Dopamine is neurotransmitter which has an important function in behavior linked to motivation but also feeling rewarded. A level of dopamine can be increased by certain ingredients, psychoactive substances, or during sexual activities. Dopamine has significance in controlling the motor control in a way that it triggers the release of various hormones.
Dopamine inhibits norepinephrine release and the effect is widening of blood vessels. Dopamine has a function in excreting sodium, in reducing the levels of insulin, in protecting gastrointestinal tract, in improving immune function. High levels of dopamine can make dysfunction in different organ systems.
High Dopamine Level Symptoms
Every person has a unique composite of neurotransmitters. If a person has some symptoms that can be caused by a certain amount of specific neurotransmitter, it is important to state that it is hard to be completely precise, without the diagnostic procedure, which neurotransmitter has lower and which has a higher level in the body. A person could have a subjective feeling of anxiety which can be triggered with a high level of norepinephrine but also from high dopamine level.
There are several indicators that can have influence in the way of manifestation of a high level of dopamine: brain structure, neurobiology of person and genetic information. For example, two individuals can have the same dopamine levels, but the manifestation of that high dopamine levels can be differently expressed in both of these people.
List of Symptoms Associated with High Dopamine Levels
Persons with high levels of dopamine can have a subjective experience of restless and overstimulation. For example, a person can have a problem to sit in one place for a longer time, because he/she can feel internally nervous.
One of the effects of high dopamine level can be anxiety. Higher anxiety level can be a result of dopaminergic receptor function problem and it can be a result of elevations of dopamine in certain parts of the brain. This is why some persons suffering from anxiety can feel a higher level of anxiety when they are treated with dopamine reuptake inhibitors (DRIs).
Amphetamines have an influence on cognition in the way that person can have an improved mental performance and cognition rapidity. High levels of dopamine can have an effect in improving cognitive functions such as being better at concertation, thus having better memory, being better at problem-solving situations and also faster learning.
Feeling of Pleasure and Hedonism
Persons with a higher level of dopamine can have a subjective feeling of satisfaction in activities, compared to persons with normal dopamine level.
Persons with high levels of dopamine can have the feeling of high energy and feel aroused and happy.
High dopamine level is also linked with having sexual desire and a higher feeling of pleasure during sexual activity. Psychoactive substance MDMA is stimulants for nervous system and one of an effect of consumption MDMA could be an increased desire and feeling of pleasure when being intimate.
A person can become hyperactive when the level of dopamine is high. For example, some persons with this condition can’t sit still at one place more than a few minutes.
High level of dopamine could have an effect on sleeping habit, a person can have difficulties to sleep at night. Fatigue and also chronic feeling of tiredness can be related to the low level of dopamine.
High dopamine in the brain can improve an ability of a person for learning new materials. One with low dopamine level can have a lack of motivation.
High levels of dopamine can be one of the factors which outcomes can be a manic and hypomanic state. Mania is a psychiatric condition which can be expressed via the feeling of happiness, lack of sleep, impulsive behavior, hyperactive social behavior, talkativeness, etc.
A patient who was diagnosed with paranoia can have a higher level of dopamine in the brain, as well. Medicaments which decreases dopamine level can have mitigated the effect on the paranoia condition. Also, persons who don’t have psychiatric diagnosis could have an experience of paranoia if they use psychoactive substances (medications or drugs) which increase a level of dopamine in the brain.
The dopaminergic reward can be expressed in the desire for a completion of the work. People who do have increased level of dopamine can be more productive than with lower levels of dopamine in every day. A person who doesn’t have a motivation and doesn’t have productivity in accomplishing of tasks in everyday life may have the lack of dopamine levels in the brain.
Dopamine can be increased as an effect of the stimulation which can have a direct effect on dopamine secretion. If a person has long-term high dopamine levels, it can seek something that is a reward for him/her.
High level of dopamine can be related with the high level of stress. In this situation, the dopamine which is being released is a stress hormone and it is being released via the sympathetic nervous system and its function is to detect the ”danger”. Dopamine can initiate the secretion of the adrenaline at the same time, and the person will feel the alertness and no pain or stress at the time.
It can be interesting that low dopamine levels can have similar effects such as an anxiety, although, there is a difference in subjective feeling.
Adverse Reactions of High Dopamine
Adverse reactions of a high dopamine level can be caused by different effects and actions; usage of medications, psychoactive substances, imbalance of dopaminergic path.
Aggression. High level of dopamine can be manifested in aggressive behavior.
Bizarre Posturing. One of the effects of high dopamine levels in the motor part of the brain can be bizarre posturing. A person could have difficulties to sit still or can get into uncomfortable positions of a body.
Burning Tongue. Burning tongue can be an indicator of dysfunctional dopamine processing inside the brain.
Depression. Some variations of depression can have a high level of dopamine. This type of depression can manifest in aggressive behavior, increased sex drive, higher level or energy and depression.
Delusions. When a level of dopamine in the brain is high, a person can have false beliefs about himself/herself or others or false perception.
Hallucinations. In the human brain, dopamine level can be very high and then brain can’t process regularly. In that condition of the nervous system, a person can have hallucinations.
Hiccups. Hiccups are the symptom that can be associated with high dopamine level in the brain system.
Muscle twitching. They are the presentation of the accumulation of the dopamine inside the motor circuitry of the brain. It can be expressed with tremor, shaking, muscle twitches and involuntary movements.
Nausea. A person can have nausea when a level of dopamine is high.
Salivation. Excess salivation is a symptom that can be caused by high dopamine level. In patients with Parkinson’s disease, high dopamine level can cause salivation excretion.
Suspicious Thinking. High dopamine can be associated with the conditions of paranoia and delusion.
Vomiting. High level of dopamine can have an effect on a person in the way that person can be physically ill. Vomiting can be one of manifestation of the bad physical condition.
How to Decrease High Dopamine Level?
Dopamine level can be reduced in many ways. Individuals who don’t have a mental health problem can start by decreasing the stimuli which trigger the dopamine release and increase serotonin production. For those who have a diagnosis of a mental health, antipsychotics are one way of dealing with the high dopamine levels and the action of reducing the level.
Antipsychotics are considered psychiatric medication. Usage of antipsychotics is in treating psychosis. Also, this group of medicines can be used in treating bipolar disorder and some types of major depression. As any psychiatric medication, antipsychotics can have some side effects, so their use must be done with doctor supervision, responsively and with relevant medicinal reason.
Food helps in increasing serotonin level, for example like carbohydrates. That can be helpful in making the counterbalance for high dopamine. Caffeine and L-Tyrosine (which is a dopamine precursor) are substances that should be avoided. Coffee, tea, and energized drinks contain caffeine. Dark chocolate, oatmeal, cheese, duck, and chicken contains L-Tyrosine.
Several Psychiatric Diagnosis Is Associated With High Level Of Dopamine
In Bipolar disorder, a high activity of dopamine receptors can be responsible for the switch from a depressive stage of disease to hypomanic and manic phase. For that reason, antipsychotic medications can be helpful in reducing manic phase of bipolar disorder.
Dopamine level can be increased if a person consumes psychostimulants, for example, cocaine. The level of dopamine can be low if a person takes amphetamines. Dopamine level can be very low, especially if a person develops the tolerance to a drug. If a person withdrawals from the drugs, after some quite of time, dopamine level can be on normal level- baseline level.
Psychosis can be a result of a drug abuse and also mental illness. The main characteristic of psychosis is that person lose the feeling of reality. Some symptom of psychosis is associated with high domain level and hyperactive dopaminergic function. Psychosis can be treated with some kinds of antipsychotics.
High level of dopamine level can be associated with some types of schizophrenia. A person with a diagnosis of schizophrenia as a medication prescribed by a psychiatrist can have therapy with antipsychotic medications.
If you’ve had some of the symptoms related with high dopamine level and/or you want to share your story in the comment section below, please do. See if any other individual has experienced similar or different symptoms as opposed to yours.