Author Topic: Question about Dopamine Release  (Read 694 times)

William

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Re: Question about Dopamine Release
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2017, 09:35:04 AM »
I don't read you as addicted to gambling.  Maybe you are, maybe you are not, but I am not hearing you say gambling has caused a problem in your life.  Addiction is not a problem, until it causes a problem in your life.  That said, if you are concerned about it, put it away for 90 days.  Don't overthink it.  Overthinking it is one way all addictions talk us out of stopping.  Don't let the addiction talk you out of stopping it.  If you are concerned gambling is a problem for you, quit it for the hard 90.  After that, if you want to play with it again, it will be a choice, not an obsession, or a compulsion.  Own yourself.  Don't let anything else own you. 

DepressedAndOut

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Re: Question about Dopamine Release
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2017, 10:01:47 AM »
You say addiction is not a problem until it causes a problem in your life. So far, there is no problem. (Apart from sometimes thinking about it too much and it being the only activity that I enjoyed, until recently where the feeling has waned off.)

However, what I'm trying to address here is the effect of gambling on my brain , not on my life.

I keep thinking that every time I'm engaged in a gambling activity, wheather this is placing bets or browsing forums reading about it, my brain is taking a dopamine hit. And if so, how detrimental is this hit on my recovery??

I don't believe I enjoy gambling anywhere near when I enjoyed PMO. So I suppose that's good.

chpcbr

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Re: Question about Dopamine Release
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2017, 10:18:47 AM »
Yes, but the reason I raised the gambling issue it's because another 'addiction' should not be present during your reboot.

Plus, dopamine is dopamine, no?
[..]

I don't think it's that simple. Dopamine isn't just dopamine. Several legal and illegal drugs affect dopamine systems, but their effects are widely different. I think it's fair to say that porn and masturbation provide a degree of superstimulation and satisfaction in the sexual sphere, which gambling or cocaine clearly won't provide. I am unable to explain to you how this works in terms of psychology and/or neuroscience and frankly I would suggest you don't focus on this too much yourself. A lot of the dopamine talk you can find in the community falls somewhere between conjecture, broscience and... bullshit. This said, addictions in general do make you lose interest in otherwise enjoyable activities, in favor of the one you're addicted to. In addition to that, PMO addiction seems to specifically impact your sexuality. So even if your long-term goal is to kick all habits/addictions (or a perfectly healthy dopamine dynamic in your brain, if you prefer), it still makes sense to focus on a PMO reboot both because it's a start and because of the specific benefits in the sexual sphere.

Gary Wilson

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Re: Question about Dopamine Release
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2017, 10:35:59 AM »
Quote
Yes, but the reason I raised the gambling issue it's because another 'addiction' should not be present during your reboot.

Plus, dopamine is dopamine, no?

If someone had serious gambling addiction, and only this addiction, would thier penis not work due to the dopamine rush that his gambling habit caused over the years ..?

I'm not sure how dopamine's effect play up in that regard, hence why I'm asking.
This question is addressed in my basic video starting here - https://youtu.be/7oFVOJf0TzY?t=22m41s - and in this section of my start here article - https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/doing-what-you-evolved-to-do#share

First and foremost- The reward circuit nerve cells activated during sexual arousal are largely distinct from the reward circuit nerve cells activated for other natural rewards.

Second - the reward circuit sends nerve impulses to the hypothalamus, which contains distinct regions for sex arousal, thirst, hunger, fear, anger,  - all our basic drives.  The hypothalamus can undergo alterations. The hypothalamus sends impulses down the spinal cord to specific nerves that go to your genitals to sustain erections.

Third - multiple brain regions outside the reward system (using oxytocin, glutamate, opioids, etc) are also involved with a sexual arousal. This adds to the distinctness of sex.

Fourth - orgasm alters the brain in ways that no other stimulus can (see this article for details - https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/men-does-frequent-ejaculation-cause-hangover)

.....and on it goes. So sex is quite unique and distinct - neurologically and hormonally. There's a reason we know the difference between eating an apple and having a mind blowing orgasm.

So dopamine levels are important in the first step within the sexual nerve cells of the reward system (but so are other neurotransmitters (glutamate being at to of list). But dopamine is core because it is behind motivation and arousal. More to the point, we know the most about dopamine's role in sexual arousal and addiction.

Because I often see questions similar to yours, I put this in my basic articles and presentation:

OK you get it: Internet porn is a unique supernormal stimulus and a "dopamine-producing machine.” The usual question is:
“What are the possible consequences of all this dopamine?”

However, the more accurate question is:
“What are the possible consequences all this dopamine in response to one type of stimulus? (in this case internet porn and a computer screen)."

The answer - pathological learning. With Internet porn a porn user can condition his arousal to everything associated with his porn use. That's deep learning, via dopamine spikes.

However, none of this matches real sexual encounters. Real sex is touching, being touched, smells, connecting and interacting with a person, all without a voyeur's eye view.

Dopamine is odd. It shoots up when something is better than expected (violates expectations), but drops when expectations are not met. With sex, it’s nearly impossible to match internet porn’s level of surprise, variety and novelty. Thus, once a young man thoroughly conditions himself to porn, sex may not meet his unconscious expectations. Unmet expectations produce a drop in dopamine – and erections. (A steady stream of dopamine surges is imperative for sustaining sexual arousal and erections.)

Whether one is 25 or 55 the disparity between real sex and masturbating to internet porn is a key factor in porn-induced sexual dysfunctions. Masturbating to porn to prepare for sex is like playing golf for years to compete at Wimbledon. It’s training for the wrong sport.

While sexual conditioning is the principal brain change responsible for porn-induced ED, it alone cannot account for all the symptoms men experience. Two of the most common, yet hard to explain, symptoms are the loss of morning wood (nocturnal erections) and the dreaded flatline. I suspect changes in the sexual centers within the hypothalamus are involved in these other symptoms (as outlined in my basic videos).

DepressedAndOut

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Re: Question about Dopamine Release
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2017, 01:53:09 PM »
Hello Gary,

Thank you for your post.

I'm not 100% if I understood all of your post's contents. But I'v come to the conclusion that my gambling, or reward seeking habit, is not ideal and probably for the best if I quit it for at least 3 months. Would you say that's why you think too?? I've only just started hardmode away from PMO in mid-August. So it would make sense if I quit this money making habit, too.

Just to give you an idea of what I do: I log in every day to a website that lists all of the gambling offers that we are guaranteed to have a fixed reward from and offers that are risk free but its reward are random amounts or none at all. This is performed nearly everyday. Particularly during the weekend where I can place 5-10 sports bets (alongside casino, slots offers, etc) and I'm not certain what reward I would get from them. (This is in addition to the guaranteed reward offers. (which are basically converting free bets into cash.) )

Sorry to go too deeply into this and sorry for turning this thread into an alternative discussion, but I really need to make my mind up about doing this gambling related hobbie or not.

(It would be a wrench to quit it for now as it provides me with a decent supplement to my wages!)


« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 01:55:41 PM by DepressedAndOut »

Gary Wilson

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Re: Question about Dopamine Release
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2017, 03:07:11 PM »
In simple terms my post was meant to say that the circuits for sex arousal can be largely separate from the circuits for other natural rewards-including gambling. In other words, dopamine is not just dopamine. It depends where it released, how much is released, and which of the 5 different types of receptors it binds to.

As for your question about gambling, it's not about porn - so I have no opinion.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 03:10:57 PM by Gary Wilson »

DepressedAndOut

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Re: Question about Dopamine Release
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2017, 03:23:41 PM »
Thank you.

I'm just worried about my daily habit of sitting in front of the screen for 2-3 hours a day seeking a reward. (money on this instance) The anticipation of bets coming in is prolonged.

I've also went on from being very strict about not gambling anything, apart from the allocated amount, to having the odd spin on slots here and there. (even when the allocated amount is depleted)  Which kinda reminds me of the Porn use when I had to get a bigger hit by searching a different genre. It's escalating...

Just seems so familiar when I was doing it but with Porn.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 03:25:31 PM by DepressedAndOut »