Dopamine detox: how does it work?


A dopamine detox involves fasting dopamine-producing activities, or “pleasures,” for a period of time in the hope of decreasing sensitivity to rewards. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this method.

Those who attempt dopamine detox aim to detach themselves from everyday stimuli, such as social media, sugar, or shopping. They are replaced in favor of less impulsive habits and lifestyle choices. The fast can last a few hours or several days.

It is very important to note that a dopamine detox is not a scientifically studied approach. The evidence for any benefit is anecdotal, and most of the benefit comes from abstaining from potentially addictive activities. However, they are not related to dopamine detoxification.

The whole concept of a “dopamine detox” is scientifically incorrect and reduces the brain to a very simplistic level. It is indeed much more complex than what this tendency to “dopamine detox” suggests.

This article will explore dopamine detoxifications in more detail, including the potential risks and even some side benefits.

Dr Cameron Sepah is the creator of fast dopamine, or detox. He commonly uses the technique in clinical practice on tech workers and venture capitalists. Dr Sepah’s goal is to rid his clients of their addiction to certain stimuli, such as phone alerts, text messages, and social media notifications. Much of his research around this new practice was based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). What he was trying to accomplish with this concept is different from what people have come to understand as “dopamine detox.”

The general concept behind Dr Sepah’s “detox” is that people feel lonely or bored, or try simpler activities instead of looking for quick “bursts” of dopamine. Ideally, people will begin to notice how distracting certain stimuli might be.

Dr. Sepah identifies six compulsive behaviors as targets for dopamine detoxification:

  1. eat emotionally
  2. excessive internet use and gaming
  3. gambling and shopping
  4. porn and masturbation
  5. search for thrills and novelty
  6. recreational drugs

By fasting in these activities that trigger neurotransmitters in the brain, people become less dependent on the emotional “knocks” provided by dopamine, which can sometimes be addictive or addictive.

Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter in the brain. It is naturally produced by the body as a chemical messenger and it affects many behavioral and physical functions, including:

  • learning
  • motivation
  • sleep
  • mood
  • Warning

Too much or too little dopamine production can cause mental health problems. Exposure to overwhelming levels of stimuli can cause such disorders, leading to addictions to certain substances or activities.

During a dopamine detox, a person avoids dopamine triggers for a set period of time – from one hour to several days.

Dopamine detox requires a person to avoid all types of arousal, especially pleasure triggers. Anything that stimulates dopamine production is prohibited throughout detoxification.

Ideally, by the end of detox, a person will feel more centered, balanced, and less affected by their usual dopamine triggers. However, it is important to note that a true dopamine detox, whereby a person successfully stops all dopamine activity in the brain, is not possible.

The human body naturally produces dopamine, even when it is not exposed to certain stimuli. A more accurate description of dopamine detox is a time of abstinence, or “disconnection” from the world.

This can have positive effects on those who implement the practice from time to time. However, the term “dopamine detox” by its very nature is problematic, and not at all scientifically correct. Dr Sepah himself says the name is not meant to be interpreted literally.

We have already clarified that a complete and total detoxification of natural dopamine is not possible.

That said, the decision to unplug and let go of certain impulsive behaviors may come with certain health benefits, one of which is the potential for increased focus and greater mental clarity.

Dopamine is often distracting and can be a barrier for some people to achieve their goals. This is what causes certain wellness behaviors to over-repeat, causing people to mindlessly scroll through social media or watch their favorite TV shows.

These unnecessary constraints make it difficult to spend time more productively on work, health goals, home organization, etc. When people actively avoid these distractions, they can free up more time for the things that matter most to them.

In short, a dopaminergic detox is technically not possible, and any evidence of its positive effects is purely anecdotal.

However, by avoiding certain behaviors, such as spending hours scrolling through a smartphone and social media sites, people may be able to achieve greater state of mindfulness, which has its own advantages. Some of these include stress relief, lowering blood pressure, and improving sleep.

For those who struggle with certain addictive behaviors, meditation can be a great way to achieve a state of mindfulness. Check out the 7 types of meditation here.

The misunderstood version of “dopamine detox” is little more than a fad, with no scientific evidence to back it up.

A true “dopamine detox” is impossible because the brain continues to produce dopamine all the time. However, abstaining from activities that result from coercion and impulse can be beneficial for short periods of time.

Since many activities and substances that people turn to can become addictive over time, a little distance from social media, fast food, and mindless TV can have a positive overall impact on the patient. mind and way of life of a person.

Other practices such as meditation can be a much more effective way to achieve a better state of mindfulness, as a “dopamine detox” is not a scientifically proven method and is at best misleading by definition.


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