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crazy
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I'm taking an SSRI (paroxetine) but have been thinking about adding a dopaminergic (eg Wellbutrin) for more drive and energy, but was wondering if exercise would work just as well. Does anyone have any experience comparing the two? Or know more about the mechanisms involved?

I've just recently gotten into aerobic exercise (currently at about 5-10min in aerobic regime), and the days that I do it I do tend to have more drive, energy and focus for getting things done, which is great. :D As I understand it, exercising at that level causes release of endorphins (and maybe other things), and that triggers the release of dopamine, and exercise also increases the number of dopamine receptors.

Also found this googling around -
A new study indicates that you can protect yourself from getting Parkinson's disease [caused by loss of dopamine-producing neurons] if you exercise regularly and keep yourself fit. An animal study found that with regular exercise, nerve cells that are badly impaired or killed by Parkinson's, stay healthy. we have evidence that indicates it's because exercise stimulates production of key proteins that are important for survival of neurons. Called neurotrophic factors, these proteins protect neurons and promote their survival. According to the researchers' studies, one particular neurotrophic factor, glial cell line-derived neurotropic factor, or GDNF, is increased with exercise by 40 percent. "GDNF, and probably other factors as well, may help offset the cell's vulnerability to the effects of oxidative stress from free radical molecules that are produced by the toxin we use in our rat model,"​

Based on all the good things that exercise is supposed to do for you, I'm inclined to try this out first for a while, before trying another drug. I'm slowly increasing the time in the aerobic regime, and hoping it'll help with this SSRI-induced ADD I've been having.

Also, if exercise increases the number of dopamine receptors, then it seems like it wouldn't have the problem of diminishing in effectiveness over time. Which I guess would be the case with supplements like Tyrosine, and some drugs, since the brain can just reduce the number of receptors to maintain homeostasis (assuming that's the mechanism)?

I'm not against adding another drug, just wanted to try this first, and see if anyone has had any experience comparing the two...
 

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I'm not sure exercise would be enough to reverse drug-induced ADD. Also, the endorphins actually don't help attention much, they just make you want to chillax.
 

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Exercise and Dopamine

You need sustained, regular exercise to hit postive dopamine levels. At least 1/2 hour, preferably 1 hour (don't need to be at high intensity). Walking quickly for 1 hour is probably better than running for 20 mins if you goal is to improve Dopamine availability. My experience is that cycling is ideal: can do it by self, fresh air, sunshine, can "coast" down hills for short breaks, strengthen's joints, is good for balance, non-competitive. Give it a try and see how you feel...

http://www.clairedorotik.com/NLWC-EXERCISE_AND_MOOD.htm
 

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Going to war
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Drugs plus exercises equal more dopamine?
 

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I once tried an amino acid supplement for tyrosine which is one of the precursors to dopamine. It's useless however unless you engage in more natural approaches like regular exercise and overall healthy eating. I am on my feet all day at work but I'm still not 100% satisfied with my aerobic regime. I think you're on the right path if you choose the route of extra exercise, personally though I need to be doing something I enjoy to really get into exercising, otherwise I can't make a regular habit of it.
 

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neither...get plenty solid deep sleep, this is when the body recuperates best, the n worry about exercise and dopamine
 

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Cheesus
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Actually endorphins don't cross the blood brain barrier and only act as muscle relaxants and pain relief. The primary candidate responsible for the relaxed feeling from exercise is Anandamide. This binds to the cannabinoid receptor much like marijuana components except it is more potent. Cardiovascular exercise is particularly good as it improves your cardiovascular system to be more efficient and deliver more blood to the brain.

Next, Andrea Giuffrida and Alexandre Seillier analysed the endocanabinoid levels in the blood samples and found that the concentration of one endocanabinoid - anandamide - rocketed in the blood of the dogs and humans after a brisk run. And when the team tested the human runners' state of mind, they found that they athletes were much happier after the exercise.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120322100307.htm

Exercise helps big time. If done properly you can achieve a state that will leave you feeling much like a good opiate. This completely destroys social anxiety.

I have done weight lifting for years and I never really got the high that running gives me. Running in particular seems to trigger it more as tests done on cyclists show less anandamide. I'm sure that the Zoloft/Remeron im taking may be helping in some way but I'm jogging every day now and increasing my distance slowly each day. Funny thing is even my psychiatrist recommended it as he knows I used to use Marijuana for my depression and he was aware of the studies done.
 
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