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Why block dopamine and serotonin?


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#1    Ashley-Star*Child

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 08:40 AM

Dopamine is a good chemical so why do medications for mental illness and depression block dopamine? Doesn't dopamine and serotonin make you happy? It just seems counter productive


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#2    nonsonoio

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:03 AM

I think blocking dopamine is an effort to curb the manic phase of bipolar disorder.  Though the manic phase sometimes gives us bipolar patients a rush beyond anything else, it can be as disruptive to a person's life and mind as the depressive part, though obviously in a different way.  (Yes, I'm a bipolar 1 patient too.) No, the medication isn't perfect by any means, but when/if you find the right one(s) you can certainly benefit from it without too much noticeable disruption to your state of mind and sense of well-being.  Or at least that's how it's worked for me.

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#3    Ashley-Star*Child

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:54 AM

Well I've been on anti-depressants for 4 years now on and off, I've stopped most of them, but the dopamine blocking causes weight gain (and I was a size 000 at the time which is why I was put on it because of anorexia related depression). I've stopped them again because they also just block my memory, and thought processes. I honestly can't see any good in them


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#4    Ashley-Star*Child

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 05:24 PM

Also, Dopamine blocking medications actually cause depression


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#5    Virtual Particle

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 05:54 PM

Many see and understand medication as something meant to heal. Like an asprin or an anti-biotic. But there is another group of medications which are given? Because it is better than doing nothing at all. Most psychotropics fall into this category.

Case in point: While working in a county psych facility in Miami? Our slowest day was Christmas. It was the biggest day for the morgue as? Instead of seeking help many people committed suicide.  :(

There are usually many side effects to these group of medications. But in relation to the effects  of clinical depression left unchecked?

Staying alive is the priority and if your feelings take you in that direction?

Please take your medication. :yes:

Any thoughts?

Edited by Triad, 11 April 2010 - 05:54 PM.

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#6    Ashley-Star*Child

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 01:31 AM

Well I don't have depression anymore so I don't need to take them


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#7    Virtual Particle

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 01:43 AM

View PostAshley-Star*Child, on 12 April 2010 - 01:31 AM, said:

Well I don't have depression anymore so I don't need to take them

Long term use of most psychotropics can result side effects who's effect can be permanent. But lets be clear here your life is more important than a feeling. I have a niece your age and I cherish every moment we have together. So again, please understand? If you are feeling like hurting yourself? Take the medication.  Happy birthday by the way.

Any thoughts?

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#8    Copasetic

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 02:00 PM

View PostAshley-Star*Child, on 11 April 2010 - 08:40 AM, said:

Dopamine is a good chemical so why do medications for mental illness and depression block dopamine? Doesn't dopamine and serotonin make you happy? It just seems counter productive


Hey Ashley,

That's a good question.  I think the problem is we think in absolutes about this kind of stuff, ie; Dopamine is good or Dopamine is bad. The reality is too much or too little can be "bad" for one's mental state. I'd highly advise the best person to ask these questions to is your health care provider. They are there for your health and you should feel comfortable sitting down and discussing how and why you are on certain medications.

View PostAshley-Star*Child, on 11 April 2010 - 09:54 AM, said:

Well I've been on anti-depressants for 4 years now on and off, I've stopped most of them, but the dopamine blocking causes weight gain (and I was a size 000 at the time which is why I was put on it because of anorexia related depression). I've stopped them again because they also just block my memory, and thought processes. I honestly can't see any good in them


If it's not too personal and you don't mind my asking, do you have BPD (border line personality disorder) as well?

Often when people present clinically with an eating disorder they are only 'treated' for the eating disorder and not the underlying causes. My sister battled for a long time with BPD and self-injury and eating disorders (as an extension of self-punishment/injury). She found lots of help in dialectical behavior therapy, which focuses on coping mechanisms that most BPD people lack.

There has been a 'stigmata' associated with diagnosing people as BPD as it was long seen (incorrectly) as something very hard to treat clinically.

If you want some more resources or some good contacts let me know and I can PM them to you.


#9    Black Hound

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 07:13 PM

Folks, just take your meds and be happy. The Physician's Desk Reference, listing all the meds on the market, not to mention the DSM..which ever number they are up to. I lost mine, will show in print that the chemical in any med. does certain things, the down side is how does it do it.Take Lithim for instance, a good bi-polar drug, you find in the PDR that says it does x,y, and z when administered but don't look for HOW it does it because you won't find it.I caution my pts., as well as do other M.D. not to play physician and start looking into what drug does what and why. If you could do that, you could treat yourself and anybody else that has any type of "mental illlness". :)


#10    Bunny Munro

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 04:30 PM

No one has actually answered the OP's question, I too have often wondered what the therapeutic benefit of blocking serotonin is. Clearly there must be a physiological reason as to why this may be beneficial if so many Doctor's prescribe these treatments, but I've never actually heard a simplified explanation of why this is.

Grant me this at least, man differs more from man than man from beast....


#11    shrewgoddess

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 05:41 PM

View PostBunny Munro, on 15 April 2010 - 04:30 PM, said:

No one has actually answered the OP's question, I too have often wondered what the therapeutic benefit of blocking serotonin is. Clearly there must be a physiological reason as to why this may be beneficial if so many Doctor's prescribe these treatments, but I've never actually heard a simplified explanation of why this is.

You probably haven't heard a simplified explanation because most likely there isn't a simple one.  Dopamine blockers are not used on depressed patients.  They are an anti-psychotic and used in bi-polar treatment.  MAOIs actually prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters like Serotonin and so increase the amount in the body slightly.  SSRIs are relatively new, and don't actually block production.  They block the reuptake which means the serotonin actually has more time to do its thing in your body before it is reabsorbed as it's supposed to.  It is my undestanding that Dopamine blockers work the same way - they don't actually block production, but reuptake.

The truth is, doctors don't know a lot about depression or other mental disorders with physiological causes.  And, in cases of deeply suicidal or dangerous people, I would think the immediate importance should be placed on giving some respite from the symptoms so that the patient can live a relatively normal life.  So, if something works, it works.  There are still studies and, hopefully, as more is learned doctors will be able to pinpoint with greater accuracy which drug will work in which situation.  Until then, it's vital that if you need help that you get it.


#12    Black Hound

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:48 PM

Still haven't seen an understanding of the drugs, what they do it, or how they do what they do. Interesting topic but I know a few medical/drug specialists that I passed this on to and their responses ran from "what the **** is this? to out right laughter. They couldn't figure it out. :wacko:


#13    WoIverine

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:51 PM

View PostAshley-Star*Child, on 11 April 2010 - 08:40 AM, said:

Dopamine is a good chemical so why do medications for mental illness and depression block dopamine? Doesn't dopamine and serotonin make you happy? It just seems counter productive

SSRIs (drugs for depression, etc.) increase the extracellular level of the neurotransmitter serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake into the presynaptic cell, increasing the level of serotonin available to bind to the postsynaptic receptor. They have varying degrees of selectivity for the other monoamine transporters, with pure SSRIs having only weak affinity for the noradrenaline and dopamine transporter. Many classes of amphetamines like Adderall, and Ritalin are also prescribed (in limited doses) to enhance the SSRI effect, since they also release dopamine.

Edited by SpiderCyde, 16 April 2010 - 01:54 PM.


#14    pallidin

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:26 PM

View PostSpiderCyde, on 16 April 2010 - 01:51 PM, said:

SSRIs (drugs for depression, etc.) increase the extracellular level of the neurotransmitter serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake into the presynaptic cell, increasing the level of serotonin available to bind to the postsynaptic receptor. They have varying degrees of selectivity for the other monoamine transporters, with pure SSRIs having only weak affinity for the noradrenaline and dopamine transporter. Many classes of amphetamines like Adderall, and Ritalin are also prescribed (in limited doses) to enhance the SSRI effect, since they also release dopamine.

I think you brought-up a good point that is likely VERY misunderstood.
The blocking of serotonin(with SSRI's) is not in it's production, rather it's reuptake(in this case)

So, though one might think that serotinin is blocked from use, that is not true. It is actually made more available by blocking the reuptake phase.

Drugs such as cocaine work by stimulating production. However, if one has a problem with reuptake, stimulating production is not the answer, rather, control of the reuptake is.

Did I get this right, Spider?

Edited by pallidin, 17 April 2010 - 07:31 PM.


#15    Fluffybunny

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:57 PM

Keep in mind that in the case of SSRI's(Selective Serotonin Re-uptake inhibitor), the drugs goal is to stop the Serotonin from being pulled back up into the axon before it can cross the synapse and make it to the neighboring receptor; the longer the Serotonin is floating around, the great change it has to make it to its target and spread correct levels of Serotonin on down the line. without the meds, serotonin gets pulled back up into the axon before it gets a chance to make it to where it needs to go.

Here is a image to describe what is going on:
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Hope it helps.

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