Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dopamine: treatment for sociopathy?

I think my brain produces unusually high amounts of dopamine -- and I think I've recently learned how to trigger my brain into producing more, sort of like mental masturbation. Apparently some women can think themselves to orgasm -- imagine thinking your way to mental ecstasy.

As I've mentioned before, I experience supersensitivity, and it is quite easy for me to achieve ecstasy based on external stimulus, particularly while experiencing rich food, beautiful music or imagery. Sometimes people think I am on drugs, but it's all me. Recently, perhaps due to some lifestyle changes, it has been especially easy for me to achieve ecstasy with relatively little prompting. It was happening so frequently that I started experimenting. First I tried to simply prolong and increase the intensity of the ecstasy when it came. After I got better at doing that, I successfully tried inducing it myself. I found that it was easiest to achieve ecstasy by focusing on an external stimulus as before, like music, food, or sunlight. After a while I was able to do it by focusing on a single sound or visual image and just trip on it. Now I can do it pretty much just by concentrating.

Perhaps this ability is just one more side benefit of the large degree of control I have over my mind and emotions. Or maybe there is a stronger link. Autism has also been linked with excessive amounts of dopamine in the brain, and is specifically associated with the autistic's stereotypical behavior. Physicians have achieved modest success in minimizing these behaviors by giving patients dopamine inhibitors. If sociopathy is on the autism spectrum, along with with asperger syndrome, then sociopaths may also have elevated amounts of dopamine, but not high enough to hamper social functioning.

Excessive amounts of dopamine seem to adversely affect behavior on the autism spectrum, but so do insufficient amounts. Sociopaths with lower levels of dopamine would presumably be lower functioning than those with higher levels of dopamine, because higher levels of dopamine would allow the sociopath's need for excitement and stimulation to be fulfilled by lower risk behavior, whereas sociopaths with less dopamine have to engage in riskier, more antisocial behavior to get the same high. At least one study has confirmed this intuition, that "low levels of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) are associated with undersocialized conduct disorder and psychopathy whereas high levels of the enzyme were associated with socialized conduct disorder and secondary sociopathy." If individuals with autism are able to improve symptoms by decreasing dopamine levels, maybe criminal sociopaths could be treated by increasing dopamine levels.

56 comments:

  1. What an increasing concept.

    However, it seems to me that eventually the sociopath would become unstable due to needing more and more DBH as the time goes by.

    Reality is a bitch.

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  2. I could just see it now... Free Speed for Sociopaths down at the Clinic!

    I do see the reasoning here, but that's a hugely unstable concept.

    -Morpheus

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  3. Sure, give criminal sociopaths amphetamines, I'm sure that would work. Forget it buddy, not everything is black and white.

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  4. You were really just talking out of your ass in this article.

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    Replies
    1. How true.....The sociopaths aren't to blame for
      anything because they believe they were born with this
      disorder. Bullshit people CHOOSE to be a sociopath.
      They just LOVE to con others.

      Delete
    2. Sociopaths are not autistic.

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    3. Choose to be sociopaths? Your obviously an imbecile. If you do some research at all you will find that sociopaths actually anatomical differences in their brain.
      Sociopaths are not autistic? Who are you to make that call? There have been multiple link found imbetween the two disorders. Your all extremely ignorant people who should not be allowed to procreate.

      Delete
    4. As a mother of a kid on the autistic spectrum who now sees her son's behavior as a manifestation of sociopathy I applaud this blogger for being the first person I have witnessed putting the two together. I am new here but must contribute my 2 cents to Anonymous. "Choose" to be sociopaths? Yes it is very easy to make that assumption. My son even claims that he can behave "better" but just doesn't. What is choice? We all choose. An alcoholic or compulsive over eater CHOOSES to consume what is ruining their life. Does that imply they have control over this "choice"? This is an extremely dark grey area, one that I would venture to say that you offer no illumination for. So take your judgemental attitude and put it in an even darker area - one where the Sun never shines.

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    5. I lived the majority of my life with behavior and lack of emotion as described for a sociopath. One day I was given methamphetamine, I said why not... and something happened.... I felt things.... happiness and a mixed bag of positive emotions I never experienced EVER IN MY LIFE. Over time with continued use (not abuse) I felt compassion and remorse and even empathy for the first time ever in my life.... So there is actually something to the idea about amphetamines helping sociopaths, because I was definitely a sociopath.... but I am being rehabilitated.

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    6. Who are you to criticize this article? What academic credentials do you possess? Please do share.

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  5. The Dopamine is interesting. Nose is clear.

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  6. On the Ball SociopathMarch 11, 2012 at 4:56 AM

    They just want to get us all in one place, so they can drop a bomb.

    Don't fall for it !

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  7. With the neurotransmitters, which came first the chicken or the egg?

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. People who get so excited about neurological explanations of personality seem to forget that question.

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    2. Well, the neurotransmitters can change but stress can do that too I would think.

      Delete
  8. Michael Martin PlunkettMarch 11, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    sometimes people think im on drugs and u know what some times people are right haha

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    Replies
    1. what are your drugs of choice MMP?

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    2. Michael Martin PlunkettMarch 11, 2012 at 8:09 AM

      i dont do drugs but when i do i take what ever is available

      Delete
    3. Have you ever done psychedelic drugs? I'd like to hear from someone who has... What was your experience? I've only done weed, but I'm curious about the psychedelic stuff

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    4. Ive taken LSD numerous times. I wouldnt do it now if you paid me, but I am thankful for having done it. Most trips have been average trips (strange visuals, some mood swings, frolicking like a child) except one. One trip was a mega paranoid trip where I went into full on psychosis. That sucked ass. My friends got in the (parked) car with me to try to talk me down and instead, I pulled them into my delusion.

      Delete
    5. Thanks, Sarah. Yeah, I guess that's why I'm hesitating with LSD and similar stuff, I'm kind of expecting that major bad trip, although I'm still curious. Was your paranoid/psychotic episode the last time you took it and do you think it had a permanent effect on you?

      I'm not doing almost any drugs at the moment, weed was quite relaxing for my running brain but I found it was also slowing me down considerably, so not worth it in the end.

      Delete
    6. I am so neurotic that if I took LSD I can only imagine my trip.

      Delete
    7. Michael Martin PlunkettMarch 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      only the mushrooms man and that wasnt so hot in my opinion not much different from the pot actually milder

      at 1 point my mate had some lsd on him but he refused to give it to me he said i cant just take it and go he said i need to reserve the 24 hours for it respect the trip

      Delete
    8. Yeah, I never got any love from magic mushrooms. Either I'm way too guarded or I didn't do them enough.

      I like the idea of respecting the trip and reserving 24 hours for it though. I hope I remember that if I do get onto the psychedelics.

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    9. Comparing Mushrooms and Marijuana are like comparing Apples to a nice juicy steak. I've tripped a few times on mushrooms.Also I smoke cannabis regularly. Being high and tripping are completely different. Sorry Michael, But I think you're getting ripped off on your shrooms.

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    10. I prefer to do drugs by myself. Being in an altered state around other people makes me very uncomfortable. Others are unpredictable and I don't trust them to know what's best for me (mostly because I have given people chances and it has usually ended with me vomiting for hours). My experience with mushrooms resulted in a lack of a high. I am sensitive to Marijuana. I buy the best and barely have to smoke any of it to get a solid, comfortable high. I took LSD once. I was alone in my room and had a wonderful time. I stared at myself in the mirror for hours and couldn't stop falling in love with my reflection. I will admit to attempting to make out with myself. If I had been with another person that night, I am positive that I would have had a bad trip. I have also taken MDMA on 7 different occasions in an attempt to feel something similar to empathy. It didn't seem to work that way for me but sex was amazing. After all my drug experimentation I have figured out that if I take a drug alone, allow myself to come all the way up to the high, and get in a comfortable mental state, I can then enjoy tripping dick around other people. I just need to be by myself to start. Be careful with Salvia, if you are more comfortable alone, make sure there is no one home and that you wont be expecting anyone for at least an hour. I ended up hallucinating so bad that I accepted that there wasn't a reality and that I should stop fighting and curl up and die in a spinning kaleidoscope of color. Then I came down and my clothes became hot and scratchy.

      Delete
    11. Those last two sentences sound like my life.

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  9. This post sounds like me hypomanic. It's a glorious state.

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    Replies
    1. Are you bipolar then? What is it like to be in a hypomanic state?

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    2. Everything around you is heightened awareness. It's as if someone has let you into the world for the first time. Your taste for everything increases. Everything feels like it is a compliment to your existence. For me, after a bout with depression, it can really feel like my feet are above ground.

      Delete
    3. It sounds like a very creative state. I wonder if some of the more prominent/prolific creative people that we know about didn't have that as a permanent character trait...

      Since you mention that it alternates with depression for you, do you find that its benefits can make your depressive bouts worthwhile and help carry you through them in a relatively functional state or is it plain blackness when hypomania is gone?

      Delete
    4. I don't have complete long, black depressions anymore. I am medicated. My mixed states are better when I can be creative. It is a bit hard for me to respond to this. I don't think I know myself and this subject well enough, and every episode is different. But I am glad you asked. Maybe now I will make creativity another coping tool :)

      Delete
  10. I'm back everyone with a new post. I had broken my arm in a masturbating contest.

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  11. drugs are bad m'kay

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  12. i used to get suspected of using drugs in highschool lol when they made me the defendly forgot my off switch.

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  13. retaline relatine is the shizle

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  14. Sociopaths top priority is to WIN and CON. This article
    is a CON!!!!

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    Replies
    1. that's like saying an empath's top priority is to empathize and feel for you.

      Delete
    2. when it's actually more like a reflex, or instinct.

      Delete
  15. Reading the beginning of the article , i immediately thought "wait, that guy isn't a sociopath , he's autistic !" I'm autistic and immediately recognized the "high on beauty " you speak of. then you mentioned autism . I don't think sociopathy is on the autism spectrum . I think, if humanity has an empathy spectrum , it goes like this : autism (very high emotional empathy , very low cognitive empathy ) perfect neurotypicals( balanced blandness ) and sociopath on the other end (very high cognitive empathy , very low emotional empathy )
    If we do share excessive dopamine production, it might be from brain activity . neurotypicals, relying on pure instinct and never using their brains, might produce less, as a consequence , not as a "cause" for a condition or lackthereof.

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    Replies
    1. Addition to my comment above : autistics may have low cognitive empathy , but it is what they spend their whole life training and developing , while trying to numb their emotional responses, so as to avoid emotional overload leading to meltdowns , which they hate (in a literal sense). Constant training and forcing your thoughts in the direction of "what others are thinking and how they might react to whatever I'll do" , not to manipulate them per se, simply to avoid being hated and abused , might activate the same neo cortex zones you guys use, making our dopamine production to increase . This is just a silly theory obviously , I have no study to back it up.

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    2. With some exceptions, most Aspergian individuals don't have a low cognitive power, which is not fully related to emotional empathy.

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  16. No, cognitive empathy, not "cognitive power"....the ability to guess what others are thinking .Obviously we have high cognitive "power"...duh.

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  17. Great article, I'll be sure to share this. Autism is something that everybody should be aware of. Thank you very much.

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  18. Actually I agree with this because I am on adderall and for the longest time i thought I had ADHD, then found studies of aspergers syndrome and thought hey that kinda sounds like me except for the high empathy levels. So I had a hypothesis. Since I remembered not taking adderall and having a social life, but with taking adderall I do not, went off it for about three weeks. wrote down some notes of my increased social interaction and charm and willing to manipulate to my means, went back on adderall, became well focused without the bursting of crimes, but became really paranoid. kind of developed a sense of fear. So there is my input and facts about that. you can say it helps sociopaths, but makes them paranoid as shit.

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  19. I remember when a "less trippy" form of psychedelic was first introduced. The undervalued research that Timothy Leary and others did in LSD therapy was stymied when the government made LSD illegal.
    MDMA was constructed to give the taker all of the positive elements of an acid trip without all the hallucinations and desire to throw one's self out of windows. It was called "the Empathy Drug". Sadly, a lot of shallow Hipsters found it to be very neato for raves and got it made illegal too.
    Thanks hipsters!
    The very fact that psychedelics can take a person to a place in their brain where they have never been before - and that place is a higher self that experiences empathy would seem to make it an invaluable resource in treating Sociopaths.
    Do you suppose this may be the main reason these things are illegal?
    Why is Marijuana a section 1 drug? Oh yeah, it can calm people with anger issues.
    Kinda seems like the government WANTS people to remain fucked up - don't it?
    Alcohol, the biggest mind fuck out there remains legal.
    Just doesn't make much sense.
    I know that the Banksters look for employees with Asperger syndrome because they are so much better at doing things like foreclosing on people.
    OK better remove my foil hat! Me thinks I see conspiracies!

    BTW I love this blog and all who contribute to it - even if you can't feel it!
    oxoxo

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  20. Every relationship in my life gives me value. Once that person no longer provides value to me, then I move on. I care about people, but only as long as they provide me with something I desire. Every action I have is for a calculated reason. This is all true, most of the time, however not always. I have noticed recently that when I take Adderall(Dopamine enhancing drug) I begin to care for people, and actually do things for them that isn't fully calculated. I feel happy being with others not because of a calculated gain I could get from the interaction, but rather just being with person. I feel sadness, remorse, grief for past events in my life. But this is all temporary with the passing of the drug. I will feel just as empty as before, uncaring, calculative, and incredibly bored. I'm not saying I'm a sociopath, nor am I saying Dopamine has any affect on sociopath, it's just my two cents.

    -Call me bob

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    Replies
    1. I found this blog earlier today while looking for like minded people who are not afraid of being exactly who they are. ☆Thank U☆

      I am a Diagnosed Sociopath...& I agree with "Bob" about the Adderall to a certain degree.
      I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy in 2008, & have been taking Adderall+other crap to continue to drive. However I noticed that it does not affect me as it seems to do the other people around me. It only keeps me awake, alert & very talkative. The only bad side effect is it lasts too freaking long.

      My Vicious cycle....Insomnia & Hypersomnia

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  21. Because dopamine is the main chemical involved in emotion, and particularly, it stimulates empathy in combination with serotonin, one would have to say Psychopaths have low levels of BOTH dopamine and Serotonin. It makes perfect sense. But there are spiritual influences, dietary influences and drug abuse problems that all play a role. Stimulant addicts, meth addicts, tend to have antisocial traits because of the wearout on their adrenals. The psychopaths that have high dopamine, many of them (as opposed to low dopamine psychopaths), tend to be what we call "charismatic sociopaths", have high levels of energy and persuasion, and can ascend to a semi-hitler magnetism easier.

    However dopamine is also placed differently in the brains of psychopaths, it is often VERY low in the amygdala, but Very High in say the mesolimbic and striatum area.
    It is often low in the hypothalamus (except in the case of sexual psychopaths and rapists, where it would be high).

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  22. First of all...dopamine beta hydroxylase is an enzyme that BREAKS DOWN dopamine, it doesn't make it. It converts dopamine into norepinephrine. Having lower levels of DBH would increase dopamine in the brain, not decrease it. Conversely higher levels of DBH would have multiple effects on the brain, including a norepinephrine deficiency and an inability to sit still.

    Here's wikipedia but you can go to pubmed for more in depth information.

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    Replies
    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine_beta_hydroxylase_deficiency

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  23. This sounds a bit like hypomania. Ecstacy, beauty, getting high on color and drunk on sound- I feel ya. I'm well acquainted with it, and maybe a little bit addicted. Perhaps I'll take a cue from you and learn to induce it myself.

    ReplyDelete

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