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Re: Dopamine levels.

Posted by: pip <>
Date: Monday, 6 April 1998, at 10:46 a.m.

In Response To: Dopamine levels. (Jordan Powell)

> Hello:

> I just read the latest of Sharon's sessions
> and in it I found an interesting point about a natural
> chemical in the brain called "dopamine".

> My question, perhaps to the author, or perhaps
> to "Dr. Balis," would be: is what is said
> in this session about dopamine accurate? Is there
> really only a set amount of dopamine in a person
> that, once depleted, renders a person incapable
> of experiencing pleasure?

This is something that we added to Sharon's session because of a documentary that we saw on PBS, "Close to Home." Dr. George Koob is the one who made the very interesting analogy about a bank account becoming depleted of dopamine through a binge of cocaine use.

Because of the vagaries of shifting web pages, we've taken the liberty of "repurposing" the article on PBS' web site which dealt with this, together with the three related interviews by Bill Moyers on Addiction. Dr. Koob's interview is included. The link is at the end of this message, or the URL is

We thought this was fascinating and it seemed reasonable to us that Dr. Balis would try to "frighten" Sharon away from recreational drug use by using the latest information about addiction. His notes reflect a bit of his concern about possibly overstating the case.

> I find this curious. It makes me wonder if
> someone who is optimistic and happy 24 hours a day
> has a little too much dopamine in their diet, and
> that they'll eventually crash and burn into an immense
> abyss of depression and dismay.

That's an interesting supposition. The interviews seem to be referring to spikes of dopamine causing a depletion in the immediate future. A constant high level might be sustainable.

> Does anyone have real facts about this chemical
> or can the author name the source of this study?

> Thanks!

> Jordan

> PS ---As for the session itself, I particularly
> found the chef analogy to be fascinating and...dead
> on.

Isn't it though? Happy and fat or thin and dour.

Christopher & Olga Werby

PBS Article on Addiction (Repurposed)

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