Using Dopamine Supplements to Hack Motivation: the Neurobiology of Ambition

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Nelson Vergel

Founder, ExcelMale.com
'Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that seems to make life itself rewarding. In this post, I'll teach you how to fuel your brain with dopamine supplements.

Dopamine is the motivation molecule. It makes your favorite activities exhilarating and life accomplishments satisfying. Optimizing the dopaminergic system will improve your executive function and motivation.

On the flip side: lethargy, ADHD, apathy, depression – these mental states are associated with impaired dopaminergic functioning.

If you're anything like me, then your motivation and ambition wax and wane. This can be hugely problematic if you're in the middle of a major project and need focus and energy to see it through. Nootropics and supplements are a great way to buffer your motivational reserves."

 
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MIP1950

Active Member
I have treatment resistant bipolar illness. I've tried Wellbutrin and it made edgy, restless and worsened my Tourette Syndrome. Similarly, whether B12 or high dose vitamin D, the increase in dopamine brings on aforementioned symptoms and, for vitamin D, constipation, since it reduces serotonin in the gut. I seem to have only two settings in my brain; slow(low energy/motivation, anhedonia, melancholy) or high(hypomania, hypersexual, irritable). Mood disorders aren't always amenable to a single fix, but I have to believe that there is dopamingeric dysregulation involvement.
 

MIP1950

Active Member
Lamotrigine always jacks me into mania because of it's strong anti-depressant action. Haven't fared better with pregnenolone, which I've tried many times. Considering transcrainial magnetic stimulation, since my depression is now worse than the manic phase. The other possibility is ketamine.
 

davidrn

Member
For those who have never heard about LDN (low dose naltrexone) it is an anti opiod drug that taken at lose doses has a positive effect on the immune system. It helps the immune system by temporarily (aprox 2 hours, during the night) decreasing the amount of dopamine receptors, your body reacts by creating more dopamine receptors (not more dopamine) this helps increase the dopamine we all have naturally. It is commonly used for auto immune diseases and is more often (in past decade) being discussed as a longevity supplement. It has no side effects, other than some report strange dreams the first week or so. (not nightmares, I dreamed in color for a few nights).I have been using it for greater than a decade for RA.

 

MIP1950

Active Member
@Nelson Vergel/My psychiatrist has floated the possibility of ketamine, though I'm going to discuss it next week. Also transcranial magnetic stimulation. @davidrn, tried LDN years ago, prescribed by a psychiatrist/researcher. Seriously disturbed my sleep, even when taken in the morning. I've read positive testimonials about it, though. I've reached out to that doctor because, before I left Maryland, she asked me if I'd be willing to try an opioid for bipolar. Her area of research is mood disorders and addiction. She's world class but my experience with pain meds has been highly negative and I rejected it out of hand.

Thank you, both, for your input and sharing your experiences. I am in a seriously difficult situation. Maybe it's time to revisit what didn't work or what I rejected.
 

sammmy

Active Member
Lithium may help with bipolar disorder. Amazon sells it. Blood levels have to be monitored - can get toxic.
 
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DorianGray

Active Member
Been on low dose rx lithium and OTC lithium orotate. I don't respond to it. Rx gave me many problems. Tried it many times.
I see you are not a younger person, so you seem to have managed for a long time. As you reflect back, was there anything that worked in the past? I have a close relative that has struggled with intractable bipolar issues also.
 

bixt

Active Member
Mindfullness meditation increases dopamine, receptors and the physical size of the prefrontal cortex (brain part related to focus).
 

MIP1950

Active Member
I see you are not a younger person, so you seem to have managed for a long time. As you reflect back, was there anything that worked in the past? I have a close relative that has struggled with intractable bipolar issues also.
I'm sorry that your relative is struggling with bipolar illness. There's no 'good' mental illness. They're all damaging and destructive.

As for me, I haven't managed it. My new primary made the same observation as you. I went from working full time to part time in 2005 and by 2009, couldn't work at all. The stress, severe manic episodes and worsening sleep problems made that impossible. I qualified for SSDI from Social Security in 2011. A small monthly check, since my income as a courier was never consistent.

I've 'survived' because my wife receives a substantial retirement, along with her investments, from being a career federal employee and she owned the house in Maryland, now, the condo here in Florida. Otherwise, I'd probably be homeless or dead. Truly, I do wish I had something positive or helpful to share that you could convey to your relative.
 

MIP1950

Active Member
You're welcome. Perhaps the only 'positive' is that I've gained much insight into myself, the illness I co-exist with, the nature of love, the reasons behind my dysfunctional marriage and of life, in general. It's not that I'm accepting of what my genetic lineage has bestowed on me. If I accepted what has happened to me, I wouldn't be on testosterone or taking supplements or researching or exercising or remaining interested in my hobbies or interests. I would have, emotionally, given up. For example, this morning I walked on the beach and said hello to several attractive women, also out walking. It's not just a small pleasure; it reminds me that there is a life outside of my malfunctioning, constricted, difficult existence.
 

wondering

Active Member
'Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that seems to make life itself rewarding. In this post, I'll teach you how to fuel your brain with dopamine supplements.

Dopamine is the motivation molecule. It makes your favorite activities exhilarating and life accomplishments satisfying. Optimizing the dopaminergic system will improve your executive function and motivation.

On the flip side: lethargy, ADHD, apathy, depression – these mental states are associated with impaired dopaminergic functioning.

If you're anything like me, then your motivation and ambition wax and wane. This can be hugely problematic if you're in the middle of a major project and need focus and energy to see it through. Nootropics and supplements are a great way to buffer your motivational reserves."

Increasing dopamine shouldn't be the goal. Otherwise, cocaine wouldn't be so bad for your brain. Managing increases with return to baseline levels seems to be desired. Andrew Huberman is a professor of neurobiology at Stanford and has a great podcast with all episodes on YouTube. His recent one on dopamine may be helpful to increase understanding. The others are great too - addiction, optimizing light exposure, etc.

 

wondering

Active Member
'Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that seems to make life itself rewarding. In this post, I'll teach you how to fuel your brain with dopamine supplements.

Dopamine is the motivation molecule. It makes your favorite activities exhilarating and life accomplishments satisfying. Optimizing the dopaminergic system will improve your executive function and motivation.

On the flip side: lethargy, ADHD, apathy, depression – these mental states are associated with impaired dopaminergic functioning.

If you're anything like me, then your motivation and ambition wax and wane. This can be hugely problematic if you're in the middle of a major project and need focus and energy to see it through. Nootropics and supplements are a great way to buffer your motivational reserves."


Increasing dopamine shouldn't be the goal. Otherwise, cocaine wouldn't be so bad for your brain. Managing increases with return to baseline levels seems to be desired. Andrew Huberman is a professor of neurobiology at Stanford and has a great podcast with all episodes on YouTube. His recent one on dopamine may be helpful to increase understanding. The others are great too - addiction, optimizing light exposure, etc.

 
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