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GregW 10-05-2019 06:02 AM

How do the "go getters" of this world apparently maintain elevated dopamine effects?
This is probably a gross oversimplification of brain activity, but lately I have been wondering how and why so-called "go-getters", the habitually energetic and motivated people who rise to become the leaders and innovators of the business, science, and other worlds, manage to maintain their controlled hypomanic-like brain function. Such people display behaviour that is normally associated with a sustained (lifelong) elevation in brain dopamine function and yet their brains never seem to hit any tolerance wall, as would happen if us unluckier ones tried to push our dopamine function higher than baseline every day. Their D1-D5 receptors never seem to become downregulated, nor their dopamine reserved depleted. I know it's about more than just dopamine but the same should apply to whatever other neurotransmitters, receptors, and brain areas are at work in their lives. Some would say it's their positive outlook that is responsible for their successes but as someone who is habitually low in energy and motivation I can tell you that "positive thinking" only takes you so far.

Any ideas?? I'd love to engage in some "controlled lifelong hypomania" if such a thing were possible but almost every story of people trying to hack their minds for greater productivity contains details of apparent receptor downregulation.

AgapeOverEros 10-09-2019 05:21 PM

I completely agree with this. Everytime I ever experienced hypomania, I turned into the person that I thought I always should be, outgoing, productive, confident and sociable. Sadly, I always built a tolerance to whatever drugs induced that hypomanic state and I too, wish that I could maintain long term hypomania. People used to say that taking memantine along with a stimulant such as adderall would help prevent/reverse tolerance to the dopaminergic effects of the stimulant for long lasting benefits. Some reported success in preventing tolerance, while for others it did not work. It would be worth looking into this and giving it a shot if tolerance has been an issue.

nb89 10-10-2019 11:50 PM

Couldn't Wellbutrin and a SSRI combo give you long lasting hypomania? Wellbutrin boosts dopamine, although I have no idea if it causes long term tolerance like Ritalin or other ADHD drugs. Wellbutrin is supposed to be milder than some of the other ADHD medicines and should last a lot longer. Nardil or Parnate work on dopamine long term as well.

RelinquishedHell 10-11-2019 10:24 PM


funnynihilist 10-11-2019 11:32 PM


Originally Posted by RelinquishedHell (Post 1093817911)

Or if they are poor, meth

SplendidBob 10-12-2019 01:14 AM

Well, don't know the mechanisms in the brain, but if its the normal homeostatic resting point of that brains default, then it wouldn't run out. It's kinda like with body weight, and one person has a lower default homeostatic bodyfat level, to the person with a higher one, they will be thinking "but how do they manage the constant hunger associated with being thin?". The answer is they don't, their body naturally operates at that range.

With the vast variation in biology in people, expect variation in brains, and variation in behaviours.

Other alternative explanations would be that they don't have those variations, they just force themselves to operate in that way. Or both.

I have recently had to operate behaviourally over the last few months in a different way entirely to how my biology is screaming at me (if you are dumped, love that person, have an anxious attachment style, feel the breaup was avoidable, that the relationship could have been amazing and saw them as a lifelong partner, that the person wants desperately to be friends, and you are desperately lonely and friendless, and that they live 5 minutes drive from you... voluntarily going no contact is basically excruciating, it feels like death. But I did it, because it serves my interests to do so.) It has therefore occured to me that people who achieve more, or are more outgoing, or whatever, may in large part simply be forcing themselves. That this capacity to force is somewhat biological isn't in doubt.. but it's worth considering.

Any studies that show elevated dopamine, or whatever, aren't actually showing a causal relationship, they are correlating that kind of behaviour with those biologies. That doesn't necessitate the brain is set like that.

It's probably more the former, though ;).

truant 10-12-2019 01:53 AM

There are differences in the number of receptors, the sensitivity of those receptors, etc., between different people. Taking a pill doesn't duplicate another person's neurobiology; it just alters your own. Also, their behaviors are about much more than dopamine. There are all kinds of neurotransmitters and hormones involved, interacting in complex ways. And every one of those is also subject to individual variation, both genetic and epigenetic. So your question is closer to "how do smart people manage to be so smart?" Well, because they are.

Above and beyond biological factors, psychological and social factors also play a role. A person's identity is constructed to a large degree out of an individual's interpretations of their own experiences. If a person has developed an identity as a "go-getter", they will behave differently from a person who has not developed that kind of identity. There are probably all kinds of highly dysfunctional people with similar neurobiology who have simply grown up to be different kinds of people. A lot of them are probably criminals. Identity is influenced by biology, but it is not determined by it (cf. twin studies). Whether or not that identity is supported by others in their social milieu is also a factor.

Then, ofc, there are also things like the fact that it is easy to be optimistic when things are going well, which depends to a large degree on things like socioeconomic status, luck, etc. Optimistic people are more likely to take the kinds of risks that are necessary to rise to positions of power. They are also more likely to take the kind of risks that lead to failure. But we don't wonder about the neurobiology of failures, even though it may be essentially the same as those who succeed. (For example, I am, and always have been, an energetic and highly motivated person. I also have very good self-esteem. But my life is a dumpster fire in the path of an oncoming train. I have taken all kinds of risks with my life -- where I choose to focus my energy -- but none of them have resulted in wealth or status.)

forgetmylife 10-12-2019 01:55 AM

I'd imagine most manic episodes are temporary and followed up with depression (so Bipolar). Also people with legit Bipolar are often found to be more creative than average, regardless of their depressive phases.

It's not about working hard, but working smart. Most "go-getters" probably either have a natural born talent (or intelligence) and/or were raised well with (potentially strict) parents who instilled a strong work ethic in their children... I also think that most of those who are extremely successful (billionaires) were either born into wealth or had special connections that gave them the upper-hand.

D'avjo 10-12-2019 07:14 AM


Originally Posted by SplendidBob (Post 1093817999)
and that they live 5 minutes drive from you... .

Mrs Turner from the fruit and veg store ? I thought she was carrying on with Reg, the co-op trolley guy.

Persephone The Dread 10-12-2019 08:27 AM

It's not just having higher energy levels (which many do,) it's also wearing sunglasses having a big ego (because for some reason I stumbled on this video yesterday I think I clicked on it because the photo on the left in the thumbnail interested me):

I didn't realise The Devil Wears Prada was based on her, (makes sense though,) I've only heard that name before because of this song lol..:

If you want to be successful while alive then don't have high schizotypy. You'll be successful after you've died if at all. It's the anhedonia (and similar negative symptoms,) and daydreamyness that holds you back. Unless you're Dalí I suppose. but nobody's Dalí then again nobody's a business leader either so you know. Dalí was successful while he was alive because he wasn't very schizoid and also had narcissistic traits same with people like Marilyn Manson very flamboyant, narcissistic traits, that kind of profile. Vs Lovecraft who is like schizoid/paranoid profile and a different kind of eccentric.

Then as mentioned there's also connections/being born rich that plays into it. Not sure about parenting it seems that the super successful more often than not require rebellion to get there, unless they have everything handed to them. I feel like 'tiger mum' parenting makes you more successful then the average person but not really innovative or a leader.

It's clear that guidance is important though, otherwise you just turn into David Hahn:

Also I think a lot of these people are vaguely autistic, broad autism phenotype I guess. Explains some of the rigidity, social weirdness, and often obsession (special interest,) with whatever they build their career around.

GregW 10-20-2019 05:47 AM

Thanks everyone for your advice.

blue2 10-20-2019 06:04 AM

Roids & coke plus psychopathic tendencies.

GregW 10-25-2019 04:38 AM


Originally Posted by blue2 (Post 1093822675)
Roids & coke plus psychopathic tendencies.

That would certainly do it!

DukeDuck 10-25-2019 08:31 AM

I guess for some people, work itself acts like a drug. I've experienced it too. When you immerse yourself within it, you experience a reward factor and the more you do it, the more of it you feel.

So I think it acts like an addiction for some people. The more work they do, the more reward they feel.

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