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Old 01-31-2019, 08:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Alcohol's effect on dopamine


Does anyone know anything about this? I've read a few posts from people who want to kill themselves or have suicidal thoughts when they drink. That's the same with me. As soon as I drink, I start thinking that life would be better for everyone if I weren't here. I talk about killing myself. I do think I have low dopamine. I've tried antidepressants -- many of them -- in the past, but nothing has worked for me. I wonder if the damage I've done to my brain is permanent. Anyone know anything about how alcohol affects brain chemicals?
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey this page is worth a read

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol...nd-depression/
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This is a good read:

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...influence.html (Excerpts from "Under The Influence")

I don't remember if it discusses the dopamine receptors.

Here, from the NIH:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120286/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4691370/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942586/

Those ^^are kinda technical...there's plenty more from the NIH (and other sources) about dopamine receptors and alcohol. Just type "dopamine and alcohol" into your browser search bar.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Funny I just posted about this, this morning. Did you read it?

I'm reading a book about habits and motivation. It says that there have been studies where they found rats that have zero dopamine production and the rats literally lost the will to live.

I too would have those very same thoughts when drinking. I never felt I was very close to abiding by them, but they were definitely strong thoughts. It just goes to show you that alcohol can literally make you hear voices. I didn't realize this until I quit and looked back on it.

TY everyone for the links...I definitely want to check them out and learn more
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like there is a simple solution to this. Don't introduce alcohol into the equation. I long ago stopped trying to figure out the specifics and finally figured that the effect will always be the same for me and it was not good.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Bright Line Eating by Susan Thompson covers the effects of drinking, drugs, and even food on dopamine receptors at length. Even if you don't want to follow the meal plan, it's an interesting read... She also addresses how willpower is drained throughout the day (explains why I hate alcohol in the morning and 'need' it at night.)
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Alcohol caused a long list of problems in my brain. I can't tell you why or how but I can tell you it definitely did. And it took a while for things to get better when I quit drinking, but they did improve over time. Our minds are very adaptable, and can even overcome significant physiological damage over time.

It's also very possible that you have clinical depression or some other condition that requires treatment. I know I had several issues I had to work out once I quit drinking - simply ceasing to drink did not solve them all.

It's also fair to say that most psychological problems cannot be solved while you are actively drinking, or at least it's much more difficult to solve them.
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If anyone is feeling that way and reads this this is a great link full of readings and international numbers for help.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ease-read.html

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Old 02-01-2019, 07:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Alice, yes, I experienced suicidal thoughts when drinking. Once I stopped, I continued to experience depression and anxiety for a few months while my emotions were rebalancing from the chemical effects of chronic alcohol abuse.

Alcohol is a depressant. Though there is initial euphoria, it ultimately leads to a crash and depression.

This is what I read about alcohol effects in dopamine. Alcohol floods the brain with dopamine. But after chronic abuse, the alcohol causes a depletion of dopamine receptor sites so that the dopamine has nothing to bind to anymore. Scientists believe this is what causes the phenomenon that alcoholics (or addicts in general) are always “chasing the high”, never able to experience the highs they had in the beginning.

As much as I found all this brain chemistry fascinating, for a while I was still looking for ways to circumvent this phenomenon, still chasing the high. I tried different types of alcohol, drank it at different times of the day, drank it faster or slower. Ultimately, I realized I needed to stop overthinking and experimenting, and simply stop the insanity. To just stop drinking period.

I’m glad I did. I still have sad and anxious moments like we all do when life gets hard. But no more clinical level depression or anxiety
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes, I often experience suicidal ideation after a binge and even completely sober. I just feel really hopeless. Have for a very long time.
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:12 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yes, I often experience suicidal ideation after a binge and even completely sober. I just feel really hopeless. Have for a very long time. Drinking makes things much worse, but I am destitute
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