T Nation

For More Pain: Dopamine Deficiency/Apathy


Is this for certain ??

One of the guys i live with is literally completely apathetic.

I mean the guy is a HERMIT, he goes to the gym the odd time and thats it.

23 other hours in his room, he has NO and i do mean NO drive.

He was once diagnosed with Depression but he couldnt be assed taking them LOL.

Whats Dopamine and how does one fix it.

Sorry to shove you out into the spotlight, but that really caught my attention, and any help given by you or others as always gratefully welcomed.


Drug company propoganda. Apathy is an ideological issue like almost everything else.


Care to expand on that ?

How does ideology fit into a person being incapable of well doing stuff ?


No, behavior and emotion (or lack thereof) are biological. Dopamine insufficiency in the amygdala is thought to cause these symptoms of depression.


..dont these two statements contradict each other?


I have a friend like that he was looking into taking Ecstasy because he said that there are known cases for it curing Dopamine Deficiency. He wanted me to get him some but im still debating on it.


ecstasy increases the output of dopamine while taking the drug, however it decreases the amount when off....stay away


Because if you truly feel like there is no point to anything then why would you want to do stuff?



Was that from Poliquin?


Dopamine is a chemical in your brain released as a "reward" in response to behavior that the body wants to encourage, so getting food, having sex, these all produce a dopamine release. No dopamine = no sense of reward, so instead of feeling great that you got that promotion, got an A on that paper, smacked the game winning homerun, or even did something as simple as left your room and sat on a hillside on a sunny day, you just dont care


No from More Pain hence the title of the thread.

The good man pm'ed me though..... even if it was to search for some doc not available in England.


Yes but i would prefer if my mate wasn't a hermit .......

And if he is incapable of fixing himself, then surely there has to be a treatment for it ?


So how does one fix it ?


Wellbutrin, if you wish to go the pharmaceutical route. Or you could try consciously put effort into enjoying life. People tend to be detached emotionally from the little things that make life worth living. It seems in this day and age we forget where we come from, and what makes us human.

Id suggest paying more attention to things, relaxing, trying to clear your head a bit, and doing things you really love doing.


Yeah, at this point you're essentially asking how to cure depression, and there's more suggestions for that than there are people on this thread. I mean there are the special lamps for people who dont get enough sun, you can go talk to someone (ie, thereapist, psychiatrist, whatever) which I'm sure you'd have to do anyway if you go the pharma route - or your friend, whomever, just easier to write in the 2nd person.

It's actually funny that thsi topic came up today, i've just started reading "how we decide" which seems to be about the actual mechanics behind the human thought process. And if I'm reading it right, which I very well may not be, an actual dopamine absence would mena that your friend was completely unable to learn from his mistakes. Not mistakes like "his constant need to make himself indispensable only leads to his dating woman with issues who eventually take him for granted, perpetuating his lancelot complex" etc, I mean mistakes like "hmmm, sticking my finger in this electrical socket shocked me last time, lets see about now ... BZZZZZT! ... ok, but what about this time..." As in, no reward, no punishment, no incentive to learn from our mistakes

then again that coudl be an extreme case resulting from a lack of ANY dopamine, not just a general insufficiency. But hey, like i said, i could have that whole thing wrong


Interesting post.



(Not that I think that my statement was anywhere close to an explanation of the cause of the symptoms...)


Wellbutrin is supposed to increase the action of dopamine. But results vary tremendously between individuals, and it's not common for any anti-depressant that I know of to do a great job curing anhedonia or apathy. It's certainly worth a try for a guy like this, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did not seem to do a whole lot.

The problem with a guy in this situation, or anyone with major depression, is that there IS nothing you really love doing. Loving doing things depends on a healthy brain with balanced neurotransmitters. Without that healthy brain, everything seems pointless and nothing pleasurable. It is truly hard to imagine if you have not experienced it.


Ya its just crazy though, its like im living with an actual hermit !

Been mates with him since forever, he never gave a crap in school, and when we moved in like 3 years ago he literally sits in his room......... and thats IT

His mother cleans his clothes, he buys pre made meals, he used to go to the gym but now i rarely see him going.

What he is doing isn't living, i'd class it as existing... the guy doesnt work, doesnt spend any money except on his food.

When i saw More Pains post, it was like he was talking about my mate, if there is a drug that can make him live again then i'll do my damnest to see if i can figure it out for him.

If i don't his life is just useless.


BY the way i do appreciate the responses, im having a hard time figuring it on my own :stuck_out_tongue: