confused about whether should be raising dopamine after a drop from an 'O'

Submitted by looking4balance on
Printer-friendly version

as I wrote a few days ago, i made one week (again) and then had an orgasm party over weekend..no porn but still had conventional sex a few times. Funny this is always on Sunday and my Monday blues I always attributed to work but maybe its not work. hmmm...Anyway, the same feelings the next few days are present - feel down, depressed, disconntected from others, VERY lethargic, sleepy, no energy..etc. So, I know this is a Dopamine drop and Seratonin too (i think) from the orgasms. Now I am trying to figure out what i can do the balance things in my brain a bit. The thing I am most confused about is

Should I be trying to raise seratonin AND Dopamine?

it seems in this lethargic state that eating turkey and doing meditation which is supposed to raise seratonin would just make me sleepier. I just went for a run while listening to rock music and this no doubt raised my dopamine. Should i not be trying to raise it? i feel alert, more positive, albeit a bit agressive and manic(definitely dopamine). I wonder if this puts me at risk for addicting addicively? should i be doing something now to lower it again?

kind of confused here, obviously...

Any help with understanding this is great. I tried emailing the Joel Robertson Institute but no email back yet....

Love the videos by the way on this site..just watched the one on Fear and one on Love..great explanation by Gary...very helpful..thanks!

Comments

Sure, do any healthy activity

that helps you regulate your mood. The only things to watch out for are things that push your dopamine levels up into the "red zone." The problem there is that you are likely to experience a drop again afterward, so you will tend to get discouraged.

I think of the key as being, "avoid things that over-stimulate the reward circuitry of the brain." Some of these things are obvious ones like drugs, alcohol, gambling (if that's your "thing") and so forth.

The two "normal" activities that have this same drug-like potential, which science is only beginning to acknowledge, are bingeing on junk food, and bingeing on sexual passion.

"Highly palatable foods and highly potent sexual stimuli are the only stimuli capable of activating the dopamine system with anywhere near the potency of addictive drugs." John Hoebel, a psychologist at Princeton University in 'Fast food may be addictive.' (A long, but interesting, article: http://www.reuniting.info/science/articles/fast_food_sexual_stimulation_...)

The reason high-calorie food and passion are potential problems is that our ancestors didn't have to contend with either...in the quantities that we do today. (This is a good, short article on this point: http://www.reuniting.info/science/genetic_lag_burnham_phelan_richard_daw...)

In other words we evolved to get a huge "bang" Smile out of these things because high-calorie food and sex helped our genes with their mission - always to get themselves passed on. They wanted us to find enough food to survive long enough to mate, and then to mate furiously. After that, they didn't really care, so we are also programmed to age and die. (The Taoists consider controlled intercourse an anti-aging measure, and even a path to immortality ;-))

Before modern times, these powerful urges (hunger for high-calorie food and passion) didn't present such a problem, because there WAS no junk food, or porn, or the leisure to engage in passionate sex frequently. Windows of opportunity were scarce, and our genes didn't want us to miss 'em.

In short, our brains in these two areas are calibrated for much scarcer opportunities in the junk food and passion departments. That's why it's wise not to over-indulge in them. The challenge is that during the recovery portion of the cycle, most of us will REALLY want such things, because they are a quick fix for low dopamine.

The better solution is getting off the cycle and then choosing a middle ground: healthy food and frequent lovemaking without climax.

But you probably know all that...at least in theory.

Dopamine is GOOD, vital in fact. It's only "red zone" levels of dopamine that cause trouble. Once you are already in the "low" part of the cycle, it is very wise to raise your dopamine...by any means that will not push it too high. Hence my list of healthy activities the other day. That is also why our book recommends a three-week program of affectionate exchanges between couples who want to make the shift. The nightly giggles and generous affection help counter the withdrawal from passionate sex, making it far easier. I am sure these exercises help balance brain chemistry, allowing the body to return to normal dopamine levels as comfortably as possible.

So do what you can to ease your withdrawal symptoms...as long as you avoid throwing yourself back into the cycle.

I hope this is clear.

ok, NOW I see...

Not the sharpest tack in the box, but I get it now :)

As long as I dont red-line my dopamine, its OK. I guess I have to decide whether running listening to fast-paced music is good or TOO much of a surge (not sure how to gauge that yet). As for those activities you listed (thanks again, btw!)

"running, being creative, finishing a project you've put off, doing something nice for someone else, exchanging foot massages with a friend, calling your mom, listening to uplifting music, singing, watching funny movies with a friend, fixing something special to eat for you and a friend"

I called my Mom last night and I felt good that it made her happy to hear from me (but it made my anxiety shoot up after!). Music I am finding is sooo mood-changing. It's really amazing how much music can affect your mood. I also made a healthy dinner after my run, so that helped. Overall, just keeping balanced lifestyle sounds like it will put things in check. Thanks for helping me understand about dopamine and that it's not evil, just problematic if it gets too high...

You sound

like a pretty sharp tack to me. [ok]

Expect some mood swings during the cycle, no matter how healthy your activities. Don't let them discourage you. They are normal.