Monday, November 12, 2018

Dopamine secretion linked to addiction

Is it fair to link dopamine secretion to addiction ?

Dopamine is generally released in our brain when we are happy, satisfied, content, loved and similar positive events happen to us or around us.

Recent reports/ media coverage seem to constantly indicate that whatever item (cigerette, alcohol, drugs, smartphone, incoming messages/emails, social media attention received) makes us happy, or triggers a positive event in our brain, its equivalent to addiction.

Recently, I was listening to some podcast, where a renowned speaker used the analogy of instant messaging. He linked receiving a response to an instant message with additiction, because both trigger dopamine secration in our brain.

Things that make us happy, don't necessarily fall into the category of addiction.  addiction is a different beast, needs to be seen as such and handled as such.  If we generalize the problem of addition to a simple hormone secretion we are doing a disservice to many a things that simply give us joy and have no link to addiction.

Think of it this way, going to park makes me happy. I tend to go to a park or a green area as much as I can, and every time I am around trees / greenery, it makes me very happy.

Another example, I live a few thousand kilometres away from my immediate family members.  Every time I send / receive a message to one of them, I feel joyous, happy, elated (read - secretion of dopamine), does that mean I am addicted to "messaging them" ?

or does this mean that I am addicted to "going to park/greens" ~

I disagree, and would surely not want to be called an addict based on this theory.