Dopamine question

Submitted by MexicanTexican on
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So out of boredom I watched Gary's video series regarding porn and the brain on YBOP again this morning. I was just wondering:

Dopamine receptors disappear after continued porn use because the brain's being overloaded and stuff, so does that mean your happiness/gratification with life in general lessens? Or are the receptors like...specific to sexual gratification?

Just curious.

Yeah I've been wondering

Yeah I've been wondering about this for a while because when I decided to quit PMO months ago, the only way it had affected me was the ED. Haven't been depressed or felt any other kind of imbalance since puberty.

I was kind of the opposite,

I was kind of the opposite, no ED, even at age 50. Just very unhappy and getting depressed over something I felt I had lost all control over. I was starting to lose all pleasure and sense of happiness in spite of my wonderful family, friends and talents.

Maybe a degree of mid-life crisis but really it was much deeper than that.

Addiction is complex - a lot unknown

The reward circuit

First there is overlap between D2 receptors for different stimuli - food, water, sex, drugs. This can be seen when the nucleus accumbens dopamine nerve cells light up for everything. This is the core of our reward circuit. A decline in dopamine signalling occurs in this structure and in the prefrontal cortex - with all addictions. So yes to overlap.

However, we know that you don't develop ED from other addictions... although it increases the chances. Also, we know the difference between eating a pizza and masturbating. Both bits of info tell us that unique sub-circuits are dedicated to sexual stimulation and definitely to orgasm.

The hypothalamus contains D2 receptors for erections - which may be affected (no one knows) by porn addiction. I have no evidence but I think the hypothalamus is affected.

In addition to decline in dopamine signalling for other natural rewards, addicts develop sensitization - which is higher dopamine for triggers associated with their addiction. That's why you can get a stronger erection with porn than you can with the real deal.

Only One way to find out

And that is by abstaining from PMO. I always looked at PMO and compared it to getting older. For example, when your 7 or 8 years old little things like, toys and cartoons and riding your bike seem to be the most fun you could possibly have! When your 16-19, hanging out with friends, running around, or exploring new things are fun, spending lots of time with new people also. When people get married and have kids, that fun starts to lessen, BUT they still have some occasions were people in those circumstances would meet up and have a "get together" or a BBQ. It's not that their fun has changed or lessened, its that their new definition of fun has become more anticipated and it kind of keeps it fresh! People like us who abuse PMO for so long, finally look at it as something we have got bored with, that is why some people go to waay more extreme things! Now, with that said, I believe that when we start to abstain from PMO, the fun isn't gone or the happiness isn't gone, its just a different type of happiness. For example, going to the gym, taking care of your body, hearing a "I love you" or a " your a good person" comment, these things start to be the things that make you happy overtime, not PMO. Also the companionship you get when your with the opposite sex, or as we get older those times you get to spend with people you barely get to see, those happy feelings replace those PMO feelings that you pretty much drowned out. I also believe that when we abstain for so long we become proud of ourselves, just like when an alcoholic quits drinking or a durggie quits druggin Wink .. It's a different feeling, and I think those feelings are what true happiness are all about :D