The Pathology of Addiction

so what makes us who we are why though each of us has one heart two lungs one nose two legs why are all so different from each other perhaps it's our chemistry perhaps on a scale the human eyes can't see little molecules exist in various amounts and these molecules in various amounts are what makes each individual just that an individual many factors make us who we are everyone is familiar with the age-old argument of nature versus nurture our personalities are they genetic or manufactured by our environment it's both our genes begin the process by creating the foundation that everything else will build upon imagine tractors tilling the soil and preparing it for growth next our personalities shape the land like growing trees and building houses shape the land so for the first decade of our lives our brain is nurtured into a quaint little neighborhood ready to house our thoughts and grow with the things we learn but then puberty hits and our hormones rage like a hurricane our brains naturally adapt however in some cases mal adapt so what exactly do we mean by mal adapt does nature take a wrong turn somewhere it's not so much that nature goes wrong but rather modifies things for our survival one factor largely responsible for altering our minds and our bodies is stress stress can be very damaging if stress lingers in death it is called chronic inescapable stress chronic stress may come from abuse or low self-esteem so when the body is stressed it starts to produce certain substances that will help balance itself out one of the key substances released is called glucocorticoids they are released from the adrenal glands above the kidneys and directly affect the brain glucocorticoids seem to appear almost immediately in the presence of a stressor they are interesting because they do not linger for long however are potent chemicals and shaping the brain landscape rather than using a tractor to prepare the land it's more like using a jackhammer how these glucocorticoids work in the addiction equation is this it is believed that these glucocorticoids make the nucleus accumbens sensitive to dopamine a nucleus accumbens that is sensitive to dopamine is more likely to release high levels of dopamine easily dopamine is a necessary substance for our survival but like most things must exist in moderation so what is dopamine dopamine is a neurotransmitter found in the reward pathway of the brain that is directly connected to the pleasure centres dopamine is also responsible for driving the primitive survival mechanisms and is particularly important when it comes to motivation and feeling good so dopamine translates our bodily needs into physical action it makes us do things like run and hide if we're scared skip and jump if we're happy or make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or for hungry dopamine also causes us to be alert like at night if we hear a noise and are scared this is one of the primal survival mechanisms that keeps us from being preyed upon now low levels of dopamine can also cause us to be Moody and irritable but dopamine is replenished in the brain while we sleep so when we wake things always look brighter and more cheerful than they did the night before that's why they say to sleep on it so how does dopamine come in to addiction because it is the ever propagating motivator to have us want more and continue wanting more sounds addictive doesn't it and for someone who is an addict they continue to want you want often the desire becomes so strong it can make them do some drastic things why is it though that an addict keeps wanting why is enough never enough that's a good question and brings us to another part of our addiction equation serotonin serotonin job is to put the brakes on dopamine it controls the amount of information the brain processes at a given time it basically tells us when enough is enough it tells us that we are satiated without serotonin to tell us we've had enough to eat to drink or have spent enough money a maladaptive brain would continue in its compulsive manner to crunch the cravings the brain is basically an overdrive and there are no breaks on the car serotonin sounds good where dopamine sounds bad such is not the case however without dopamine to remind us that we're hungry thirsty or scared humans would have never made it into existence dopamine's purpose is for survival so craving can be good the problem happens when our wires get crossed and our maladaptive brains get confused on what to crave here is a good example take mr. blue and mr. red red has a relatively normal brain terrain with the right levels of serotonin and dopamine blue on the other hand is an addict he has a nucleus accumbens hyper sensitive to dopamine and low baseline serotonin levels the two crave an ice-cold beer after work at this point both are craving in exactly the same way the difference we see is after each gets what they want blue with low serotonin never feels satiated so even when he has beer after peer there is not enough serotonin to tell him she has had enough on the other hand red wanted one beer and one beer was not he had enough serotonin to make him feel satiated the conclusion here based on neurological and clinical research is that a brain with a nucleus accumbens hypersensitive to dopamine plus low baseline serotonin levels equals addiction


  1. The cartoon fails to explain why an addict who craves a beer as much as a non-addict drinks knowing it will end in blood sweat and tears.

  2. Actually as time goes on the brain becomes depleted in dopamine which leads to addiction not the other way around.

  3. It's more linked to glutamate causing the addiction rather than dopamine and the paranoia is part of that too as well as norepinephrine.

  4. If you or a loved one is struggling please call for guidance 1800 411 9200. A Road to Recovery is available for you.

  5. this is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! wow i love it!!!!!!! brilliant quality animations and explanation is so clear and understandable

  6. So basically, the addict justifies the action by thinking "I will feel satiated soon". However, he won't. But he doesn't know that. And the more he tries to satiate himself, the less satisfied he will feel the next time.

  7. Im sick and tiered of selfnamed specialist who dont care about sience no matter how much I try. They still Think leave your kid on the street and 12 program is right and cant change in to the truth. 10 sientists could explain for hours but still they belive they sit on the truth being disrespectable.

  8. Unfortunately I have noticed few incorrect infos in this video…this video might be little misleading for lads who never studied psychology.

  9. Yeh, once you've built those brain pathways through learning that drugs change your mood, it's next to impossible to modify the behavior if addiction has occurred. . It isn't just neurochemical, it's bio-psycho-social in nature. Gotta hit them all.

  10. As an addict.. anyone that believes this video is correct or ALL there is to it is beyond dumb.
    Proof… many addicts including my self get prescribed SSRI. Which increases serotonin levels, guess what? I still went for heroin after a while… or other drugs.
    Have many other people who have done the same… in conclusion. This video is FALSE.

  11. Heyy i'm recently doing a research about the process going on in our brains when we're getting addicted to soemthing and I'm getting a bit confused right now… According to my other sources, it's not Serotonine, but glutamate that is important (and dopamine of course) because it is blocked by alcohol which makes u feel relaxed… How does that fit with the explanation given in the vid? Would be very grateful of u could help 🙂

  12. Mind disease: Our overbearing minds are like a disease. Like many diseases, it makes us feel bad. The mind, by separating us from true life, does not let us feel nearly as good as we should. The mind prevents us from being unified with life. We just need a large dose of the Truth to cure it and eradicate it from the earth, but we are doing the opposite, and we are doing things that just make us more sick.(page 20 Present with Religion) Learning the Truth of Life is the only way to CURE the Mind. Search for TruthContest and read the Present

  13. Great video. Now how to overcome addiction? The Truth of addiction ebook is probably the best I have ever read to help.

  14. "nature versus nurture" what is this? The 60's? I mean, 1860's. We've moved away from the dualistic models of outside/inside and into the world of hyper-complexity.
    Look up epigenetics to see a fraction of what makes an individual.

  15. Thanks for sharing this very informative video on the effect of addiction inside our body. Great job!

  16. These are just hypothesis …imagine giving an SRRI ( which will increase serotonin in your brain) to an addict or an antipsychotic which suppose to block dopamine in brain. None of them works ….this theory is good to hear but in reality we don't know what happens in the brain of an addict … we say the cause is multifactorial. Otherwise the maker please provide us good evidence.

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