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What causes dopamine in our body

What causes dopamine in our body

I was curious as to know what are the natural causes for the secretion of dopamine in our body.

Are there any specific foods that increases the dopamine level?

It is said that dopamine are usually high when you are in love is that a myth or a fact?

How does dopamine affect ones behavior/mood?


Allow me to extend a more empathetic answer; This Site is great, but the rigid responses are sometimes hard to stomach.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that basically works as a messenger between nerve cells. It tells you when you do something good by releasing a chemical that tells the brain “this is nice, this is good”. It's closely associated with risk taking & reward motivated behavior; pathways or grooves in the brain are created every time a sensation is perceived as good or makes you happy. Everyone's perception of “happy” or “good” is different based on the life experiences that they have registered in the brain & the grooves they create over time.

Dopamine is tricky… the release of dopamine (in large amounts) tends to leave you with a “high” or feeling of ecstasy… but it can quickly lead to addiction or destructive habits as well. Every time dopamine is released, a groove is created and forms a habit; often times subconsciously you follow that groove every time a similar situation arises because the first time you did, it lead to pleasure. This is where conscious behavior really becomes an important factor, if you're looking to prevent these habits from taking over your life.

Where certain drugs are prone to release higher amounts of dopamine than others… there are other things in life that create the same dopamine grooves that drugs do, often in equal amounts. Food, sex, gratification from work, Social Media notifications (the research on this today is astounding; now that social media platforms have been around for over a decade, we are starting to see the relationship of depression linked to social media addiction)… all of these things register as pleasing to the brain and therefore grooves are created to remind you how to behave in the future if you want to attain the same “good” feeling.

Pavlov's dogs are a classic example of ways in which you can train the brain to perform desired reactions using dopamine; but also an example of how it can be used to enslave a being through thought forming behavior. Many arguments could be made on the latter point… from mass distraction of the population to the dumbing down of humanity by those in a position to control… but that's for another topic 

Dopamine is an amazing function of your body… it is wise to understand how it works and how it effects your day to day decision making. I think cell phones are a prime example of how out of control we've allowed our behavior to become; I would argue we are all addicted to stimulation and overloading our senses. Over time, the effects will present themselves. My advice is to simplify your life and attempt to limit the sensory interaction each day. Enjoy the little things as much as possible.

References:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-wise/201209/why-were-all-addicted-texts-twitter-and-google

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine


The way that you are describing dopamine fundamentally misunderstands how neurotransmitters work.

It makes sense to talk about hormones as elevated or reduced above a baseline level. This does not work for neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. This is because hormones are usually synthesised and released within specific systems, and are distributed rather uniformly through blood.

Neurotransmitters do not have this property. They are produced within specific neurons (for example, the raphe nuclei produce serotonin), and are distributed into neuronal cell bodies. They are then released by individual neurons as a signal. While one neuron may release serotonin, the one next to might not.

This is why the idea of boosting a neurotransmitter across the board is wrong, and why blanket statements like dopamine being high when in love don't make sense. Dopamine is not something that the brain pumps out, but is used as a signal by one neuron communicating to another. Certain actions or consequences may result in more dopamine release within certain parts of the brain, but this is because the brain is signalling the particular action/outcome that led to the dopamine release.


What are Neurotransmitters?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, sending messages to the brain.

Neurotransmitters are defined as a group of chemical agents released by neurons. These chemical messengers link the brain and spinal cord to muscles, organs, and glands by sending “signals” to perform certain functions in the body. They also interact with specific sites called receptors located throughout the brain to regulate emotions, memory, cognitive function, attention span, energy, appetite, cravings, sensitivity to pain, and sleep patterns.

Imbalances in these chemicals impact our behavior and quality of life and can create a vast amount of health issues, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Behavioral disturbances
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Diseases (Such as Parkinson’s)
  • Fatigue
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Mood disorders
  • Obesity
  • Pain

The Psychology of Disappointment


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The study of disappointment is just in its infancy, but there is a definite physiological aspect to what happens in the brain, when people experience the emotion we call “disappointment.”

To the layman, it seems so obvious that…
When someone considers a risky action, he or she will form a prior expectation of the payoff, and if the outcome is worse than expected, that person will experience an emotion called disappointment. If the outcome exceeds expectation, the emotion is called elation
In other words, when things go right: You feel happy. But when things go wrong: You feel frustration, regret and yes…often disappointment.
http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=13497

Most commonly experienced emotions:
1. Love
2. Regret
3. Disappointment
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201204/disappointed-six-ways-recover-emotional-setbacks

The crushing, emotional blows of disappointment: are exacerbated when you are disappointed by someone who you trust and expect to give you what you want. Constant disappointment with a loved one can lead to blame, resentment, and eventually even rage.
http://www.yourselfinbalance.com/disappointment.html

So…what is this emotion we call “disappointment”?
Clinical theories
Disappointment is:
1. … the psychological reaction to an outcome that does not match up to expectations. The greater the disparity, the greater the disappointment.
2. … a way in which sadness is experienced.
3. … the experience you feel when you consider what might have been, in contrast to what exists in the present.
4. …what comes with finality– the recognition that you don’t have, didn’t get, or will never achieve whatever it is that you wanted.
5. …the acceptance of reality. It forces you to admit that you did not get what you wished to have, and it is actually easier for you to protest with anger than it is to encounter your sadness about the course of events. Anger allows you to continue idealizing what could have been while consciously denigrating it, and people will hang onto it only because it’s what they needed at the time.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201111/expectation-sadness-and-disappointment

The Psychological Set-Up for Disappointment:
1. You are in a situation in which the outcome is uncertain
2. You hope for a positive outcome
3. You feel you deserve the positive outcome
4. You’re surprised that you didn’t achieve the outcome
5. You couldn’t control the outcome through personal actions

An Empirical sports analogy: In a study of long-suffering baseball fans, older fans were less subject to the disappointment effect. In other words, the longer you’ve experienced a winning drought, the better able you are to manage your expectations and take your team’s losses in stride.
Source: Rainey, D. W., Larsen, J., & Yost, J. H. (2009). Disappointment theory and disappointment among baseball fans. Journal of Sport Behavior, 32(3), 339-356.Rainey, D. W., Yost, J. H., & Larsen, J. (2011). Disappointment theory and disappointment among football fans. Journal of Sport Behavior, 34(2), 175-187.
Psychological effects: Disappointment, vs. stress, excitement:
Emotions sometimes related to disappointment:
Sadness
Anger: it is far easier to transfer this emotion rather than face disappointment
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201111/expectation-sadness-and-disappointment
Apathy

Physiological symptoms sometimes related to Disappointment

Emotions sometimes related to Excitement:

Enthusiasm
Zeal
Exhilaration
Joy
Happiness

Emotions sometimes related to Stress:

Aggression
An emotional state of anger towards you, another person or sometimes towards the whole world.
Apathy
You don’t care about anything and you don’t want to do anything.
Guilt
A feeling that comes when you have already done or want to do something which is classified as wrong.
Depression
A state in which you are sad and feel that you cannot enjoy anything because your situation is so difficult and unpleasant. Present and future look so dark and obscure resulting in suspicions and fears suppressing the pleasure from the usual simple things.
Bad mood
Bad mood and lack of mood at all are the slighter forms of apathy and depression.
Tension
A feeling that you want to do something even if it is not so clear what exactly
Inability to focus
You know that something has just gone through your mind but can not recollect it.
Low self esteem
Feeling you are good for nothing and can’t do anything of true value.
Irritability
You are easily annoyed and feel irritated by everything and by everybody.
Disappointment
It is the state of feeling rather sad because something has not happened or something is not as good as you hoped.
Loneliness
This is the unhappiness because you do not have any friends or do not have anyone to talk to. .
Being worried
You keep thinking about problems of yours or about problems that might happen you feel scared with no specific or direct threat.
Physiological reactions sometimes related to excitement
Numbness
Sometimes as a result of stress you can not feel anything in a particular part of your body legs, arms
Headaches
Headaches might be caused by different reasons, one of them being chronic overwork and stress
Hot and Cold Waves
Feeling hot or cold, irrespective of what the temperature of the air is.
Diarrhea
The state of guts is painful and often causes diarrhea as a result of stress.
Sweating
Sweating for no apparent reason even if it is cold. It starts from palms and armpits and can show up on face and the whole body.
Tingle
A slight stinging feeling in the arms, fingers, legs or toes. Sometimes the feeling is like you have thousands of needles stuck in your legs
A sense of vomiting
You constantly want to vomit and often do not want to eat.
Speeded heartbeat
You feel that your heart will break. With no reason your heart just beats so fast and hard that you feel something will happen to it
Nightmares
The bad dreams you often have, sometimes recurring
Tiredness
Tiredness is natural consequence of long working hours or conflicts and is one of the most common physical effects of stress.
www.stress-management-for-health.com/physical-effects-of-stress.html

Comparing the physiological, chemical reactions to stress, excitement:
1. When we are excited by our expectations our brain releases a chemical called serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter. It interacts with adrenaline (the hormone released from the adrenal medulla), and the sympathetic nervous system, which makes the heart race, pulse quicken, and eyes sparkle. Dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin combine to produce feelings of excitement.
2. When we are extremely stressed, fearful or angry the sympathetic nervous system is also triggered and this, of course, has the similar physical effects of the heart racing and pulse quickening, but this effect is commonly known as the ‘fight-or-flight’ syndrome.
3. Disappointment is an emotion that stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. A chemical response is triggered which results in melancholy, inertia, and a feeling of hopelessness. If there is a prolonged ‘roller coaster’ of emotions excitement/stress, followed by melancholy/inertia, serious stress-induced disease may occur. These may include heart disease, digestive disorders, and depressed immune system.
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Disappointment.html
4. Within the brain’s limbic system, when the neural transmitter dopamine, a chemical, reaches the frontal cortex, we experience pleasure. The strength of the dopamine secretion increases in anticipation of a reward BUT withhold the reward (after the anticipation) and the strength of the secretion decreases. This may be the physiology behind the emotion we call disappointment.
Source: Reference: Fiorillo, Christopher D., Philippe N. Tobler, and Wolfram Schultz (2003) Discrete Coding of Reward Probability and Uncertainty by Dopamine Neurons. Science, 21 March, 299, 1898-1902. www.businesspsych.org
http://www.businesspsych.org/articles/256.html

Other findings:
1. EEG recordings of participants subjected to disappointment suggests that people differ in their neural responses when thing don’t go their way. The Dopamine effect?
2. Psychologically, disappointment breeds more pessimism among those already low in disappointment tolerance. The more let down someone feels, the more the expectation that the future will yield more letdowns. After a disappointing setback, decisions are made more impulsively.
Source: Tzieropoulos, H., de Peralta, R., Bossaerts, P., & Gonzalez Andino, S. L. (2011). The impact of disappointment in decision making: Iterindividual differences and electrical neuroimaging. Frontiers In Human Neuroscience,4doi:10.3389/fnhum.2010.00235

Psychological Wordplay

associated to disappointment
1.
failure

associated from disappointment
1.
sad

6 Psychological Strategies to combat disappointment:
Achieving your goals is the best way to avoid disappointment. But, when those goals are out of reach, psychologists say these six steps will help effectively manage feelings.

1. Revise expectations: Try a bit of “retroactive pessimism.” Social psychologists have identified what they call a “hindsight bias” in which you can limit their disappointment by revising the high expectations you once had for winning. Tell yourself you didn’t really expect to win, and as time goes by, the new memory will replace the painful, original memory.
2. Increase your disappointment tolerance. There’s no reason that people low in disappointment tolerance have to remain that way forever. Don’t let disappointment breed pessimism because if you do, you’re likely to set yourself up for even more disappointment in the future.
3. Don’t let disappointment skew economic decisions. When feeling disappointed, a person is more likely to sell at a loss. If your favorite sports team lost the championship, don’t rush to dump your treasure chest full of memorabilia onto eBay.
4. Assess a person’s role in personal disappointments. People can control many of the outcomes in their personal lives. If someone’s expectations in love and work chronically fail to materialize, make an honest appraisal of what needs to be changed.
5. Control identification with a losing cause. The sports fans who feel the most let down are the ones who identify most strongly with their teams. There’s nothing wrong with being loyal, but if it impairs a person’s daily happiness, he or she needs to find other ways to boost their spirits.
6. Use humor to boost the disappointment emotion. Loyal sports fans who retain their loyalty despite years of disappointing outcomes almost seem to relish their identification with the underdog. Perhaps by joining the ranks of fellow sufferers, a person can find solace in self-deprecating humor. Laughter is truly one of the best coping strategies for dealing with disappointments, and s offset the consequences of faulty pessimism-based decisions.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201204/disappointed-six-ways-recover-emotional-setbacks

Hold on, it’s not all bad. Disappointment…
1. Provides information about the way we view ourselves, the world, and others.
2. Helps you better understand what is important to you, if you examine the cause of the disappointment.

Henry David Thoreau: “If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.”

In other words, we can find insight and wisdom from our encounters with disappointment when we look beneath the surface.


Chasing dopamine

Neurochemicals control our existence and desires, and depending on their levels, our expectations and personal experiences can be very relative. When we buy something new, the excitement doesn’t last forever, because the level of dopamine that is released begins to decrease. This phenomenon, called in psychology habituation, appears when our brain gets used to the stimulus and starts releasing less and less dopamine. For instance, fine dining restaurants apply this principle by serving very small portions, because the pleasure is being felt very intensely only for the first 5–10 bites, and then we begin to get used to that specific taste.

There is always the danger of chasing more and more dopamine. In order to prevent that, we could inhibit our constant needs to induce pleasure by hitting pause from time to time, so we can feel the next exposure to the stimulus much more intensely, with plenty of dopamine. Our brain needs these contrasts in life in order to appreciate small things, and instead of waiting for these situations to occur, we can consciously create them.


Probiotic promise

While harmful bacteria can ramp up anxiety, several studies have shown that beneficial bacteria can cause anxiety-prone mice to calm down. In a 2011 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, for example, Bienenstock and colleagues fed one group of BALB/c mice broth laced with Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a microbe frequently touted for its probiotic qualities. Mice in a control group got just broth, with no microbial bonus. After 28 days, the researchers ran the mice through a battery of tests to detect signs of anxiety or depression.

Compared with mice in the control group, those fed Lactobacillus were more willing to enter exposed areas of a maze, and also less likely to give up and just start floating when subjected to a "forced-swim" test—a test that serves as a mouse analog of some aspects of human depression. The probiotic diet also blunted animals' physiological responses to the stress of the forced-swim test, causing them to produce lower levels of the stress hormone corticosterone. And in the mice fed Lactobacillus, some brain regions showed an increase in the number of receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA—a neurotransmitter that mutes neuronal activity, keeping anxiety in check.

Many researchers have wondered whether beneficial gut bacteria might temper the anxiety and depression that often accompany GI disorders such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Bercik and colleagues investigated that question in a 2010 study published in Gastroenterology. They first infected mice with a parasite to induce chronic, low-grade gut inflammation. In addition to causing intestinal inflammation, this treatment suppressed levels of BDNF in the hippocampus and caused the mice to behave more anxiously. When mice were then treated to a 10-day course of the beneficial microbe Bifidobacterium longum, their behavior normalized, as did their BDNF levels.

How could gut bacteria influence the brain and behavior so profoundly? One way, some studies indicate, is by co-opting the immune system itself, using immune cells and the chemicals they synthesize to send messages to the brain. But as Lyte's 1998 study showed, some bacteria can induce behavioral changes even without triggering an immune response, suggesting that other channels of gut-brain communication must be at work. In other studies, Bienenstock and others have found that at least in some cases, bacteria communicate with the brain via the vagus nerve: When the vagus nerve is severed, effects of gut bacteria on brain biochemistry, stress response and behavior evaporate. Those findings not only shed light on how bacteria may influence the brain, but also fit with other work in humans that suggests that vagal stimulation can be used as a last resort for treating depression. "This opens up the idea that once we learn how the bacteria talk to the vagus, we may be able to simulate that with novel molecules – drugs without the bacteria," Bienenstock says.

Lyte, in a 2011 BioEssays paper, proposed a neurochemical "delivery system" by which gut bacteria, such as probiotics, can send messages to the brain. Gut bacteria both produce and respond to the same neurochemicals—such as GABA, serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine and melatonin—that the brain uses to regulate mood and cognition. Such neurochemicals probably allow the brain to tune its behavior to the feedback it receives from the army of bacteria in the gut. "And why not?" asks Lyte. After all, he says, considering the sheer abundance of bacteria awash in the human gut, "wouldn't it make sense that your brain would want to keep tabs on it?" Just how that communication unfolds is an open question, however. "We're really at the beginning of trying to understand how everything links up," Lyte says. What is clear already, he says, is that "it's a very interactive environment, much more so than we ever expected when we were trying to understand these things as stand-alone systems."


Conditions associated with High Dopamine

There are several conditions associated with abnormally high levels of dopamine. Keep in mind that certain conditions may fluctuate between high and low dopamine (e.g. bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.).

  • Bipolar disorder: It is believed that hyperactive dopamine receptors may trigger a transition from the depressive phase of bipolar disorder to a manic (or hypomanic) phase. Dopaminergic activity is thought to increase during a state of mania. This is why many individuals with bipolar disorder often find antipsychotic medications (which lower dopamine) to be helpful for controlling manic phases.
  • Drug “high”: While a person is “high” on drugs like cocaine, pscyhostimulants, and other drugs, dopamine levels are elevated. Although the dopamine levels become elevated while the person is high, they may decrease to a level below baseline such as with amphetamines. This leads a person to build up a tolerance to the drug and over time, their dopamine levels become depleted. It takes a substantial period of time for the person to remain drug-free for dopamine levels to increase back to baseline.
  • Psychosis: Many people experience psychosis as the result of a mental illness or drug abuse. It is characterized by a loss of contact with reality. Certain symptoms of psychosis are likely enhanced by abnormally high levels of dopamine and dopaminergic function. Like schizophrenia, those with psychosis are generally treated with antipsychotics (which lower dopamine).
  • Schizophrenia: Certain subtypes of schizophrenia are heavily influenced by overproduction of dopamine. When a person experiences the positive symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations and delusions, there tends to be excess dopamine and dysfunction in the mechanisms by which it is processed. This is why individuals with schizophrenia are administered antipsychotic agents that deliberately reduce dopamine.

Have you ever experienced high dopamine?

If you’ve experienced an elevated level of dopamine, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Discuss why you believe that what you experienced was a direct result of high dopamine and not something else. If you utilized a certain drug that is associated with heightened levels of dopamine, share what you were using. While a substantial level of dopamine can clearly yield benefits in terms of motivation, pleasure, and reward, too much dopamine creates dysfunctional symptoms.

Related Posts:

I have excessively high dopamine levels naturally. Normal limit should be 446 mine is 1332. I’m not okay. And my eosinophils are also in excess. I’m extremely suicidal, borderline schizophrenic and might be bipolar. But I function faster than most people and learn faster.

It’s a boon and a bane. It’s rare and can cause adrenal cancer and paraganglioma, which for now stabilized. It’s annoying that they don’t know how or why I have such high dopamine.

Esther, have you had any genetic testing? Paragangliomas and pheochromocytomas produce certain substances like dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine in excess, but those chemicals don’t cause the tumors. I really hope that one of those tumors isn’t causing your problem.

How do they test your dopamine levels?

15 months ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and put on levodopa. 2 months ago I tried a ketogenic diet and after about a week started to feel my muscles relax with the effect increasing week by week.

Unfortunately I also experienced deep spells of anxiety and heart palpitations (symptoms of excess dopamine) that decreased when I cut the diet and the levodopa and started taking Diazepam.

After two weeks my muscles are slowly stiffening so I plan to restart the diet but take it very slowly (and keep the levodopa very low).

My doctor diagnosed a psychosis caused by an increased dopamine levels. I am taking meds against the symptoms since 2013. Some time ago, I started my second try on getting off my meds – however, I experienced a rebound effect by getting overwhelmed from these psychosis symptoms and got told to NOT lower my meds for now.

I am kind of disappointed of realizing that I wont likely be able to live without these meds soon. I wished to be like everyone else – to feel good without my meds manipulating my brain all the time. But it seems that when you have this condition, even when you stop taking your medication, it doesn’t mean that your dopamine level will turn to normal.

I’m bipolar with chronic major depression. After stupidly self-medicating myself with double my usual dose of Paxil when my Lamictal and Risperdal ran out, my dopamine levels went through the roof, but I’ve experienced the exact opposite of a high. My brain literally shut down. I couldn’t stay awake for more than three hours a day—yes, I would sleep for 21 consecutive hours and still wake up exhausted.

I couldn’t open my eyes fully. I couldn’t think coherently… actually, I couldn’t think about anything at all. My head was completely empty of emotion, thoughts, reactions… I would slur and mangle words when I tried to reply to my mom, who found me like that and understandably completely freaked out.

I spent three whole days like this before she was able to get me an emergency appointment with my head doctor, my mom staying by my side the whole three days to make sure I didn’t up and die. The shrink said the antidepressant, not having been taken along with a mood stabilizer, caused very high levels of dopamine to build up in my brain, and that was what was causing the mental shutdown.

I stopped taking the Paxil that night and began Latuda and Lamictal the next day and immediately felt better after the first dose. My brain began to work somewhat. I’m still severely depressed and my surroundings and myself are a disgusting, dirty mess, but at least I can THINK.

TLDR version—high levels of dopamine in my system caused symptoms that are the complete opposite of those stated here the fact I’m bipolar (different brain chemistry) might have something to do with that.

Wow! When I was reading this article, I thought, that totally used to be me. I had many of the symptoms of excessive dopamine. I always wondered why it was that I threw up so much when I was younger. Later when I got older, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

I think many things contributed to me becoming sick. I used to take a lot of supplements and I even to L-dopa for a while, prior to getting my diagnosis. Too bad I didn’t know this years ago. I could’ve prevented my illness.

“Some have theorized that taking supplements that increase serotonin will naturally offset the effects of high dopamine.” Well, some would theorise wrong. Because increased serotonin reduces dopamine acutely, but increases it chronically… increased serotonin activity disinhibits dopamine. Also, St John’s Wort has MAOI effects, so is likely to also increase dopamine.

I have Tourette syndrome and I am on anti-psychotics, the anti-psychotics have made my tics, sensory issues and rage attacks nearly non-existent. As you said high levels of dopamine can cause involuntary muscle movements and agitation, therefore I believe that high levels of dopamine can be a cause for my TS. I have also got history of paranoid schizophrenia and anxiety in my family so it could be a genetic cause for high dopamine.

I want to know if masturbation can cause hallucinations… if so how does it happen? And how can it be stopped apart from abstaining from masturbation?

Masturbation does not cause hallucinations, my friend.

Actually, if you look at the actions of high dopamine, and lets say combine that with dopamine receptor issues… hmm. If one were to masturbate at least daily, the DA baseline would already be set higher and then add on other things that would boost DA from diet, environment etc and then go for that daily grind?

I think it would be within the realm of possibility. Not knowing your habits, I would have to presume that one particular masturbatory experience yielding a hallucination would have had other factors also spiking the DA.

Unfortunately, I have experienced many of these negative symptoms when eating chocolate. Certain forms of chocolate are known to increase dopamine levels – especially when you binge on it. I have found that I am especially vulnerable to cocoa processed with alkali (you can see this on the package labeling). It seems to intensify these effects. In particular, agitation, anxiety, irritability, and suspicious thinking.

I have schizophrenia and psychosis. I find this article 100% true. I have experienced all of the above. My dopamine raises and I’ve gotten in a lot I trouble because of the things I’ve done while having hallucinations. I’ve been taken to a psychiatric hospital four times. I take Latuda at 120 my psychiatrist raised it from 80 yesterday because I heard a voice yesterday morning and I reached out to my clinic.

I feel really good today. You can have a normal life and live with mental illnesses if you take your medication as prescribed. It took four hospitalizations for me to learn that but I’ve decided to comply with my doctor and seek treatment. I could have been one of those people that does a mass massacre.

I believed most of the people were devil worshipers and I believed my eyes and hands were swords so I would slash people with my eyes or hands as they were walking by. Having a high level of dopamine can be really dangerous. Schizophrenia is a dangerous illness if not treated. I’m opting to treat mine.

Thank you for the insight into dopamine. I had been searching around for a while as to its grander effects on the body. Thank you for sharing this. I was wondering for a bit why I was experiencing so much muscle twitching/spasms. Some times I had outright vicious muscle cramps. Now the worst times were due to an incredibly poor diet. Once I changed that, the cramps ceased, but still experienced spasms.

Now that I’ve started supplementing vitamins, and abstained from (sometimes excessive) masturbation, things have actually become much better. I’m still scaling myself off alcohol, since I know it is a big problem as well, but I’m taking it one step at a time. I have a strong tendency to just rush towards a goal with reckless abandon, and considering the current state of my health, that could end up being suicidal.

Thanks again for this post, it’s been very helpful.

I am facing problems with hypomania. Doc told me to not smoke or drink alcohol. But I am not able to control myself. I smoke once in a day and drink once in a month. Can anyone tell how this affects my increased dopamine levels?

I think taking Wellbutrin with Adderall caused adverse reactions of too much dopamine in me. On day 3 of starting the WB I felt like I had the flu with every muscle in my skinny little body aching as if I had a fever. Muscles were twitching and having tiny spasms in places everywhere on my body. It was frightening and took about 35 hours to subside after stopping the WB.

I had also taken some 5-htp so I was concerned it might be serotonin issues before concluding it was a dopamine issue. I realize none of them work alone and everything is interconnected creating all sorts of interactions in my mind and body. Still seeking some balance while also alleviating my depression and suicidal thoughts.

I was recently diagnosed with an auto immune system disorder called POTS or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. My doctor ordered adrenal function tests and my Dopamine and Norepinephrine levels were both very high. I was told it is because my condition causes the sympathetic nerve system to create the “fight or flight” feeling but I don’t experience any “high” that others have said they have.

I’m the opposite, I feel depressed, no energy and no motivation but at the same time very anxious and stressed. Has anyone else experienced this? And if so, what can you do about it to get the levels back to normal? I can’t seem to get any answers. It took me almost a year and going to the Mayo Clinic just to get the POTS diagnosis. I have lost my job due to this medical condition and am now on long term disability. I’ve been told to drink more fluids, increase salt intake and exercise daily to recondition my body but no one has addressed this issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with the very same condition 6 years ago. A tilt table test amongst other things confirmed it. Do you have a cardiologist? If not, get one asap as they should be able to help you. They are using a steroid (to help with water retention), lots of fluids, plenty of salt in the diet, and something new called Nuvigil. Lie down flat when you feel bad, reduce stress wherever possible, and make sure you get your thyroid levels checked too. An SSRI may also help. Its a crazy health condition but just keep after your doc for help. My friend is finally feeling better. Best of luck to you!

Was the person who diagnosed you an orthodox medical practitioner or a holistic doctor? I am asking because what you describe sounds more like low blood pressure (hypotension). If you have that you will have no energy – absolutely none at all. You will want to stay in bed and cry all day long. Also, it seems very odd that they say you have high dopamine etc.

What you are describing does not seem like a case of inflated dopamine levels rather the opposite. High dopamine is the feeling you get when you go sky diving, have no inhibitions about leading dance moves at the party (with no alcohol) or get excited to the point of euphoria by something. Check out low blood pressure symptoms. What you describe could also be something else.

What about hypothyroidism and hypoglycemic tendencies? All of these can make you anxious and depressed. I have all three hypos so I know. Maybe you want to consider a second opinion from a better doctor too. Doctors often seem to be overloaded with patients and pretty clueless these days. Low blood pressure and the other ‘hypo’s’ can mean crippling depression and or anxiety symptoms.

To increase blood pressure, of course you have to drink a lot, increase mineral intake and exercise to make your blood pump to your brain or else you function like a hose turned on full but only trickling during a drought. Low blood pressure can make you anxious and very very shaky at times. If it is really bad it can make you vomit, have migraines, get car sickness and you can even faint.

Anesthetic and sedatives can cause low blood pressure. If you have been in hospital where you had to have a general anesthetic, and you vomited/passed out not long after waking up, this is because of low blood pressure. It happened to me and the nurse told me I had low blood pressure while I threw up in the bucket. Cure? Lots of fluids.

They put a drip into you for low blood pressure in the hospital. At home, if you have low blood pressure you might feel like killing yourself because there is NO dopamine really shooting off in your brain to make you feel motivated to live. If there is no blood pumping to make your brain function, you will feel like dying and want to speed the death process up asap. Your brain is saying: “kill yourself” because basically you are dying for fluids. You have to drink a litre of fluid if you feel like that and the black thoughts will probably fade quickly if it is low blood pressure.

Give that a try and see if you feel better. Some people have to take medication for low blood pressure if it is very bad. By doing that you also stimulate dopamine into action which will make you feel better. You say there is too much dopamine though? I wonder if they got the diagnosis right or mixed it up with another patient? That can happen too.

If you are having a very bad time with depression, the following recipe may work for you. It is not a joke. I found out by accident on one occasion when I could not stop crying from depression. I had been crying for two hours and I wanted to end my life it was so terrible. There was no particular trigger either at that time except I was unemployed and terribly bored and frustrated with nothing to get out of bed in the morning to do.

For some reason amidst that black depression, my brain was screaming for something sweet so I went with the flow. I ate chocolate biscuits. For some reason, I recalled too, an incident where my dad had fallen over cliff into a lake on a hiking trip three years back due to a low blood pressure (he survived). He and I share the same genes there.

Neither of us feel thirst like others do. We both have low blood pressure and we do not feel thirsty either. We both get anxiety, need to do high octane activity for sanity and we both like chocolate in large amounts in one off situations. We are both as slim as antelopes too. We both do mountains easily in our spare time. Well, for some reason this event about my dad flicked into my mind while eating chocolate.

I decided to drink a litre of fluid on thinking about that. Wow. I could not believe the effect all that fluid had. It was a complete shift of something in my mind. It was weird. One moment there had been suicidal ideation and within half an hour all that disappeared – with a litre of juice and water. I remembered too, that brains always need vitamin B complex especially because women are more needy here.

I had not been having the supplements for awhile so I thought I should take a tablet since the bottle was sitting in the fridge dormant and full of B vitamins. If your doctor says you have to drink a lot of water, increase your salt intake and exercise, chances are you have low blood pressure. Also it is highly likely you might be one who is prone to hypoglycemia as well. Things tie together in the brain chemistry.

In my experience, eating a small bit of sweet carbohydrate can cure black depression within half an hour. I get black depressive symptoms just before my menstrual period as well. Life is not fair. My personal cure for it is half a litre of juice and water, one high dose multivitamin B complex tablet ( I am talking about 50 mg plus amounts of separate B vitamins per tablet 2mg of vitamin B5 is not going to help you but 68mg will), and two pieces of whole grain toast with a lot of jam, or 6 chocolate biscuits in one go.

For some reason this recipe works within half an hour for me. I then drink another half litre of fluid when the depressive thoughts start to fade. The depression disappears very quickly. I have been doing this each time I feel the black moods coming on. It works for me. I recommend it to others. I read that to stimulate serotonin activity in the brain carbohydrate is very necessary to get it started.

I would say my my dopamine and serotonin levels were improved by eating these kinds of carbohydrates at this time. It would make sense. I hope you will find relief from the anxiety. If you have low blood pressure, it is very common to be a person who gets nervous and anxious. Do not allow people to label you either. It is not like people have any right to criticize you for having anxiety however, do try boosting your fluids, vitamin B intake and taking up Bollywood dance or whatever exercise helps you feel better.

I recommend you try this idea and see if your anxiety/depression goes away and if so, how long it takes for it to subside. If you relief by doing this, follow with some aerobic exercise for 20-30 minutes and see what happens.

Oh my goodness! DO NOT GIVE OTHERS MEDICAL ADVICE IF YOU ARE NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. It is completely unsafe! People may have heart conditions where extra fluids can be very dangerous, or diabetes where sugar is dangerous. You have no idea of another’s medical history and can cause harm to others if they follow your directions.

Believe me, the Mayo Clinic knows what they are doing and are one of the only centers in the US that can test for POTS and the Autonomic Nervous System. POTS is related to temporary or lengthened low blood pressure, that is why people experience tachycardia. Read about it. I know you meant well, but don’t do it…

Thank you so much Dianthus for your story. It has helped tie in to some of what I need for my health. We are all here to try to help each other so thank you for the time it took to write all of that.

I read that dopamine levels are at their peak before orgasm. If you were to hear your favorite music at this very same time would the dopamine stay at the same level or be raised further? Also does dopamine go higher than can be achieved naturally with the recreational drug MDMA? Thanks.

My daughter had POTS. A doctor at Johns Hopkins, whose name escapes me, spoke with her doctor and recommended a gluten- free, oat free,corn free, beef and dairy free diet. It helped with in about 12 months and by year 2 & 1/2, all her symptoms were resolved. She got bold and went off the diet. She was overly happy for a few months and then the POTS came back. The diet worked again. Now that diet is known essentially as paleo with no beef or dairy. Hope this info helps.

Hi,I have been doing a lot of research. High levels dopamine and norepinephrine can be related to high levels of copper or lead. Get hair analysis and urine tests. Some may say a bad liver can cause high copper levels.

I have experienced the same thing. I had hyper-POTS, where you have high catecholamines and BP that spikes uncontrollably but all the other symptoms of hypotension. I went to Mayo as well. It turns out that the best thing I did was to INCREASE my sodium intake, and it LOWERED my blood pressure. The cardiologist at Mayo said he had never seen anything like that in nearly 40 years of practice.

In short, the hyper-POTS was my body’s attempt to maintain homeostasis from low blood volume. I am all better now. No symptoms at all. I finally discovered the cause of my symptoms was a series of nasty mutations, including MTHFR C677T, PEMT, and PON1. When I started to treat these mutations, my symptoms began to resolve.

I also have homozygous MAOA and hetero COMT, as well as several mutations that cause extremely low serotonin, and my dopamine/norepi have always been through the roof. When I was very ill, the doctors thought I had a catecholamine-secreting tumor–that’s how insane the symptoms were. Trying to bypass the mutations with diet and supplements has helped my dopamine levels quite a bit, as well, and I hope they will continue to improve.

How did you find out you had all those mutations?

Dear friends, in addition, a cause of elevated dopamine may be one of liver disease. First of all, it is one of tyrosine metabolism disease. If you have elevated dopamine, you will need to do a new blood test for tyrosine.

I went to orgasm a ridiculous number of times the other day. After a serious conversation with someone, breakfast and a 3 hour nap, I needed to drive. I was up all night so I normally wouldn’t have had the energy or concentration to drive without caffeine/energy drinks, but strangely I didn’t any. I felt ‘high’ and the orgasms was the only usually thing (for me). I think mainly dopamine increased my energy (after napping), concentration, motivation, and contracted my irises

My new partner has Parkinson’s. He takes oral, skin patches and injects to increase dopamine. I started to feel different I hallucinated, my skin itched and I felt tired. I wondered if I may be picking up some of his agonist (dopamine producing drugs) via saliva, bodily fluids and even his sweat?

I just came to this article per google and it enlightened me a bit. I think I have a lot of experience dealing with dopamine highs and lows in many different ways and would like to share a little bit of that with you. First of all, I do have symptoms of bipolarity a lot, and I’m in a phase of getting closer to the center of my condition step by step, a process which has been going on since years.

Second, I explore myself a lot and like to believe that I have control over the status of my mind and also my neurochemistry to some extent. Everybody can control their dopamine levels by just rewarding themselves mentally, it’s only a thing of practice and can become the most effective tool, much more than diet or supplements, to have direct effects on your state of mind.

To sum up all my times of elevated dopamine in detail would by far double the length of my comment now, so I’ll just bring them out categorized:

1) Falling in love – Everybody knows it. I always had my heart broken wenn I fell in love, mostly in a matter of days or weeks. Looking back I was very dopamine seeking, and had much too high levels too, being anxious enough to be shaking and having the feeling of my stomach dissolving of the overacidic production. I got far too much out of my own modus operandi to be any fun anyway.

2) Stressing yourself out extremely over something – I used to be a very nervous person and in that I had the ability to stress myself over whatever reason. I trained it sitting in the bus when I was late and contemplating over if I should stress myself or tell me that I couldn’t do anything anyway, sitting there. Furthering this into practice gave me good energy for running behind this one metro.

3) Drugs – If you know that effect that “the first time with alcohol” or marijuana, or any other drug, for that matter, was the best, I can tell you, there’s a lot of dopamine playing in there. The sole experience of a completely new drug will give you a dopamine high, which will inevitably make it difficult to get a really objective look on a drug at the first use. Furthermore, depending on the setting, this dopamine high is what makes you either hedonistic and incredibly happy or anxious and paranoid.

All in all, I find dopamine to be a great, though not harmless, and harshly overlooked tool in life. Like fire. Psychic fire. Thanks for making this great article! Have a good time. -Hakrux

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Related conditions

At the beginning of the article, we mentioned how dopamine is closely connected to the onset and development of various neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and addictions.

Generally speaking, the disorders associated with altered levels of dopamine or their function are:

Aging of the brain

Parkinson's disease

Addiction disorders


The Levers in Our Brains – Dopamine and social reward

Dopamine is a chemical produced by our brains that plays a starring role in motivating behavior. It gets released when we take a bite of delicious food, when we have sex, after we exercise, and, importantly, when we have successful social interactions. In an evolutionary context, it rewards us for beneficial behaviors and motivates us to repeat them.

The human brain contains four major dopamine “pathways,” or connections between different parts of the brain that act as highways for chemical messages called neurotransmitters. Each pathway has its own associated cognitive and motor (movement) processes. Three of these pathways—the mesocortical, mesolimbic, and nigrostriatal pathways—are considered our “reward pathways” and have been shown to be dysfunctional in most cases of addiction. They are responsible for the release of dopamine in various parts of the brain, which shapes the activity of those areas. The fourth, the tuberoinfundibular pathway, regulates the release of a hormone called prolactin that is required for milk production.

Figure 1: Three dopamine pathways and their related cognitive processes. Most of your dopamine is generated deep in the midbrain, and it is released in many different areas across the brain. These areas are largely responsible for behaviors associated with learning, habit formation, and addiction.

While the reward pathways (Figure 1) are distinct in their anatomical organization, all three become active when anticipating or experiencing rewarding events. In particular, they reinforce the association between a particular stimulus or sequence of behaviors and the feel-good reward that follows. Every time a response to a stimulus results in a reward, these associations become stronger through a process called long-term potentiation. This process strengthens frequently used connections between brain cells called neurons by increasing the intensity at which they respond to particular stimuli.

Although not as intense as hit of cocaine, positive social stimuli will similarly result in a release of dopamine, reinforcing whatever behavior preceded it. Cognitive neuroscientists have shown that rewarding social stimuli—laughing faces, positive recognition by our peers, messages from loved ones—activate the same dopaminergic reward pathways. Smartphones have provided us with a virtually unlimited supply of social stimuli, both positive and negative. Every notification, whether it’s a text message, a “like” on Instagram, or a Facebook notification, has the potential to be a positive social stimulus and dopamine influx.


How to Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally

Thankfully, there are many ways whereby you can increase dopamine levels naturally, and most of these have to do with positive lifestyle changes and diet.

Foods which contain the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine stimulate the production of dopamine in the body. These are found in most animal products.

However, you can also eat bananas, apples, green leafy vegetables, beets, nuts and legumes, turmeric, and dark chocolate to increase dopamine naturally.

Some supplements containing natural extracts also increase dopamine. These are curcumin, green tea, blueberry, and Ginkgo biloba. For more information, read my article about the best supplements to boost dopamine levels.

Physical exercise is also a great and healthy way to increase dopamine in the body. It can also help you lose weight, improve your cardiovascular system, and a better general health. I have in my website many exercises for overall body work, including illustrations, such as exercises for legs and butt, tummy, back, chest and arms.

For more information, read my article about the best natural ways to increase dopamine.


The Psychology of Boredom – Why Your Brain Punishes You for Being Comfortable and Safe

If you subscribe to evolutionary theories of psychology then you will know that everything that happens in our brains should happen for a reason. Even if it seems irritating now, there was a time when that frustration, that procrastination and that stress would have helped you to survive.

But what about boredom? Boredom is an annoying phenomenon that sets in just as we settle down to relax. It occurs when everything is fine, when there’s nothing pressing to do (or something very simple to do), and when in theory we should be able to just switch off and chill out…

So what possible purpose could boredom have? Why would we be compelled to seek out more challenges and adversities when we would be safer to just enjoy ‘being’. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in that brain of yours. I’ll try not to make it too boring…


Chasing dopamine

Neurochemicals control our existence and desires, and depending on their levels, our expectations and personal experiences can be very relative. When we buy something new, the excitement doesn’t last forever, because the level of dopamine that is released begins to decrease. This phenomenon, called in psychology habituation, appears when our brain gets used to the stimulus and starts releasing less and less dopamine. For instance, fine dining restaurants apply this principle by serving very small portions, because the pleasure is being felt very intensely only for the first 5–10 bites, and then we begin to get used to that specific taste.

There is always the danger of chasing more and more dopamine. In order to prevent that, we could inhibit our constant needs to induce pleasure by hitting pause from time to time, so we can feel the next exposure to the stimulus much more intensely, with plenty of dopamine. Our brain needs these contrasts in life in order to appreciate small things, and instead of waiting for these situations to occur, we can consciously create them.


Probiotic promise

While harmful bacteria can ramp up anxiety, several studies have shown that beneficial bacteria can cause anxiety-prone mice to calm down. In a 2011 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, for example, Bienenstock and colleagues fed one group of BALB/c mice broth laced with Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a microbe frequently touted for its probiotic qualities. Mice in a control group got just broth, with no microbial bonus. After 28 days, the researchers ran the mice through a battery of tests to detect signs of anxiety or depression.

Compared with mice in the control group, those fed Lactobacillus were more willing to enter exposed areas of a maze, and also less likely to give up and just start floating when subjected to a "forced-swim" test—a test that serves as a mouse analog of some aspects of human depression. The probiotic diet also blunted animals' physiological responses to the stress of the forced-swim test, causing them to produce lower levels of the stress hormone corticosterone. And in the mice fed Lactobacillus, some brain regions showed an increase in the number of receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA—a neurotransmitter that mutes neuronal activity, keeping anxiety in check.

Many researchers have wondered whether beneficial gut bacteria might temper the anxiety and depression that often accompany GI disorders such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Bercik and colleagues investigated that question in a 2010 study published in Gastroenterology. They first infected mice with a parasite to induce chronic, low-grade gut inflammation. In addition to causing intestinal inflammation, this treatment suppressed levels of BDNF in the hippocampus and caused the mice to behave more anxiously. When mice were then treated to a 10-day course of the beneficial microbe Bifidobacterium longum, their behavior normalized, as did their BDNF levels.

How could gut bacteria influence the brain and behavior so profoundly? One way, some studies indicate, is by co-opting the immune system itself, using immune cells and the chemicals they synthesize to send messages to the brain. But as Lyte's 1998 study showed, some bacteria can induce behavioral changes even without triggering an immune response, suggesting that other channels of gut-brain communication must be at work. In other studies, Bienenstock and others have found that at least in some cases, bacteria communicate with the brain via the vagus nerve: When the vagus nerve is severed, effects of gut bacteria on brain biochemistry, stress response and behavior evaporate. Those findings not only shed light on how bacteria may influence the brain, but also fit with other work in humans that suggests that vagal stimulation can be used as a last resort for treating depression. "This opens up the idea that once we learn how the bacteria talk to the vagus, we may be able to simulate that with novel molecules – drugs without the bacteria," Bienenstock says.

Lyte, in a 2011 BioEssays paper, proposed a neurochemical "delivery system" by which gut bacteria, such as probiotics, can send messages to the brain. Gut bacteria both produce and respond to the same neurochemicals—such as GABA, serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine and melatonin—that the brain uses to regulate mood and cognition. Such neurochemicals probably allow the brain to tune its behavior to the feedback it receives from the army of bacteria in the gut. "And why not?" asks Lyte. After all, he says, considering the sheer abundance of bacteria awash in the human gut, "wouldn't it make sense that your brain would want to keep tabs on it?" Just how that communication unfolds is an open question, however. "We're really at the beginning of trying to understand how everything links up," Lyte says. What is clear already, he says, is that "it's a very interactive environment, much more so than we ever expected when we were trying to understand these things as stand-alone systems."


The Psychology of Disappointment


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The study of disappointment is just in its infancy, but there is a definite physiological aspect to what happens in the brain, when people experience the emotion we call “disappointment.”

To the layman, it seems so obvious that…
When someone considers a risky action, he or she will form a prior expectation of the payoff, and if the outcome is worse than expected, that person will experience an emotion called disappointment. If the outcome exceeds expectation, the emotion is called elation
In other words, when things go right: You feel happy. But when things go wrong: You feel frustration, regret and yes…often disappointment.
http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=13497

Most commonly experienced emotions:
1. Love
2. Regret
3. Disappointment
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201204/disappointed-six-ways-recover-emotional-setbacks

The crushing, emotional blows of disappointment: are exacerbated when you are disappointed by someone who you trust and expect to give you what you want. Constant disappointment with a loved one can lead to blame, resentment, and eventually even rage.
http://www.yourselfinbalance.com/disappointment.html

So…what is this emotion we call “disappointment”?
Clinical theories
Disappointment is:
1. … the psychological reaction to an outcome that does not match up to expectations. The greater the disparity, the greater the disappointment.
2. … a way in which sadness is experienced.
3. … the experience you feel when you consider what might have been, in contrast to what exists in the present.
4. …what comes with finality– the recognition that you don’t have, didn’t get, or will never achieve whatever it is that you wanted.
5. …the acceptance of reality. It forces you to admit that you did not get what you wished to have, and it is actually easier for you to protest with anger than it is to encounter your sadness about the course of events. Anger allows you to continue idealizing what could have been while consciously denigrating it, and people will hang onto it only because it’s what they needed at the time.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201111/expectation-sadness-and-disappointment

The Psychological Set-Up for Disappointment:
1. You are in a situation in which the outcome is uncertain
2. You hope for a positive outcome
3. You feel you deserve the positive outcome
4. You’re surprised that you didn’t achieve the outcome
5. You couldn’t control the outcome through personal actions

An Empirical sports analogy: In a study of long-suffering baseball fans, older fans were less subject to the disappointment effect. In other words, the longer you’ve experienced a winning drought, the better able you are to manage your expectations and take your team’s losses in stride.
Source: Rainey, D. W., Larsen, J., & Yost, J. H. (2009). Disappointment theory and disappointment among baseball fans. Journal of Sport Behavior, 32(3), 339-356.Rainey, D. W., Yost, J. H., & Larsen, J. (2011). Disappointment theory and disappointment among football fans. Journal of Sport Behavior, 34(2), 175-187.
Psychological effects: Disappointment, vs. stress, excitement:
Emotions sometimes related to disappointment:
Sadness
Anger: it is far easier to transfer this emotion rather than face disappointment
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201111/expectation-sadness-and-disappointment
Apathy

Physiological symptoms sometimes related to Disappointment

Emotions sometimes related to Excitement:

Enthusiasm
Zeal
Exhilaration
Joy
Happiness

Emotions sometimes related to Stress:

Aggression
An emotional state of anger towards you, another person or sometimes towards the whole world.
Apathy
You don’t care about anything and you don’t want to do anything.
Guilt
A feeling that comes when you have already done or want to do something which is classified as wrong.
Depression
A state in which you are sad and feel that you cannot enjoy anything because your situation is so difficult and unpleasant. Present and future look so dark and obscure resulting in suspicions and fears suppressing the pleasure from the usual simple things.
Bad mood
Bad mood and lack of mood at all are the slighter forms of apathy and depression.
Tension
A feeling that you want to do something even if it is not so clear what exactly
Inability to focus
You know that something has just gone through your mind but can not recollect it.
Low self esteem
Feeling you are good for nothing and can’t do anything of true value.
Irritability
You are easily annoyed and feel irritated by everything and by everybody.
Disappointment
It is the state of feeling rather sad because something has not happened or something is not as good as you hoped.
Loneliness
This is the unhappiness because you do not have any friends or do not have anyone to talk to. .
Being worried
You keep thinking about problems of yours or about problems that might happen you feel scared with no specific or direct threat.
Physiological reactions sometimes related to excitement
Numbness
Sometimes as a result of stress you can not feel anything in a particular part of your body legs, arms
Headaches
Headaches might be caused by different reasons, one of them being chronic overwork and stress
Hot and Cold Waves
Feeling hot or cold, irrespective of what the temperature of the air is.
Diarrhea
The state of guts is painful and often causes diarrhea as a result of stress.
Sweating
Sweating for no apparent reason even if it is cold. It starts from palms and armpits and can show up on face and the whole body.
Tingle
A slight stinging feeling in the arms, fingers, legs or toes. Sometimes the feeling is like you have thousands of needles stuck in your legs
A sense of vomiting
You constantly want to vomit and often do not want to eat.
Speeded heartbeat
You feel that your heart will break. With no reason your heart just beats so fast and hard that you feel something will happen to it
Nightmares
The bad dreams you often have, sometimes recurring
Tiredness
Tiredness is natural consequence of long working hours or conflicts and is one of the most common physical effects of stress.
www.stress-management-for-health.com/physical-effects-of-stress.html

Comparing the physiological, chemical reactions to stress, excitement:
1. When we are excited by our expectations our brain releases a chemical called serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter. It interacts with adrenaline (the hormone released from the adrenal medulla), and the sympathetic nervous system, which makes the heart race, pulse quicken, and eyes sparkle. Dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin combine to produce feelings of excitement.
2. When we are extremely stressed, fearful or angry the sympathetic nervous system is also triggered and this, of course, has the similar physical effects of the heart racing and pulse quickening, but this effect is commonly known as the ‘fight-or-flight’ syndrome.
3. Disappointment is an emotion that stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. A chemical response is triggered which results in melancholy, inertia, and a feeling of hopelessness. If there is a prolonged ‘roller coaster’ of emotions excitement/stress, followed by melancholy/inertia, serious stress-induced disease may occur. These may include heart disease, digestive disorders, and depressed immune system.
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Disappointment.html
4. Within the brain’s limbic system, when the neural transmitter dopamine, a chemical, reaches the frontal cortex, we experience pleasure. The strength of the dopamine secretion increases in anticipation of a reward BUT withhold the reward (after the anticipation) and the strength of the secretion decreases. This may be the physiology behind the emotion we call disappointment.
Source: Reference: Fiorillo, Christopher D., Philippe N. Tobler, and Wolfram Schultz (2003) Discrete Coding of Reward Probability and Uncertainty by Dopamine Neurons. Science, 21 March, 299, 1898-1902. www.businesspsych.org
http://www.businesspsych.org/articles/256.html

Other findings:
1. EEG recordings of participants subjected to disappointment suggests that people differ in their neural responses when thing don’t go their way. The Dopamine effect?
2. Psychologically, disappointment breeds more pessimism among those already low in disappointment tolerance. The more let down someone feels, the more the expectation that the future will yield more letdowns. After a disappointing setback, decisions are made more impulsively.
Source: Tzieropoulos, H., de Peralta, R., Bossaerts, P., & Gonzalez Andino, S. L. (2011). The impact of disappointment in decision making: Iterindividual differences and electrical neuroimaging. Frontiers In Human Neuroscience,4doi:10.3389/fnhum.2010.00235

Psychological Wordplay

associated to disappointment
1.
failure

associated from disappointment
1.
sad

6 Psychological Strategies to combat disappointment:
Achieving your goals is the best way to avoid disappointment. But, when those goals are out of reach, psychologists say these six steps will help effectively manage feelings.

1. Revise expectations: Try a bit of “retroactive pessimism.” Social psychologists have identified what they call a “hindsight bias” in which you can limit their disappointment by revising the high expectations you once had for winning. Tell yourself you didn’t really expect to win, and as time goes by, the new memory will replace the painful, original memory.
2. Increase your disappointment tolerance. There’s no reason that people low in disappointment tolerance have to remain that way forever. Don’t let disappointment breed pessimism because if you do, you’re likely to set yourself up for even more disappointment in the future.
3. Don’t let disappointment skew economic decisions. When feeling disappointed, a person is more likely to sell at a loss. If your favorite sports team lost the championship, don’t rush to dump your treasure chest full of memorabilia onto eBay.
4. Assess a person’s role in personal disappointments. People can control many of the outcomes in their personal lives. If someone’s expectations in love and work chronically fail to materialize, make an honest appraisal of what needs to be changed.
5. Control identification with a losing cause. The sports fans who feel the most let down are the ones who identify most strongly with their teams. There’s nothing wrong with being loyal, but if it impairs a person’s daily happiness, he or she needs to find other ways to boost their spirits.
6. Use humor to boost the disappointment emotion. Loyal sports fans who retain their loyalty despite years of disappointing outcomes almost seem to relish their identification with the underdog. Perhaps by joining the ranks of fellow sufferers, a person can find solace in self-deprecating humor. Laughter is truly one of the best coping strategies for dealing with disappointments, and s offset the consequences of faulty pessimism-based decisions.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201204/disappointed-six-ways-recover-emotional-setbacks

Hold on, it’s not all bad. Disappointment…
1. Provides information about the way we view ourselves, the world, and others.
2. Helps you better understand what is important to you, if you examine the cause of the disappointment.

Henry David Thoreau: “If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.”

In other words, we can find insight and wisdom from our encounters with disappointment when we look beneath the surface.


How to Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally

Thankfully, there are many ways whereby you can increase dopamine levels naturally, and most of these have to do with positive lifestyle changes and diet.

Foods which contain the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine stimulate the production of dopamine in the body. These are found in most animal products.

However, you can also eat bananas, apples, green leafy vegetables, beets, nuts and legumes, turmeric, and dark chocolate to increase dopamine naturally.

Some supplements containing natural extracts also increase dopamine. These are curcumin, green tea, blueberry, and Ginkgo biloba. For more information, read my article about the best supplements to boost dopamine levels.

Physical exercise is also a great and healthy way to increase dopamine in the body. It can also help you lose weight, improve your cardiovascular system, and a better general health. I have in my website many exercises for overall body work, including illustrations, such as exercises for legs and butt, tummy, back, chest and arms.

For more information, read my article about the best natural ways to increase dopamine.


What are Neurotransmitters?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, sending messages to the brain.

Neurotransmitters are defined as a group of chemical agents released by neurons. These chemical messengers link the brain and spinal cord to muscles, organs, and glands by sending “signals” to perform certain functions in the body. They also interact with specific sites called receptors located throughout the brain to regulate emotions, memory, cognitive function, attention span, energy, appetite, cravings, sensitivity to pain, and sleep patterns.

Imbalances in these chemicals impact our behavior and quality of life and can create a vast amount of health issues, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Behavioral disturbances
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Diseases (Such as Parkinson’s)
  • Fatigue
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Mood disorders
  • Obesity
  • Pain

The Levers in Our Brains – Dopamine and social reward

Dopamine is a chemical produced by our brains that plays a starring role in motivating behavior. It gets released when we take a bite of delicious food, when we have sex, after we exercise, and, importantly, when we have successful social interactions. In an evolutionary context, it rewards us for beneficial behaviors and motivates us to repeat them.

The human brain contains four major dopamine “pathways,” or connections between different parts of the brain that act as highways for chemical messages called neurotransmitters. Each pathway has its own associated cognitive and motor (movement) processes. Three of these pathways—the mesocortical, mesolimbic, and nigrostriatal pathways—are considered our “reward pathways” and have been shown to be dysfunctional in most cases of addiction. They are responsible for the release of dopamine in various parts of the brain, which shapes the activity of those areas. The fourth, the tuberoinfundibular pathway, regulates the release of a hormone called prolactin that is required for milk production.

Figure 1: Three dopamine pathways and their related cognitive processes. Most of your dopamine is generated deep in the midbrain, and it is released in many different areas across the brain. These areas are largely responsible for behaviors associated with learning, habit formation, and addiction.

While the reward pathways (Figure 1) are distinct in their anatomical organization, all three become active when anticipating or experiencing rewarding events. In particular, they reinforce the association between a particular stimulus or sequence of behaviors and the feel-good reward that follows. Every time a response to a stimulus results in a reward, these associations become stronger through a process called long-term potentiation. This process strengthens frequently used connections between brain cells called neurons by increasing the intensity at which they respond to particular stimuli.

Although not as intense as hit of cocaine, positive social stimuli will similarly result in a release of dopamine, reinforcing whatever behavior preceded it. Cognitive neuroscientists have shown that rewarding social stimuli—laughing faces, positive recognition by our peers, messages from loved ones—activate the same dopaminergic reward pathways. Smartphones have provided us with a virtually unlimited supply of social stimuli, both positive and negative. Every notification, whether it’s a text message, a “like” on Instagram, or a Facebook notification, has the potential to be a positive social stimulus and dopamine influx.


The Psychology of Boredom – Why Your Brain Punishes You for Being Comfortable and Safe

If you subscribe to evolutionary theories of psychology then you will know that everything that happens in our brains should happen for a reason. Even if it seems irritating now, there was a time when that frustration, that procrastination and that stress would have helped you to survive.

But what about boredom? Boredom is an annoying phenomenon that sets in just as we settle down to relax. It occurs when everything is fine, when there’s nothing pressing to do (or something very simple to do), and when in theory we should be able to just switch off and chill out…

So what possible purpose could boredom have? Why would we be compelled to seek out more challenges and adversities when we would be safer to just enjoy ‘being’. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in that brain of yours. I’ll try not to make it too boring…


Conditions associated with High Dopamine

There are several conditions associated with abnormally high levels of dopamine. Keep in mind that certain conditions may fluctuate between high and low dopamine (e.g. bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.).

  • Bipolar disorder: It is believed that hyperactive dopamine receptors may trigger a transition from the depressive phase of bipolar disorder to a manic (or hypomanic) phase. Dopaminergic activity is thought to increase during a state of mania. This is why many individuals with bipolar disorder often find antipsychotic medications (which lower dopamine) to be helpful for controlling manic phases.
  • Drug “high”: While a person is “high” on drugs like cocaine, pscyhostimulants, and other drugs, dopamine levels are elevated. Although the dopamine levels become elevated while the person is high, they may decrease to a level below baseline such as with amphetamines. This leads a person to build up a tolerance to the drug and over time, their dopamine levels become depleted. It takes a substantial period of time for the person to remain drug-free for dopamine levels to increase back to baseline.
  • Psychosis: Many people experience psychosis as the result of a mental illness or drug abuse. It is characterized by a loss of contact with reality. Certain symptoms of psychosis are likely enhanced by abnormally high levels of dopamine and dopaminergic function. Like schizophrenia, those with psychosis are generally treated with antipsychotics (which lower dopamine).
  • Schizophrenia: Certain subtypes of schizophrenia are heavily influenced by overproduction of dopamine. When a person experiences the positive symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations and delusions, there tends to be excess dopamine and dysfunction in the mechanisms by which it is processed. This is why individuals with schizophrenia are administered antipsychotic agents that deliberately reduce dopamine.

Have you ever experienced high dopamine?

If you’ve experienced an elevated level of dopamine, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Discuss why you believe that what you experienced was a direct result of high dopamine and not something else. If you utilized a certain drug that is associated with heightened levels of dopamine, share what you were using. While a substantial level of dopamine can clearly yield benefits in terms of motivation, pleasure, and reward, too much dopamine creates dysfunctional symptoms.

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I have excessively high dopamine levels naturally. Normal limit should be 446 mine is 1332. I’m not okay. And my eosinophils are also in excess. I’m extremely suicidal, borderline schizophrenic and might be bipolar. But I function faster than most people and learn faster.

It’s a boon and a bane. It’s rare and can cause adrenal cancer and paraganglioma, which for now stabilized. It’s annoying that they don’t know how or why I have such high dopamine.

Esther, have you had any genetic testing? Paragangliomas and pheochromocytomas produce certain substances like dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine in excess, but those chemicals don’t cause the tumors. I really hope that one of those tumors isn’t causing your problem.

How do they test your dopamine levels?

15 months ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and put on levodopa. 2 months ago I tried a ketogenic diet and after about a week started to feel my muscles relax with the effect increasing week by week.

Unfortunately I also experienced deep spells of anxiety and heart palpitations (symptoms of excess dopamine) that decreased when I cut the diet and the levodopa and started taking Diazepam.

After two weeks my muscles are slowly stiffening so I plan to restart the diet but take it very slowly (and keep the levodopa very low).

My doctor diagnosed a psychosis caused by an increased dopamine levels. I am taking meds against the symptoms since 2013. Some time ago, I started my second try on getting off my meds – however, I experienced a rebound effect by getting overwhelmed from these psychosis symptoms and got told to NOT lower my meds for now.

I am kind of disappointed of realizing that I wont likely be able to live without these meds soon. I wished to be like everyone else – to feel good without my meds manipulating my brain all the time. But it seems that when you have this condition, even when you stop taking your medication, it doesn’t mean that your dopamine level will turn to normal.

I’m bipolar with chronic major depression. After stupidly self-medicating myself with double my usual dose of Paxil when my Lamictal and Risperdal ran out, my dopamine levels went through the roof, but I’ve experienced the exact opposite of a high. My brain literally shut down. I couldn’t stay awake for more than three hours a day—yes, I would sleep for 21 consecutive hours and still wake up exhausted.

I couldn’t open my eyes fully. I couldn’t think coherently… actually, I couldn’t think about anything at all. My head was completely empty of emotion, thoughts, reactions… I would slur and mangle words when I tried to reply to my mom, who found me like that and understandably completely freaked out.

I spent three whole days like this before she was able to get me an emergency appointment with my head doctor, my mom staying by my side the whole three days to make sure I didn’t up and die. The shrink said the antidepressant, not having been taken along with a mood stabilizer, caused very high levels of dopamine to build up in my brain, and that was what was causing the mental shutdown.

I stopped taking the Paxil that night and began Latuda and Lamictal the next day and immediately felt better after the first dose. My brain began to work somewhat. I’m still severely depressed and my surroundings and myself are a disgusting, dirty mess, but at least I can THINK.

TLDR version—high levels of dopamine in my system caused symptoms that are the complete opposite of those stated here the fact I’m bipolar (different brain chemistry) might have something to do with that.

Wow! When I was reading this article, I thought, that totally used to be me. I had many of the symptoms of excessive dopamine. I always wondered why it was that I threw up so much when I was younger. Later when I got older, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

I think many things contributed to me becoming sick. I used to take a lot of supplements and I even to L-dopa for a while, prior to getting my diagnosis. Too bad I didn’t know this years ago. I could’ve prevented my illness.

“Some have theorized that taking supplements that increase serotonin will naturally offset the effects of high dopamine.” Well, some would theorise wrong. Because increased serotonin reduces dopamine acutely, but increases it chronically… increased serotonin activity disinhibits dopamine. Also, St John’s Wort has MAOI effects, so is likely to also increase dopamine.

I have Tourette syndrome and I am on anti-psychotics, the anti-psychotics have made my tics, sensory issues and rage attacks nearly non-existent. As you said high levels of dopamine can cause involuntary muscle movements and agitation, therefore I believe that high levels of dopamine can be a cause for my TS. I have also got history of paranoid schizophrenia and anxiety in my family so it could be a genetic cause for high dopamine.

I want to know if masturbation can cause hallucinations… if so how does it happen? And how can it be stopped apart from abstaining from masturbation?

Masturbation does not cause hallucinations, my friend.

Actually, if you look at the actions of high dopamine, and lets say combine that with dopamine receptor issues… hmm. If one were to masturbate at least daily, the DA baseline would already be set higher and then add on other things that would boost DA from diet, environment etc and then go for that daily grind?

I think it would be within the realm of possibility. Not knowing your habits, I would have to presume that one particular masturbatory experience yielding a hallucination would have had other factors also spiking the DA.

Unfortunately, I have experienced many of these negative symptoms when eating chocolate. Certain forms of chocolate are known to increase dopamine levels – especially when you binge on it. I have found that I am especially vulnerable to cocoa processed with alkali (you can see this on the package labeling). It seems to intensify these effects. In particular, agitation, anxiety, irritability, and suspicious thinking.

I have schizophrenia and psychosis. I find this article 100% true. I have experienced all of the above. My dopamine raises and I’ve gotten in a lot I trouble because of the things I’ve done while having hallucinations. I’ve been taken to a psychiatric hospital four times. I take Latuda at 120 my psychiatrist raised it from 80 yesterday because I heard a voice yesterday morning and I reached out to my clinic.

I feel really good today. You can have a normal life and live with mental illnesses if you take your medication as prescribed. It took four hospitalizations for me to learn that but I’ve decided to comply with my doctor and seek treatment. I could have been one of those people that does a mass massacre.

I believed most of the people were devil worshipers and I believed my eyes and hands were swords so I would slash people with my eyes or hands as they were walking by. Having a high level of dopamine can be really dangerous. Schizophrenia is a dangerous illness if not treated. I’m opting to treat mine.

Thank you for the insight into dopamine. I had been searching around for a while as to its grander effects on the body. Thank you for sharing this. I was wondering for a bit why I was experiencing so much muscle twitching/spasms. Some times I had outright vicious muscle cramps. Now the worst times were due to an incredibly poor diet. Once I changed that, the cramps ceased, but still experienced spasms.

Now that I’ve started supplementing vitamins, and abstained from (sometimes excessive) masturbation, things have actually become much better. I’m still scaling myself off alcohol, since I know it is a big problem as well, but I’m taking it one step at a time. I have a strong tendency to just rush towards a goal with reckless abandon, and considering the current state of my health, that could end up being suicidal.

Thanks again for this post, it’s been very helpful.

I am facing problems with hypomania. Doc told me to not smoke or drink alcohol. But I am not able to control myself. I smoke once in a day and drink once in a month. Can anyone tell how this affects my increased dopamine levels?

I think taking Wellbutrin with Adderall caused adverse reactions of too much dopamine in me. On day 3 of starting the WB I felt like I had the flu with every muscle in my skinny little body aching as if I had a fever. Muscles were twitching and having tiny spasms in places everywhere on my body. It was frightening and took about 35 hours to subside after stopping the WB.

I had also taken some 5-htp so I was concerned it might be serotonin issues before concluding it was a dopamine issue. I realize none of them work alone and everything is interconnected creating all sorts of interactions in my mind and body. Still seeking some balance while also alleviating my depression and suicidal thoughts.

I was recently diagnosed with an auto immune system disorder called POTS or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. My doctor ordered adrenal function tests and my Dopamine and Norepinephrine levels were both very high. I was told it is because my condition causes the sympathetic nerve system to create the “fight or flight” feeling but I don’t experience any “high” that others have said they have.

I’m the opposite, I feel depressed, no energy and no motivation but at the same time very anxious and stressed. Has anyone else experienced this? And if so, what can you do about it to get the levels back to normal? I can’t seem to get any answers. It took me almost a year and going to the Mayo Clinic just to get the POTS diagnosis. I have lost my job due to this medical condition and am now on long term disability. I’ve been told to drink more fluids, increase salt intake and exercise daily to recondition my body but no one has addressed this issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with the very same condition 6 years ago. A tilt table test amongst other things confirmed it. Do you have a cardiologist? If not, get one asap as they should be able to help you. They are using a steroid (to help with water retention), lots of fluids, plenty of salt in the diet, and something new called Nuvigil. Lie down flat when you feel bad, reduce stress wherever possible, and make sure you get your thyroid levels checked too. An SSRI may also help. Its a crazy health condition but just keep after your doc for help. My friend is finally feeling better. Best of luck to you!

Was the person who diagnosed you an orthodox medical practitioner or a holistic doctor? I am asking because what you describe sounds more like low blood pressure (hypotension). If you have that you will have no energy – absolutely none at all. You will want to stay in bed and cry all day long. Also, it seems very odd that they say you have high dopamine etc.

What you are describing does not seem like a case of inflated dopamine levels rather the opposite. High dopamine is the feeling you get when you go sky diving, have no inhibitions about leading dance moves at the party (with no alcohol) or get excited to the point of euphoria by something. Check out low blood pressure symptoms. What you describe could also be something else.

What about hypothyroidism and hypoglycemic tendencies? All of these can make you anxious and depressed. I have all three hypos so I know. Maybe you want to consider a second opinion from a better doctor too. Doctors often seem to be overloaded with patients and pretty clueless these days. Low blood pressure and the other ‘hypo’s’ can mean crippling depression and or anxiety symptoms.

To increase blood pressure, of course you have to drink a lot, increase mineral intake and exercise to make your blood pump to your brain or else you function like a hose turned on full but only trickling during a drought. Low blood pressure can make you anxious and very very shaky at times. If it is really bad it can make you vomit, have migraines, get car sickness and you can even faint.

Anesthetic and sedatives can cause low blood pressure. If you have been in hospital where you had to have a general anesthetic, and you vomited/passed out not long after waking up, this is because of low blood pressure. It happened to me and the nurse told me I had low blood pressure while I threw up in the bucket. Cure? Lots of fluids.

They put a drip into you for low blood pressure in the hospital. At home, if you have low blood pressure you might feel like killing yourself because there is NO dopamine really shooting off in your brain to make you feel motivated to live. If there is no blood pumping to make your brain function, you will feel like dying and want to speed the death process up asap. Your brain is saying: “kill yourself” because basically you are dying for fluids. You have to drink a litre of fluid if you feel like that and the black thoughts will probably fade quickly if it is low blood pressure.

Give that a try and see if you feel better. Some people have to take medication for low blood pressure if it is very bad. By doing that you also stimulate dopamine into action which will make you feel better. You say there is too much dopamine though? I wonder if they got the diagnosis right or mixed it up with another patient? That can happen too.

If you are having a very bad time with depression, the following recipe may work for you. It is not a joke. I found out by accident on one occasion when I could not stop crying from depression. I had been crying for two hours and I wanted to end my life it was so terrible. There was no particular trigger either at that time except I was unemployed and terribly bored and frustrated with nothing to get out of bed in the morning to do.

For some reason amidst that black depression, my brain was screaming for something sweet so I went with the flow. I ate chocolate biscuits. For some reason, I recalled too, an incident where my dad had fallen over cliff into a lake on a hiking trip three years back due to a low blood pressure (he survived). He and I share the same genes there.

Neither of us feel thirst like others do. We both have low blood pressure and we do not feel thirsty either. We both get anxiety, need to do high octane activity for sanity and we both like chocolate in large amounts in one off situations. We are both as slim as antelopes too. We both do mountains easily in our spare time. Well, for some reason this event about my dad flicked into my mind while eating chocolate.

I decided to drink a litre of fluid on thinking about that. Wow. I could not believe the effect all that fluid had. It was a complete shift of something in my mind. It was weird. One moment there had been suicidal ideation and within half an hour all that disappeared – with a litre of juice and water. I remembered too, that brains always need vitamin B complex especially because women are more needy here.

I had not been having the supplements for awhile so I thought I should take a tablet since the bottle was sitting in the fridge dormant and full of B vitamins. If your doctor says you have to drink a lot of water, increase your salt intake and exercise, chances are you have low blood pressure. Also it is highly likely you might be one who is prone to hypoglycemia as well. Things tie together in the brain chemistry.

In my experience, eating a small bit of sweet carbohydrate can cure black depression within half an hour. I get black depressive symptoms just before my menstrual period as well. Life is not fair. My personal cure for it is half a litre of juice and water, one high dose multivitamin B complex tablet ( I am talking about 50 mg plus amounts of separate B vitamins per tablet 2mg of vitamin B5 is not going to help you but 68mg will), and two pieces of whole grain toast with a lot of jam, or 6 chocolate biscuits in one go.

For some reason this recipe works within half an hour for me. I then drink another half litre of fluid when the depressive thoughts start to fade. The depression disappears very quickly. I have been doing this each time I feel the black moods coming on. It works for me. I recommend it to others. I read that to stimulate serotonin activity in the brain carbohydrate is very necessary to get it started.

I would say my my dopamine and serotonin levels were improved by eating these kinds of carbohydrates at this time. It would make sense. I hope you will find relief from the anxiety. If you have low blood pressure, it is very common to be a person who gets nervous and anxious. Do not allow people to label you either. It is not like people have any right to criticize you for having anxiety however, do try boosting your fluids, vitamin B intake and taking up Bollywood dance or whatever exercise helps you feel better.

I recommend you try this idea and see if your anxiety/depression goes away and if so, how long it takes for it to subside. If you relief by doing this, follow with some aerobic exercise for 20-30 minutes and see what happens.

Oh my goodness! DO NOT GIVE OTHERS MEDICAL ADVICE IF YOU ARE NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. It is completely unsafe! People may have heart conditions where extra fluids can be very dangerous, or diabetes where sugar is dangerous. You have no idea of another’s medical history and can cause harm to others if they follow your directions.

Believe me, the Mayo Clinic knows what they are doing and are one of the only centers in the US that can test for POTS and the Autonomic Nervous System. POTS is related to temporary or lengthened low blood pressure, that is why people experience tachycardia. Read about it. I know you meant well, but don’t do it…

Thank you so much Dianthus for your story. It has helped tie in to some of what I need for my health. We are all here to try to help each other so thank you for the time it took to write all of that.

I read that dopamine levels are at their peak before orgasm. If you were to hear your favorite music at this very same time would the dopamine stay at the same level or be raised further? Also does dopamine go higher than can be achieved naturally with the recreational drug MDMA? Thanks.

My daughter had POTS. A doctor at Johns Hopkins, whose name escapes me, spoke with her doctor and recommended a gluten- free, oat free,corn free, beef and dairy free diet. It helped with in about 12 months and by year 2 & 1/2, all her symptoms were resolved. She got bold and went off the diet. She was overly happy for a few months and then the POTS came back. The diet worked again. Now that diet is known essentially as paleo with no beef or dairy. Hope this info helps.

Hi,I have been doing a lot of research. High levels dopamine and norepinephrine can be related to high levels of copper or lead. Get hair analysis and urine tests. Some may say a bad liver can cause high copper levels.

I have experienced the same thing. I had hyper-POTS, where you have high catecholamines and BP that spikes uncontrollably but all the other symptoms of hypotension. I went to Mayo as well. It turns out that the best thing I did was to INCREASE my sodium intake, and it LOWERED my blood pressure. The cardiologist at Mayo said he had never seen anything like that in nearly 40 years of practice.

In short, the hyper-POTS was my body’s attempt to maintain homeostasis from low blood volume. I am all better now. No symptoms at all. I finally discovered the cause of my symptoms was a series of nasty mutations, including MTHFR C677T, PEMT, and PON1. When I started to treat these mutations, my symptoms began to resolve.

I also have homozygous MAOA and hetero COMT, as well as several mutations that cause extremely low serotonin, and my dopamine/norepi have always been through the roof. When I was very ill, the doctors thought I had a catecholamine-secreting tumor–that’s how insane the symptoms were. Trying to bypass the mutations with diet and supplements has helped my dopamine levels quite a bit, as well, and I hope they will continue to improve.

How did you find out you had all those mutations?

Dear friends, in addition, a cause of elevated dopamine may be one of liver disease. First of all, it is one of tyrosine metabolism disease. If you have elevated dopamine, you will need to do a new blood test for tyrosine.

I went to orgasm a ridiculous number of times the other day. After a serious conversation with someone, breakfast and a 3 hour nap, I needed to drive. I was up all night so I normally wouldn’t have had the energy or concentration to drive without caffeine/energy drinks, but strangely I didn’t any. I felt ‘high’ and the orgasms was the only usually thing (for me). I think mainly dopamine increased my energy (after napping), concentration, motivation, and contracted my irises

My new partner has Parkinson’s. He takes oral, skin patches and injects to increase dopamine. I started to feel different I hallucinated, my skin itched and I felt tired. I wondered if I may be picking up some of his agonist (dopamine producing drugs) via saliva, bodily fluids and even his sweat?

I just came to this article per google and it enlightened me a bit. I think I have a lot of experience dealing with dopamine highs and lows in many different ways and would like to share a little bit of that with you. First of all, I do have symptoms of bipolarity a lot, and I’m in a phase of getting closer to the center of my condition step by step, a process which has been going on since years.

Second, I explore myself a lot and like to believe that I have control over the status of my mind and also my neurochemistry to some extent. Everybody can control their dopamine levels by just rewarding themselves mentally, it’s only a thing of practice and can become the most effective tool, much more than diet or supplements, to have direct effects on your state of mind.

To sum up all my times of elevated dopamine in detail would by far double the length of my comment now, so I’ll just bring them out categorized:

1) Falling in love – Everybody knows it. I always had my heart broken wenn I fell in love, mostly in a matter of days or weeks. Looking back I was very dopamine seeking, and had much too high levels too, being anxious enough to be shaking and having the feeling of my stomach dissolving of the overacidic production. I got far too much out of my own modus operandi to be any fun anyway.

2) Stressing yourself out extremely over something – I used to be a very nervous person and in that I had the ability to stress myself over whatever reason. I trained it sitting in the bus when I was late and contemplating over if I should stress myself or tell me that I couldn’t do anything anyway, sitting there. Furthering this into practice gave me good energy for running behind this one metro.

3) Drugs – If you know that effect that “the first time with alcohol” or marijuana, or any other drug, for that matter, was the best, I can tell you, there’s a lot of dopamine playing in there. The sole experience of a completely new drug will give you a dopamine high, which will inevitably make it difficult to get a really objective look on a drug at the first use. Furthermore, depending on the setting, this dopamine high is what makes you either hedonistic and incredibly happy or anxious and paranoid.

All in all, I find dopamine to be a great, though not harmless, and harshly overlooked tool in life. Like fire. Psychic fire. Thanks for making this great article! Have a good time. -Hakrux

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Related conditions

At the beginning of the article, we mentioned how dopamine is closely connected to the onset and development of various neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and addictions.

Generally speaking, the disorders associated with altered levels of dopamine or their function are:

Aging of the brain

Parkinson's disease

Addiction disorders