Dopamine: essential to life


Evan Fernandez

Addiction to the hormone dopamine becomes prevalent as time progresses. People who restrict dopamine-stimulating activities feel happier and find joy in life’s simple aspects. Hormonal balance takes importance, especially with dopamine. Excessive dopamine can cause depression and feelings of emptiness.

Evan Fernandez, Reporter

The brain releases the chemical dopamine when experiencing pleasure. The highly addictive substance can cause addiction and other mental issues like depression. In today’s society, people look for instant pleasure and the easy way out which gives a dopamine boost. Excessive dopamine can cause less drive and desire to accomplish tasks of substance. People will begin to simply want to feel instant gratification and become lethargic.

“I’ve heard that the hormone dopamine can cause schizophrenia. I think having a dopamine diet is a good idea, considering it can cause medical and mental issues,” sophomore Caleb Hall said.

Health trends such as dopamine fasting appeared common in the past years. Dopamine fasting consists of limiting or completely cutting off all instant pleasure for 24 hours. When people dopamine fast, they cannot use any electronics, read, eat sugar or high-fat food or perform sexual activities.

Repetition of dopamine fasting with a couple of days of break will ensure the fasting’s effectiveness. The cutoff of dopamine can allow people to find enjoyment in the parts of life that people commonly skip over or that they would not have noticed otherwise. People increase productivity and focus when they dopamine fast.

Dopamine, like any substance, needs to be balanced. The sensations of pleasure and satisfaction are important and essential in the existence of the human being but just as these feelings are basic to moving forward in motivation, they can make you a slave of your own self. I consider it crucial to have an understanding of dopamine and how the substance could be your best friend or your worse enemy since it could turn you into an addict and a prisoner of your own desires,  Spanish teacher Edisson Fernandez said.

The hormone gives off a false sense of happiness and can cause mood changes. People feel dissatisfied with life and find anything that does not trigger a dopamine release as a boring activity. 

People who balance their consumption of the hormone and limit dopamine triggers will create a happier life. The hormone must balance like most hormones. Excluding someone from dopamine entirely leads to extreme boredom. 

The importance of feeling pleasure cannot include experiencing extremes because too much can result in depression and lack of self-satisfaction. Ultimately, dopamine, the most important factor in experiencing a happy and fulfilled life, needs proper balance.