As dopamine decreases, serotonin increases

Submitted by Yuuichi on
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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2612120/

https://www.quora.com/Neuroscience-Are-dopamine-and-serotonin-inversely-...

They seem to share an inversely proportional relationship.

Less dopamine in the brain, and more serotonin in the brain (which is associated with long-lasting, contented relationships), appears to equal more happiness and better wellbeing, while the reverse appears to be linked to aggression, stress and craving. But it can’t be that simple, right? Otherwise people with Parkinson’s would be very happy, which I don’t think is the case.

Comments

Serotonin=Confidence

I think you misunderstand what serotonin does in the brain.

Simply put serotonin regulates where in the social hierarchy we are. Dominance and submission.

To understand serotonin we can compare it to the other "happy neurochemicals" or "emotional molecules"

Dopamine=desire, motivation, the "I can get it" feeling
Oxytocin=the "I trust you" feeling
Serotonin=confidence, the "I´m the top dog" feeling
Endorphine= the "I feel no pain" feeling or "pleasure/reward" feeling.

Depression is associated with low serotonin, which is the same as feeling extremely submissive and helpless in life.

Here is the site of one of the leading experts on "happy chemicals" and the mammal brain.

https://innermammalinstitute.org

Most serotoinin is made in

Most serotoinin is made in the gut. The body has elaborate ways to get rid of it. It attaches to platelets and then in the lungs it is hopefully destroyed through oxidation. 

It is a bad hormone and the only reason people think about it as good is propaganda from the drug companies. SSRIs supposedly work by increasing serotonin. They don't work well and they are dangerous for raising serotonin.

 

From what I’ve heard, when

From what I’ve heard, when one eats a meal with lots of carbohydrates, the reason one’s gut begins to feel so warm is because it seems to stimulate the nerve cells of the gut to excrete serotonin. But the excess secretion of serotonin in the gut can cause diarrhea.

But this concerns the serotonin produced by the Raphe nuclei in the brainstem. Are they the same, with the same functions? I’m not sure. Serotonin cannot pass the blood-brain barrier, and so the serotonin produced in the brain doesn’t have the negative effects of when it is found in the blood or the gut.

I did some extra research, and found that when animals received serotonin, they began to act more aggressive and dominant, which seems to contradict what I written previously. It does seem things are more complicated than they appear.

> It is a bad hormone.

Do you have any reasons why serotonin is bad for the body or mind? I’m curious.

It’s untrue

Serotonin does not cross the BBB. One way or another though brain levels increase through diet and gut bacteria - through breakdown products of tryptophan, the amino acid.

Serotonin lowers metabolic rate in the body and increases estrogen and inflammatory processes. Some is needed in the brain of course. But the idea is to increases dopamine and lower serotonin for better mood, cognition etc. 

 

 

Just wondering (since you

Just wondering (since you seem to know a lot about this stuff), what is the cause of sexual desire? A signal to the brain releases adrenaline (which increases heart rate and blood pressure) and releases dopamine in the brain. Does serotonin or any other neurotransmitters also play a part? Thank you.

What causes sexual desire?

There are hormones that are required. Estrogen is a hormone that you want at a minimum, but without it you won't have libido at all.

I think that desire is very dopamine driven because of how obsessive it feels like. High dopamine and low serotonin are desirable for healthy sexual desire. Too much estrogen causes that painful horny type desire that everyone seems to expect and think is healthy, but it is not.

 

That makes sense for men, and

That makes sense for men, and I did some research and I found out you’re correct (without estrogen, free testosterone actually decreases sexual desire).

I’m assuming that therefore estrogen and testosterone somehow work together to produce sexual desire. So in men, the amount of free testosterone in the body governs how potentially aroused they may become, but the amount of estrogen circulating determines how aroused one actually becomes.
In women, the reverse applies. The amount of estrogen in the body governs how potentially aroused they may become, but the amount of testosterone circulating determines how aroused one actually becomes (women who take testosterone for medical reasons report a sudden increase in intense sexual desire).

However, I also found this:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender_sexuality

It says an increase in estrogen decreases sexual desire.

Most estrogen “info” is wrong

Big Pharma Loves estrogen.

It is carcinogenic and harmful unless it is kept low. Women don't have a lot of estrogen except for a 24 hour period when it is secreted so they can rapidly build the placental tissue each month if they are still menstruating.

But there is a base level where it is needed for women and men. But it is not desirable in any quantity in either women or men.

Women should have high progesterone, which is highly protective. In men, testosterone should be high. In both men and women, estrogen should be low. Serotonin should be low. Cortisol should be low.

But few of us are actually healthy.

Returning to the sexual side of things, I found out that oxytocin and vasopressin are secreted at the same time because the gland secretes a precursor, and an enzyme cuts the precursor into one molecule of each.

Vasopressin is anti-diuretic. It is secreted when we sleep so our kidneys don't pull water out of our blood while we are unconscious, and therefore sludge our blood. 

Around the watering hole in nature, animals are there because they are very thirsty. Thirst stimulates both vasopressin and oxytocin (as I said they go together). The oxytocin helps animals gain enough "trust" in each other, even in mortal enemies, so as to share a watering hole.

Ain't nature amazing?

> Women don't have a lot of

> Women don't have a lot of estrogen except for a 24 hour period when it is secreted so they can rapidly build the placental tissue each month if they are still menstruating.

Doesn’t it steadily build up from day 8 in the menstrual cycle to day 14 (which in turn results in the excretion of luteinising hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and testosterone for 24 hours. The sudden testosterone increase is the reason why women feel more sexual desire at day 14 of their menstrual cycle)? That’s almost a week of high levels of estrogen, yet women live longer than men. Also women generally have lower sexual desire than men, but have high levels of estrogen (which you say increases sexual desire) for almost a week?

> Women should have high progesterone, which is highly protective. In men, testosterone should be high.

Why should testosterone be high? Testosterone comes from progesterone, so as testosterone levels increase, progesterone levels decrease.

Also, I was reading the Wikipedia page on oxytocin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin) and read something quite interesting.

1. Firstly, it said that males and females seem to release oxytocin differently during sex.
Females release oxytocin only after orgasm (which goes against what karezza is about, but it makes sense. Women orgasm with their vagus nerve. I’m not sure about the clitoris, but the cervix and vagina are connected to the vagus nerve, which releases oxytocin).
However, men release oxytocin during sexual activity, but not at orgasm (which makes sense because sexual arousal in males is parasympathetic (activates the vagus nerve, which releases oxytocin), but sexual orgasm is sympathetic.

2. Oxytocin seems to be involved in the initiation of maternal (loving) behaviour from a woman, but not its maintenance.

3. Testosterone directly suppresses oxytocin, but Vasopressin seems to be an alternative to oxytocin which affects men in the same way oxytocin affects a woman.

A lot of nonsense is written.

A lot of nonsense is written. No, women should only have high estrogen for basically a 24 hour period. That doesn't mean most mensturating women are healthy and perhaps they have too much estrogen, it is very common as are problems such as PCOS and PMS.

Women build up oxytocin around naked cuddling, closeness and non orgasmic sex. 

Testosterone does not suppress oxytocin. Vasopressin and oxytocin have several roles in men and women. As I said, the protein precursor has to be cleaved into two halves, one oxytocin and one vasopressin and vasopressin is also known as Anti Diuretic Hormone (ADH) and is secreted during sleep.

Testosterone comes like all steroid hormones from cholesterol ---> pregnenolone ---> various steroid hormones depending upon 5-AR and some other enzymes. Progesterone should be high in women, and should be moderate in men, for ultimate health because it is the best way to oppose estrogen.

> No, women should only have

> No, women should only have high estrogen for basically a 24 hour period. That doesn't mean most mensturating women are healthy and perhaps they have too much estrogen

I don’t know what studies you cite or what your sources are to support these claims.

> Testosterone does not suppress oxytocin.

‘It has also been shown that testosterone directly suppresses oxytocin in mice.’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin

Thank you for the link. It

Thank you for the link. It explained a few things I was unsure of.

However, isn’t it contradictory that prolactin causes a relief from desire and anxiety, and provides feeling of calm and peace, yet prolactin also supposedly makes women feel irritable? Isn’t this contradictory?

That said, I do feel irritable after orgasm, despite feeling satisfied (but that orgasm is from masturbation, as I am single. But the studies say that prolactin only arises from sex). My guess is that prolactin, which apparently causes dopamine levels to decrease (thus lessening desire, and thus tension), which is the cause irritability and a lack of joy. I am confused!

It's complicated

Many hormones are problematic at both low and high levels...and beneficial at moderate levels. So simplistic explanations of the type you keep asking for would be reckless Yuuichi. I think a science forum might be a better choice for you. Come back when you have a partner and you have questions about karezza.Ok

Cupids

Have you read Marnia book, it's been a while since I have, I will have a look, but there are a few paragraphs about this

Karezza helps both partners

I know that my wife gets a lot of pleasure out of Karezza and it bonds us together unlike orgasmic sex. I know this for 100%.

I'm glad I found this key to a happy life and an amazing marriage. And the amazing thing is how it keeps getting better.

Lately I have been playing with being a bit quieter and less movement and more stillness. It's also amazing. I can't describe it but it is really sublime.

My wife doesn't really have my enthusiasm but in her quiet way she enjoys the closeness maybe as much or more than I do.

What a miracle.

Thanks for the Progress Report

Great to hear, emerson, that Karezza keeps getting better for you and your wife. And, thank you for the neurohormone lessons earlier in the thread.

I, too, have moved to less movement. I think it is because (1) I am becoming more sensitive and attuned to subtle pleasure, in addition to overt pleasure, and (2) I am now using 'scissors,' which affords different, deeper, and wonderful sensations. While I tried scissors initially, six years ago, for some reason I found offset missionary (me at a slight angle, to the left, of my wife, so I avoid her clitoris) more enjoyable. When I recently retried scissors, it felt heavenly, with deeper, more satisfying penetration.

Do you and your wife move to various positions during a session? My wife only grudgingly allows me to vary things, and puts a limit on how long we engage. She thinks some positions are unseemly, not for a respectable, married woman and mother. Unfortunately for me, that includes scissors.

Are you still limiting, or skipping, foreplay? Given that my wife views Karezza as a burden and believes she is obliging me, I lube up and get to business. It works. My wife does not engage in French kissing, 'as she is not aroused by Karezza.' So, other than when I begin with massage of her -- which I do not do if she seems rushed -- we do not engage in foreplay.

No doubt, I get a bit irritated when we do not do Karezza, or skin-to-skin contact, that day. I told my wife massage-only suffices in lieu, and I happily massage her, including during Karezza. She does not automatically return the favor.

I welcome any counsel on how I can get myself to view the glass as half full, instead of half empty. I welcome any counsel on how to be content with every-other-day Karezza, or Karezza of limited duration and variety. I was hoping that seven straight days of self-hypnosis focused on being more appreciative of my wife would reset things and eliminate or greatly reduce my irritation. It does, for that day; but, it appears that I need to do the 20 minute session every single day to keep my irritation at bay for when we do not do Karezza or skin-to-skin contact.

Would she find

snuggle time where she just holds your penis a suitable behavior? That might meet your need for connection on days you don't make love, without making her resentful. Good times for this are when you awaken, and before you fall asleep.

We have a schedule

And we stick to it pretty clearly.

My wife doesn't like different positions. And no real foreplay. That's my choice. I just want to enter and dwell in her temple.