Dopamine agonists and gambling addiction

As the late Professor Carl Sagan said, "It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

The reality is that we are tiny, insignificant and irrelevant specks of dust which have been here for but an instant in relation to the life of this planet, which itself has been around just a tiny fraction of an instant in relation to the universe itself.

The latest research estimates the total number of stars in the known universe at 300 sextillion. That's 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. And for all we know there could be countless other universes.

One thing is certain, at some time in the future (assuming it's not involved in some mighty cosmic collision first) the sun will run out of internal nuclear fuel and burn out, possibly transforming into a black hole in the process. This planet will then be sucked into oblivion. I'd like to be at the side of this "Creator" on that day, with a list of questions.

Anyway, back on topic.......
What an interesting topic it is as well.At present my thoughts are drawn to the number of people who take at least some responsibility in their actions and others who completely blame the DA's they were taking.Opposing views from those who have experienced gambling and related problems whilst taking DA's.Many have realised the problem before things have spiralled out of control,yet others have been left ruined.
For the likes of myself and others who like to think they are aware and have all bases covered,it is comforting to know that certain people are aware and also realise that along with the medical experts,they are ultimately responsible for their own destiny.It is themselves and the choices they make with all the information available which mainly governs the outcome.
I understand the feeling good,addictive side of DA's,but what is interesting is how some people can adjust or stop when others can't.It has to be down to each persons characteristics/genetic make up.There is a massive difference to how drugs affect different individuals.Acknowledging that some people are profoundly affected,also acknowledging that others realise and are aware.What is the magic solution we are all searching for.Well the extreme,rapid high dosage has stopped, that i feel was a major cause for concern,especially in relation to gambling.
With the number of differing scenarios,i think it is not entirely justifiable to lay the blame totally on DA's.The reason why this topic is so emotive is there is such a grey area and any studies to shed more light is brilliant.My view is that as INDIVIDUALS everything is possible and there will never be one outcome.Each persons experience should be respected,will be different to others, and i doubt a drug can ever be found which will be agreeable to all.The important thing is that problems plus benefits continue to be highlighted here.
Today is Saturday,the day of the week i most look forward to.I put more money on the horse racing today than any other day.Should i stop just in case i get carried away,no way.However,i have to say i am grateful to this forum for increasing my awareness.I believe i am right in the danger zone,if shot down i have only myself to blame.I could retreat and not gamble at all,but believe i am totally aware,as is everyone around me.As GILL66 says she takes some blame,knowing what she was doing before eventually stopping.Everyone has that choice and believe me,i know dozens personally who have incurred extreme debts through gambling without any medicinal blame.
Any way i am going to write my bets out now,i feel excited,i like that.Am i addicted,then i was before DA's.I won't use the SC or W words,i just say AWARENESS.
All the best
This is the crux of the OCD DA issue.

As a general comment I would say this

Take blame out of the equation.

Operating a blame culture helps no one. All it does is create fear from which is born denial and the need to hide whats really going on.

This includes the patient the medical profession and the drug companies.

I do not believe for one moment that my consultant intended to use me as an experiment to see how much mirapexin I could take. He was genuinely pleased that I was doing well and there was no side effects. He didn't know I had OCD problems because I wouldn't tell him when he asked.

Similarly drug companies want a successful drug because it improves profit.

Neither was I (or anyone) to blame for having PD, being put on DAs, not being advised or monitored correctly. Free will is there for sure but the ability to explain easily to someone that you have a problem is not. That is until circumstances prevail ie you absolutely have to.



The positive way forward is to work with all parties to make sure that information is provided in the correct way to be effective for the patient.

We as PWP are vital in contributing with that.

DA sufferers find it far easier to talk to someone who has been though the problems than at the end of a 10 minute annual consultation with someone they dont have the opportunity to get to know and haven't got the experience to put their mind at they want to know the person understands their problem.

This issue needs addressing swiftly.

It needs all parties to work together but it will have to be led by PWP as we are the ones with the necessary knowledge / experience. I don't care how qualified or empathetic anyone is. They cant get into our heads nor can they offer to a DA OCD sufferer what we can. However, that is not to exclude anyone from reasoned debate nor sensible suggestions.


the large print
Well said Leyther,

Titan, will you never learn, I guess you just simply cannot or will not understand. When I was prescribed DA's there were no warnings, on leaflets/tablets or by medics. The warnings were provided well after I came off them. My neuro did know about the possibility of OCD but for whatever reason choose not to tell me. Drug addict have a choice but they cannot fight the desire for the drug, that's what just the DA's are. You will never understand until it happens to you, so please do not judge us?

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Titans post is valid because he is asking us to question the circumstances that prevailed when we took the DAs.

This is useful when adopting preventative strategies.

I am a great believer that personal circumstance led me down a particular route with the DAs.

If from the start I had known about the hyper I would have been more aware of it as a problem. Dont forget hypersexuality and libido increase are not the same.

Hypersexuality is an OCD problem with sex being the subject.

It could equally be a different subject, as you tend to lose the point of what you are doing in pursuit of an obsession,but the result would be ostensibly be the same ie a numb bum from sitting at PC all day.

Of course with the subject being sex it raises(ahem)a number of relationship issues which are well documented elsewhere.

Increased libido is what it says on the packet.

The two are easily confused and since partners and patients alike tend to enjoy libido increase, hyper is not seen as a worry until it creeps up and bites you on your numb bum

I was lucky in that when I was diagnosed in early 2003 gambling addiction due to DAs was all over the media and friends an family alike pointed it out to me.

Whilst waiting for the onset of a sudden urge to bet I was taken unawares by what I thought at first to be a healthy interest in sex (again due to circumstance ie recently divorced).

If I'd been aware of hypersexuality and its nature thing inevitably would have been different.

Maybe not perfect but certainly different.

I am so weary of all this pointless ping pong.

The Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery who testified at my trial said in his report:

Not only on a balance of probability, but also beyond reasonable doubt Mr X's unbelievable and weird activities were entirely due to his prescribed medication, and that at the time he was unaware of what he was doing.

"With regard to Mr X’s mental state it is my considered conclusion that the Cabergoline drug did override his sense of moral responsibility, and that Mr X did not ever believe himself to be acting dishonestly by the standards of reasonable men. He was so driven by this drug that I do not believe he even considered this.”
People will read others experiences and take out of it what they want to, that's human nature and their choice, were all different, respecting others views and discussing things that will help others understand and to make people aware of how things can be while on these drugs is the main objective. I don't open up easily to others and writing down what I went through wasn't easy, I just thought maybe I could help anyone on DA's become more aware of how easy things can get out of control, believe me you'd never have thought that'd I was suffering from OCD, I hid it well and I'm still ashamed to tell close family and friends, I've taken the blame for my actions because that's the only way for me to move on.

Hello Gill, I understand that you found it hard to open up and tell your story. I guess it's the same for most of us. Some people just don't understand the courage that takes!! I know that I am totally ashamed of my own behavior and before DA's the only debt I ever had was my mortgage, so to have such a huge debt was and still is, embarrassing to say the least. I am trying to take some responsibility by paying off my debtors, however, I also think that my neuro should also take the responsibility for not telling me that they could cause OCD behaviors. I for one don't want somebody judging me who has no experience of this isssue.

I cannot afford to take my neuro to court, so in the meantime my neuro gets on with his nice little life while I don't even make ends meet. It is so annoying.

hi titan

"Anyway i am going to write my bets out now, i feel excited i like that. Am i addicted then i was before DA's. I wont use the SC or W words, i will just say AWARENESS"

Your last paragraph worries me because it shows you don't really understand the difference between Compulsive and Pathological gambling! Furthermore it comes across as a bit flippant, and dare i say dis-respectful of those who suffered.

When you say Awareness, i take it your referring to your belief its all about self Awareness? So if that's the case, what about those pwp who's Neurologist does not make them Aware of OCD side effects? Also what about pwp who's awareness only comes from reading a mis-leading patient info leaflet? What about those pwp who live alone and don't have a strong network of family or friends to watch over them?

I am not challenging your right to put forward your views on this subject far from it. However what i do challenge is, your belief that its all about self Awareness. It seems that on every thread (and their have been several) your argument is based on your own circumstances. Unfortunately not everyone is as lucky as you too have a great Neurologist. Also many pwp don't get to see their Neuro every 3 months like you do. Nor does everyone have the same access to a specialist PD nurse like you. Furthermore not everyone is as lucky to be surrounded by family and friends as you appear to be!

So i guess what I'm saying is, try and look at this issue from the angle of;
"Protecting those who are most vulnerable" and ask yourself, what more can i do to help reduce the risks of them being impacted by this issue.

best wishes
Hi all.

I really thought we were making progress and working together at last. And then back comes the same old disproven and scientifically illiterate claptrap.

So I can ignore all the accumulated wisdom of the last couple of days, we're back to where we started.

The total cost of OCDs to me - past, present and future - will be around £2 million. But it was all my fault, so that's ok. Silly me! Didn't try hard enough.

I suggest that rather than sitting around thinking up smart-alec remarks for this forum, some contributors could do with spending a few days absorbing all the expert evidence around the world which shows up such waffle for what it is: baloney.

Ye Gods!
hi Leyther,

You said "Awareness" of the gambling risk hitting the press back in 2003, put you on the lookout for any signs of a problem? However whilst on the lookout for signs of gambling OCD, Hypersexuality moved into the vacant "OCD parking lot" within your brain!

The combination of not being aware of the Hypersexuality risk, along with your single status following divorce, meant you justified your new found interest in sex! Therefore off you marched into this new exciting world of sexual adventure unaware where it was leading you?

As you said, the outcome may of been different if the Hypersexuality risks had been flagged up in the same way gambling was! However i suggest even if the Hypersexuality issue had been flagged up, would you not of just ended turning too another OCD risk taking and thrill seeking activity? I remember you saying previously that you were on a very high dosage of DA's? Even total AWARENESS would give very limited protection to those who's brains are subjected to a continual massive rush of Dopamine day after day!

Maybe i am being too simplistic however part of the answer is to ensure every Neurologist is 100% AWARE of what the potential OCD risks are relevant to each patients individuals circumstances, and not leave it to the patient to go and become SELF AWARE! Don't get me wrong patients should also take responsibility to checkout any drugs they are given, but this should be in addition not in place of ALL Neurologist doing their job properly.

best wishes
hi Ray,

Why was your post removed earlier today?
Hi all,
I will start by saying that i had an enjoyable and successful day today.Is that flippant.Just an observation on a days gambling.I don't see why i should let pd put a stop to something i have done in a controlled and systematic way for 26 years or more.It is part of my life and as a gambling person taking DA's,i tell things as they are and the way i see things.
Glenchass,i have always acknowledged the difference between the past and now in relation to warnings etc.I have mentioned this many times.
Some points i was making were,
My own views and experience with gambling.
That some people can stop the medication/gambling when realising they have a problem.Not only that they take part responsibility for their actions.Yet when they disclose this fact on here,they are told they have got it all wrong.They know how they felt,can you not believe them?
The fact is that people in everyday life not suffering pd or on DA's have problems and debts from gambling.In the same way,people taking DA's react differently.How much is down to themselves as a person,their physiological,psychological make up.
Everyone is affected differently,there is no golden rule.Their views and opinions should be respected.Also,the following are facts,
1)I have Parkinsons
2)I am taking Mirapexin(a Dopamine Agonist)
3)I am in a high risk age group
4)I gamble on horse racing.
If you don't like my views,well i'm sorry.They are honest,they are mine and i probably have as much right as anybody to express them on this thread.I see that clap trap has now been added to the cloth ears and all the other names ive been called.Making progress,working together.How can this be,when the insults continue.More like,if you don't dance to a certain tune,then you are castigated.
Well,i suppose i'm used to it now,
All the best
For "attacks on other users".

Hi Titan.

Observation: you have frequently posted about what a good day you've had on the horses. I don't recall you ever telling us when you've had a cack day. Why not share your joy with us and post all your selections on here each day before racing starts? We can then cheer your horses on for you without us spending a penny. Everybody wins!
Oh, I forgot to ask. It was suggested that certain folk really don't understand the difference between Compulsive and Pathological gambling.

I don't recall seing a response to that assertion.

Did I miss it?
titan, you cant compare someone with a serious gambling problem and who does not have PD or take DA's, to someone with PD who did not have a gambling problem until they were prescribed DA's? This is like comparing Apples with Eggs and totally misses the point! Anyway clearly its going to be a waste of my time and yours continuing this debate, because it ain't gonna help those who may need it!

So i bid you goodnight and I'm pleased you had a good day gambling and enjoyed yourself.

Sleep well,

Ray, here is an example from me of Compulsive v Pathological gambling.

My Irish Grandfather bet on the horses everyday for more than 50 years. He only ever missed going to the bookies for family weddings, births and funerals! He was compulsive alright but he never exceeded his daily allowance or got into debt.

When i was taking Cabergoline i won £600,000 playing blackjack and roulette on the Internet over a period of 5 days. Did i walk away and enjoy spending my winnings, no i spent the following 9 days losing every penny. I still got the bank statement showing £600,000 going into my bank and then coming back out over the next few days. During this time i did not leave my computer, i did not eat or sleep and even peed my pants several times. When i was down to gambling my last £1 pound having lost everything, i was still just as excited and buzzed up as i was when i won the £600,000. In other words the thrill of taking risks over took the gambling and it did not matter at what cost..... that's Pathological gambling.

good night and hope you get a good nights sleep.

You silly boy, Bluey. All you needed was willpower.

You just didn't try hard enough!