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Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?


nano
banano
Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?
Could someone explain again, IN VERY SIMPLE TERMS, why meth only leads to more unhappiness....How the dopamine thing works and why addicts lose their ability to "feel good" even on the drug, eventually? The meth addicts i know can't read and comprehend anything too complicated or long .....they just don't have a long attention span. So can anyone explain simply, what goes on with the brain, when meth is introduced into our bodies?

There are so many meth addicts in this small town...people in their early 30's who went to school with my kids, and used to spend time in my home as kids....I remember the happy times, when I took these kids swimming, roasted hot dogs and marshmellows with them, played games with them, and saw them enjoying life "before the meth!"

Talking to some of them now, it's obvious to me they really do not understand what meth is actually doing to their brain chemistry, and how the meth is affecting their ability to experience pleasure on a "natural!" They know that without meth they feel extremely depressed and can't stand the way they feel without it....they actually, I think, believe that the meth is HELPING them!!!

My heart is breaking for every one of them.....and their lost potential. I taught many of them in pre-school for years, before I became a nurse.
     Replies...
imlost
inky
 
Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?  
As simple as I can understand it Nano.
The body is not designed to feel good all the time.
Meth releases the feel good every time-
The body can't keep up- but the mind doesn't realize that.
Instead it keeps wanting that feel good all the time.

Nano, our bodies don't function well like that. We are meant to have highs,lows, and in betweens.
No extremes of any kind.

It is heartbreaking - very heart breaking - and No I don't understand after anyone has experienced life clean - the joys that the natural highs do bring once the body recovers- how they can go back to that darkness?
And I see it all the time here as well.

I have been in that addiction so I can see how it happens- but I have also been clean for a lot of years now and I saw what happened with my addiction.
I can not go back to that- Today life just means to much to me, I mean too much to me to ever give it up again.

I can see how it happens once- I can not after clean time. After the brain has cleared, after you see what it is you are really paying for that high - that to me, does not compare even close to what I have now.
Merry
baker
Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?
Interesting . I Really really see this and feel the pain huge with my hubby and our relationship .I think hes to the same point .NOT happy without it !!!! I wonder how much use it takes to cause the brain to react this way ..Ummmmm Then the cycle begins all over again ... Why is it such a cycle ???? I Soooooo Hate this drug .... Its so sad what its done to me and my hubby ...a once perfactly perfact relationship.Oh what to do ???? Calling a new conselor for me TODAY !!!!! HUGs Mary
clean
sober
Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?  
Nanobanano,i was going to ask a question almost like that,it seems the years of abusing meth has taken the ability to have real happyness or pleasure,almost as if something inside me has died,even after being clean for 6yrs,something is still missing. is this what you was talked about?
imlost
inky
Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?  
Clean, you may need meds. If after 6 years it hasn't come back, it may not be able to on it's own.
nano
banano
Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?  
Thanks to those who answered my post......I would like to hear more from those who once thought meth brought them happiness, and then found their ability to feel joy and pleasure on a natural, was lost.... (after experiencing the "chemically induced" happiness).....even after quite some time clean. How long did it take and did your ability to find pleasure in the little things in life, ever come back fully?
Loraura Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?  
Quote:
Could someone explain again, IN VERY SIMPLE TERMS, why meth only leads to more unhappiness....How the dopamine thing works and why addicts lose their ability to "feel good" even on the drug, eventually? The meth addicts i know can't read and comprehend anything too complicated or long .....they just don't have a long attention span. So can anyone explain simply, what goes on with the brain, when meth is introduced into our bodies?
OK, IN a nut shell:

Meth does 2 things --

1) it stimulates dopamine storage bins (called axons) to dump out the dopamine stored there. That dopamine then "parks" on a receptor which makes us feel great.

2) meth also blocks the normal process of recycling the dopamine that gets dumped out.

So lots of dopamine dumps out, and until the body can break down the meth, and no new meth is introduced, the dopamine is not able to be recycled to use again next time.


BUT -- and here's the kicker -- the body has a normal self defense mechanism which will DESTROY excess dopamine that is not recycled.

Normal process of a normie sky diving:
1) jump from plane
2) DOPAMINE DUMPS OUT
3) Dopamine binds to receptors and person feels high, elated, excited, fabulous. Heart is pounding. Feels the RUSH.
4) Sky diving episode ends, brain recycles the dopamine, and user is able to feel that high again later.

Process of a meth user high:
1) Ingest meth
2) DOPAMINE POURS OUT
3) Dopamine binds to receptors and person feels high, elated, excited, fabulous. Heart is pounding. Feels the RUSH.
4) with meth in the brain dopamine can NOT be recycled normally, brain has a field day destroying extra dopamine until the user stops ingesting more meth and the body breaks down the meth they did ingest.

5) User now has significantly less dopamine than before. This means normal things that used to make them feel good, don't. It takes more meth to feel good, and over time it takes increased amounts of meth to feel good. User is tired, depressed, easily aggrivated due to the low dopamine levels in their brains now.

In addition, with long term meth use:

Those receptors that 'catch" the dopamine? Well they get tired of being constantly over-stimulated by meth, and the brain determines that there is too much stimulation going on, so it shuts those receptors down. They can never come back up.
Loraura Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?  
So -- how does the meth user ever replace all that destroyed dopamine?

Dopamine can be made in the body from two things -- Tyrosine or Phenylalanine.

How do you get those into your body?
You eat them in protein (plant and animal proteins, animal proteins are the richest source). Also, some artificial sweetners like Equal contain phenylalanine.

Abstaining from meth and eating sources of Tyrosine or Phenylalanine will SLOWLY (over the course of months, not days or weeks) replenish the dopamine supply in the brain.
Penelope Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?  
Quote:
over the course of months

Not to scare the newcomers or anything, but I can HONESTLY say that, after using meth (And lots of other drugs) for 26 years, it has taken the better part of the last 2 years to get to a point where I may be able to call myself "Back to Normal."

Honestly, I don't believe I am back to normal. I do believe I am as close as I am going to ever be, though - I'll let you know in a year.

It is very apparent to me that I have "Lost" something along the way - mostly what I have lost is a sense of motivation. I also don't feel I am as creative as I once was.

Newcomers - stop using now! Why risk anymore losses?
Sfj
 
Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?  
I didn’t gain anything from addiction, but I sure gained plenty from recovery. You can decide for yourself if that adds up or not.

In many ways, I feel that I’m a bit better than I was before addiction. Working the steps is incredibly beneficial to one’s spiritual state of being. Going through two rehab programs, therapy, and three years of marriage counseling has made my life, and my family relationships, much more loving, caring, understanding, forgiving, compassionate, and worthwhile.

And I could say a lot more on this topic if you are interested.
Penelope
 
Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?  
Quote:
In many ways, I feel that I’m a bit better than I was before addiction.

You know, thanks for mentioning that, Sfj. You are so right.

What I may have lost in the area of motivation and creativity, I have certainly made up for in other areas of my life. Through working the steps I have learned to accept who I am today - even to LOVE who I am today.

If I had never become addicted, I would never know the life I know today, and for that, I am very grteful.

Thanks for reminding me of that, brother!

Freee63 Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?
Just so you can have something to look forward to, Pen; I felt exactly like you at two years. The motivation came back that third year. I used for over twenty years too, so maybe we're on the same schedule. It just keeps getting better.
nano
banano
Re: Happiness equals meth...contradiction in terms, right?
Loraura.....thanks....good posts!

Also thanks to all who replied and shared experiences....

Those of you who did meth.......Did you know even when you were using it that your lows were caused by the meth...even when you were blaming your lows on everything and everyone else? Or did that realization come much later? Was wondering if addicts are really totally blinded to the cause of most of the misery, or just pretending to be, to justify their continuing use to others.

See also:

Stages / Patterns of Methamphetamine Abuse

What caused you to stop using Meth?


Back to Crystal Meth & Methamphetamine Questions, Answers & Advice


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