is a certain feeling that you get while gambling that your body has become used to. The cells of your body have receptors to certain chemicals known as peptides, and each time you partake in an activity that produces a certain emotion, that feeling is being created by your cells receiving that particular type of peptide. Therefore, even though you may have a gambling problem, your real problem is a chemical addiction. The gambling simply produces the chemicals you are addicted to. So, if you really want to quit gambling, you must step back and observe the feelings you get while gambling, and you must realize that this feeling is not you. You are the observer observing these feelings, and you are the actor who is acting upon them.
It is your choice to become aware of these feelings, and it is your choice to ignore them. Eventually, your cells will abandon their receptors that attract your gambling problem peptides and replace them with far more useful receptors, freeing up room for the exchange of nutrients or the expulsion of waste, or for peptides that increase your awareness of the world instead of dulling it.
To get support from other people who know what you are going through, don’t be afraid to check out Gamblers Anonymous or another support group and to share with them your new insights into addiction.