As a teenage boy, there is little besides girls that is really important. (Okay, many things should be important, but in truth… they are not!) BTW, this priority doesn’t grow out of us either…
Any man wants to be desired by women. We look at celebrities, wealthy people, or handsome dudes, and we want to be just like them – Have all that status!
Some teenagers go crazy in the gym. They do anything to get that six-pack. Other teenagers drink a six-pack of beer instead. We do it to be around and get attention from women. We’ve seen a cute girl, but she doesn’t see us… not yet.
Then we see a TV commercial about gambling. Gambling, that thing with the cards that James Bond plays (and how cool isn’t he!). Gambling that thing with people winning jackpots in movies with their last coins. What was that logo our football hero has on his shirt? Wasn’t it a gambling company? Perhaps gambling can make us rich. It seems to work for other people!
The dream of status is glowing stronger than the full moon – We take our weekly allowance and go to the casino! We don’t know it yet, but the absolute worst thing that can happen is that we win that first time.
Countless gambling addicts have witnessed the feeling of that first hit – that first win, and they have often asked themselves what would have happened if they had lost instead.
There’s nothing wrong with a dream or longing for status. The problem is when people try to take shortcuts. For adolescents, gambling, Onlyfans, and crime are shortcuts. Society might not directly promote these shortcuts. But society, social media, photoshop, dating apps, and the gambling industry glorify the rich, famous, and successful.
In the past, teenage boys had to compete with other boys in the school. These days, they must contend with people worldwide for status. The desire for shortcuts has never been stronger.
Back at the casino, we lost our money that first time. But we were “so close” a few times, and our hormonally charged brain (they say isn’t yet fully matured) is already convinced we can win big money. As a result, the brain releases huge amounts of dopamine to motivate us to try again.
…And we do. Over and over, we try! We become resourceful and find new ways to get money to play with. (not always legal ways)
While we are focused on the possibility to win – To get the status we desire, something else happens inside us. Our brain makes a neurological pathway (a fancy way of saying learning something new). The brain realizes that we don’t experience any pain when we gamble.
Gambling creates bliss – A moment when we forget all our problems. And only God knows how many problems teenage boys have:
- Fitting in
- Finding yourself
- Those ugly, disgusting pimples
- Annoying parents
- Self-esteem going low
- Everyone else seems to do better than us
And yeah, right, girls… or rather the lack of girls.
Gambling started as a dream of status, sex, and fame. But soon, gambling creates its own problems. Even if we logically know we’ll not win, our subconscious mind craves the emotional relief gambling creates. So, we continue gambling – Falling deeper into it and developing a gambling addiction.
Every gambler starts gambling for the excitement and for the chance to win. But for a gambling addict, gambling has little to do with money. It doesn’t matter if they win or lose. They continue gambling anyway. It feels great to win because the brain knows that more money means that we can continue gambling for a longer time.