Tuesday 25 June 2024

Desensitization to dopamine is leading to 'Dopamitis'

NOTE: This is not medical advice. I am not a doctor. This is just me observing patterns.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body has become insulin resistant. Insulin’s function is to help manage blood glucose levels. In a person with Type 2 diabetes, where the body is desensitized to insulin, more of it is needed for the body to function properly. Various factors like genetics, lifestyle, and eating habits can contribute to insulin resistance, affecting many people with this serious illness. For a person with Type 2 diabetes, consuming sugary foods is problematic because, without additional insulin to manage the increased blood sugar, the insulin desensitization can lead to the negative effects of excess blood sugar.

One way to treat this condition is to use treatments that help the body regain its insulin sensitivity.

A similar pattern can be observed with another of the body’s hormones, but in a different context.

When the brain becomes desensitized to dopamine (the pleasure hormone), it needs more stimulus than normally required to perform its natural functions of emotional regulation, focus, and experiencing pleasure and happiness. A person whose brain has become desensitized to dopamine needs additional stimuli for the dopamine to work, leading to an addictive cycle. Individuals in this condition need more and more of the stimulus to experience the same degree of pleasure or focus. This can lead to addiction to social media, drugs, stimulants, sex, and pornography. Initially, a small amount of these activities is enough to trigger feelings of happiness and pleasure. However, with continued use, the mind becomes desensitized, and soon, more and more of it is needed for the same high. This creates a negative downward spiral leading to the depression and anxiety crisis.

This condition can be called dopamine addiction, or if you will indulge me, ‘Dopamitis.’

Similar to the treatment of Type 2 diabetes where the body’s insulin sensitivity is improved, one way to address ‘Dopamitis’ is to help the brain regain its sensitivity to dopamine.

Diabetes is considered a major lifestyle illness around the world today. If society continues its addiction to dopamine, primarily due to its addiction to smartphones, 'Dopamitis' might become as significant a lifestyle ailment like diabetes, affecting our society.

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