No we shouldn't. Yes we should! .. Dopamine
I have a course mate at the university who was addicted to fanta. To put it mildly, she could drink five bottles of fanta in a day even when she had only eaten once. In fact, she regularly wakes up in the middle of the night to get a dose of fanta from the refrigerator.
of course everyone was aware of her addiction to fanta but I was shocked when we were having a general conversation and she mentioned that her dad was diabetic
As a child of a type I diabetic parent, she had a fifty percent chance of acquiring the disease since type I diabetics is genetic. So, I wondered why she was hastening the onset of the disease by consuming large volume of sugar on a daily.
I was even more surprised when she also mentioned that she wa already aware of the fact that she might inherit type I diabetes from her dad. But sadly enough, fanta had been her favorite drink since teenage years and she was finding it difficult to let it go.
This makes one wonder why a person would continue to engage in a habit despite its destructive potentials in the future.
As we all know, an addiction could be very dangerous. In fact some people( religious folks) are of the opinion that it's a spiritual problem. But of course we all know, that its more of psychological.
The small limbic system located at the the middle of the brain is the most primitive area of the brain. It's the basis of all human actions amd achievements, be it love, passion,ambition, motivation, risk taking, bonding or winning. It's that part of the brain that abhors pain and seeks pleasure and by the time it clearly distinguishes pain from pleasure, it continually seeks that pleasure. For instance : the limbic system helps us to interprete ;
" Mother is good, Robber is bad, chocolate sweet, fire not sweet".
This is also the basis for all addiction.
There's a prominent part of the limbic system known as the reward center. The reward center in plane terms could be likened to a electric generator whose main fuel is dopamine , (you could call it a neurotransmitter to be more scientific ).
The reason why a lot of people would choose ice cream over avocado is because ice cream is more "rewarding" (tastier ) than avocado and this is the kind of pleasure your brain wants. And the more exciting the experience, the more there would be an increase in the volume of dopamine which further activates the reward centre and the more you would love to have another experience.
Even if fruits and vegetables are more cheaper and far more beneficial to your body, the individual would still want to choose a chocolate cake over and over again. This is because your brain keeps screaming " give me sugar! ", since it's more exciting to the brain, at the detriment of the rest of the body.
Basically, you are not really craving the junk foods neither are you longing for intimacy with an indecency actress. You are actually craving for continual stimulation of your reward centres even if you don't realise that.
So, even if your rational brain ( cerebral cortex ) keeps screaming :" stop! We are gonna have diabetes. Stop! We are going to have erectile dysfunction, your limbic system which houses the reward center doesn't care at the moment.
In fact it literally runs and dominates the the whole brain despite being smaller than the cerebral cortex. Therefore the the continuous production of dopamine invariably leads to higher stimulation of the brain.
No wonder dopamine is also called " the feel good chemical" and the " I got to have it at all cause " chemical.
This is also the reason why a lot of folks feel terrible after losing a bet, overeating or fapping. Because after the act, the dopamine levels of the brain have returned to the normal levels and the rational part ( cerebral cortex ) is now has the opportunity to operate again.
Hence, dopamine is popularly referred to as the addiction molecule since it could cause alot of structural changes in the brain that forms the basis of various addictions.
It has also been discovered that a continual increase in dopamine level beyond normal over a long time could lead to the underdevelopment and regression of the grey matter in the cerebral cortex. The grey matter is the seat of higher mental functions like wisdom, reasoning, creativity and confidence. That's why for addict, most aspects of his life are stagnated.
A lecturer gave us an instance that: if a person had been laboring under a dangerous addiction for a particular number of year's, then it's most likely that a good portion of his brain did not develop since the time he started the habit, wether five years or fifteen year ago.
Thanks for reading 💖💖