Dopamine Addiction

Using brain scanning equipment, researchers have established that all addictions can be traced to dopamine-induced expectations. Expectations of scoring dopamine squirts in their brains keep addicts lying, cheating, stealing, and craving the next fix. For some, the expectations involve heroine. For others, it can be cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, sex, gambling, or food.

Addictions to legal and illegal drugs are hard to deny because they involve ingesting, inhaling, or injecting obvious substances. Physical addictions destroy lives and wreak societal damage but the most common and dangerous behaviors involve easily denied psychological addictions. Psychological addictions are more insidious because the dopamine is triggered by emotions, memories, thoughts, fantasies, ideologies, rhetoric, deceptions, and other intangibles.

Decades ago, psychologist Abraham Maslow identified and categorized (what he called) deficiency needs or D-needs for short. The D-needs can be divided into physiological needs (for air, water, salt, food, sex) and psychological needs (for safety/power, acceptance/approval/attention, esteem/status). It’s only a question of time until dopamine-induced addictions are extended to all of Maslow’s deficiency needs. Until then, the world’s best kept non-secret will continue to remain conveniently overlooked and ignored.

Currently, safety/power, acceptance/approval/attention, and esteem/status addictions aren’t considered addictions because we inherited our addictive behaviors, deceptions, and denials from clever ancestors. As a result, we’re all born and indoctrinated into highly addictive societies where ignoring psychological addictions is the norm. Moreover, the most driven power and esteem addicts are compelled (by dopamine-induced expectations) to control the institutions that define sanity, morality, and addictions.

The more powerful the addictions, the greater the self-deception and denial, the less free will, the more likely addicts are to ignore, dismiss, detest information that threatens to expose their addictions and keep them from trying to satisfy insatiable cravings.

To keep the dopamine flowing, heroin addicts shoot up, safety addicts follow, power addicts control, acceptance addicts flock, approval addicts acquiesce, and esteem addicts flaunt. One important distinction between addictions is that heroin addicts their needles whereas psychological addicts get away with pretending their addictions are normal, acceptable, and even admirable.

A second difference is that psychological addicts do a lot more damage than heroin addicts.

 

 

 

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