Zen Conqueror 👑

Zen Conqueror 👑

13-10-2022

10:57

The sinister truth about dopamine addiction. An eye opening thread:

For this thread to make sense you need to understand that pain and pleasure are processed in overlapping brain regions and work like a balance. Imagine a seesaw, with pain on one side and pleasure on the other. For one to go down, the other has to go up.

When nothing is going on, the seesaw is level with the ground. But when we experience pleasure, dopamine is released and the balance is tipped to the side of pleasure. The more pleasure we feel, the faster the balance tips. But here's the catch: Your body wants equilibrium.

When the balance tips towards pleasure, your body begins to self-regulate to bring the scale level again. This self-regulating is the result of homeostasis: The tendency of any living system to maintain physiologic equilibrium.

But once the balance reaches equilibrium it doesn't stop. It will continue to tip towards the opposite direction until the equivalent reaction is caused on the other end. What goes up, must come down. This is called the "Opponent-process theory"

When we are repeatedly exposed to the same dopamine-releasing pleasure, we begin to build a tolerance to it. This tolerance means the tip towards pleasure on the seesaw becomes weaker and shorter, But the after-response towards pain gets stronger and longer.

Meaning over time, pleasure will decrease while pain continues to increase. Scientists call this process neuroadaptation. After an extended amount of time in this state, Your body's pleasure-pain balance gets reset to the side of pain.

This translates into two things: 1. Your body needs way more stimulus to even feel any pleasure at all. 2. Your body becomes more sensitive to the pain side of the balance. Not only does your body become less reactive to dopamine, but it also produces less too.

The sad paradox of all of this is that the pursuit of pleasure for its own sake leads to the inability to enjoy pleasure of any kind. This is why addicts reach the point where their addiction doesn't even give pleasure anymore, they take it just to try and feel normal.

This is also why they so often relapse. With the pleasure-pain scale stuck tilted towards pain even after abstinence, They will often return to their addiction not for pleasure, but simply to alleviate the suffering of withdrawal.

To summarize everything said so far: Each release of dopamine-releasing pleasure has an equal release of pain due to the opponent-process theory. And constant exposure to the same dopamine-releasing pleasure eventually results in experiencing less pleasure and more pain overall

But all hope is not lost Because the internal homeostasis causing all of this works both ways, If you abstain long enough, eventually your internal pleasure-balance scale will return to a balanced baseline From this point, it's back to being up to you how you manage your scale

With everything you've read so far, it may have crossed your mind if all of this can work in the opposite direction as well. And that is correct. Which is why it's so important that you choose your struggles, Gym > being out of shape Discipline > laziness Meditation > stress

With all this being said, Taking back control is easier with the more available willpower you have. I wrote an ebook to help you with exactly this. Get it FREE here:

Done. If you found value in this thread: 1) Retweet the first tweet. 2) Follow me @zenconqueror for more threads and tweets like this.



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