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Dopamine. The missing piece of the success puzzle. (Improve Locus of Control, Motivation, Self-control)

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Funny.
Wrong.
The articles he used were not primary sources. 'Sokay.
Excellent use of my clown car meme.
Read post #89.
Mindset or temperament is the billiard player. Situation is the cue stick. The "reward system" isn't even the cue ball, it's the balls rolling after being struck.
Stop thinking you only have to focus on the rolling billiard ball. You want to be less distracted, be a different billiard player.
Why not both?
 

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Bertram

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Why not both?
Why not both?
Beautiful proposition.
We have more than a one mind, or states of mind if you prefer.
Here is an experiment.
When you think of what yor ou want, right this second, has it anything to do with the feelings and sensations going on, about your sunburn, your hunger for a roastbeef, your worry about your nephew swinging too high on a playground swing, your qualm that you missed a dental appointment?
If yes to any of this kind of feeling and thinking, now do you notice that you still have a separate entity regarding all these items of interest that might prompt you one way or another?
Think of the two selves in "Let me tell you what I did last week."
There's almost always more than one experience of yourself.
Usually two or more competing mental states.
Some propose a "default mode network" (DMN) to replace the construct of Self or Freud's ego models. Others have a simple model.
One level simpler than Self, the "executive function" is the mental state creator of a decision maker or decision defaulter, screening away at these inputs - thousands to choose from.
The inputs (needing to pee, shiny objects) don't override the decision maker/defaulter, not ever, even in someone with "poor impulse control." It would be like the billiard ball spinning around and flying off the table and clunking the pool player on the head. Even with poor impulse control or attentional deficit disorder, the billiard balls are still billiard balls, not somehow uniquely empowered by their own system of rewards (rolling around, bouncing) simply because of their ADD/ADHD behavior to the point where processes now gain the momentum to self-direct behavior. So with ADD/ADHD, which here would be a specific category of behavior like billiard balls set in motion by a particular way to striking the cue ball, it is not a sustained "system" of neurochemical processes that overpower temperament, the billiard player. You can categorize the behaviors all you like, model them like the dopa tone scenario, but that does not magically animate them in contrast to non-ADHD/ADD minds so that they can start flying off the table or move under their own steam. ADD/ADHD is still an effect of acting on the wish to avoid pain - the crack of the cue on the cue ball.
 
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Why not both?
He got to it in a beautifully succinct way, before I did.

The brain in your skull is not driven by neurochemistry. Rather, thoughts drive your effin neurochemistry.
It’s a two way street.

Again, ADHD or Addiction is not even the subject here. The subject is Self-Control. ADHD and Addiction are well-researched disorders of self-control with a vast scientific literature. So by going into that literature, we can learn a lot about Self-Control.

ADHD is the extreme end of a self-control spectrum. People without ADHD can utilize this information to better their lives.

So for ADHD the gold standard treatment is medication (raising dopamine) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (controlling thoughts and behaviors.)

Actually Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been shown to also raise Dopamine.

Changes in dopamine D2-receptor binding are associated to symptom reduction after psychotherapy in social anxiety disorder

But of the two, medication (raising dopamine) seems to be the more powerful. But it’s even better to use both in conjunction.

In a randomized controlled study, the efficacy of a combined treatment of psychotherapy with pharmacotherapy is compared to pharmacological intervention alone. After initiation and stabilization of treatment with [Ritalin] in all subjects randomization to the two different treatment conditions was done. Afterwards both groups underwent treatment for about 10–12 weeks, the experimental group receiving sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) whereas the control group only received medication and standard clinical management (SCM). ADHD symptoms differed statistically during time but not between the two different treatment conditions. This result was the same for the single ADHD symptoms—inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and emotional symptoms—and also for impairment. Individual standardized ADHD specific CBT program was not able to outperform [standard clinical management (medication)].

A Comparison of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Pharmacotherapy vs. Pharmacotherapy Alone in Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)—A Randomized Controlled Trial

But CBT is not all that effective on it’s own Medication (raising tonic dopamine) remains the gold standard.

But still, it’s best to combine them.

Then we can extrapolate from this that the best way to enhance self-control is by raising tonic dopamine and using cognitive measures.

I have ADHD. When my dopamine is high whether it be by medication, meditation, supplements, exercise, my motivation is killer. I’m unstoppable. No effort involved. It’s automatic. I’m a naturally focused workaholic.

Tony Robbins said something like “The problem with positive thinking is you have to think about it,” and I like the way he puts that. In my experience, it’s an uphill battle. If people choose to undertake that battle, that’s their choice. There are plenty of books and resources that outline that method. But at least I provided another potential option to explore.

I’ve dealt with it firsthand, used the scientific literature nature to overcome it, and have helped other people to overcome it. So I argue that I’m in a unique position to talk about this. I’m not an Ivy Tower academic with no link to the real world, and I’m not a layperson who has overcome it, but doesn’t necessarily understand why. I argue that those two perspectives make a powerful combination.
 
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ChrisV

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The inputs (needing to pee, shiny objects) don't override the decision maker/defaulter, not ever, even in someone with "poor impulse control."
No No No. Dude this is totally incorrect. First off, try to not pee for 6 hours and see who is overriding who. Bet you have pee all over you.

But more importantly... think about this. If you had a Stroke to the PFC you would lose all executive function. If you had a tumor in the PFC you would lose executive function. If you lost blood flow to the PFC you would lose executive Function. There are tons of cases of this. And you know this.

There was a case of the ex-marine who climbed the watch-tower and started sniping like 40 people. He wrote a suicide note like “Guys please do an autopsy, there’s something wrong with me that caused me to do this. Please.” What did they find? A tumor pressing up against his Amygdala, the center for fear and aggression. If you stimulate the amygdala of apes they fly into a violent rage and try to start beating the living F*ck out of the researcher.

Again, I skipped at the correct time stamp... short watch:

View: https://youtu.be/IyLGLxfPRCs?t=156

Again,correct time stamp... short watch:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7htlm3DQ_so&feature=youtu.be&t=334

A humorous depiction of this from The Far Side:

26847


Physical problems in the brain create weird behavioral symptoms.

If you lost any physical function to the PFC, it would stop working properly.
26848

This is so wrong. It’s like thinking that a car with no gas will drive. There are physical components that will underpin the brain. If anything goes awryy with those,

Being a Consciousness researcher I can see the appeal of thinking that Consciousness isn in the seat of everything, but the sad reality is that humans only have a limited amount of directly accessible free will. Some argue that… meh, nevermind.

But regardless, if a part of the brain stops working that part of your humanity starts working. Researchers can remove just the right part of your brain that would turn you into a psychopathic killer. When an animals amygdala is removed it becomes docile and complacent. When it’s stimulated, it tries to kill you.

These are the undernourished regions of the ADHD brain:

26851

26850


26852


26849

I mean this is like the first thing in any Neuroscience textbook. Phineas Gage. He was a great, lovable guy until a railroad spike drove through his freaking eyeball and then his frontal lobe. He lived, but became an intolerable cunt.

Lessons of the brain: The Phineas Gage story

Anyone who knows anything about the brain has heard the story of Phineas Gage so many times they’re ready to kick a cat. This is not a controversial perspective. The brain has physical processes underlying it’s functioning. The laws of physics and chemistry underlie it. It is not a magical black box. In ADHD there is an underperformance of the frontal lobe.

When “we” do a GWAS (Genome Wide Association Study) we take like 25,000 ADHD people and compare their genes to say 25,000 non ADHD people

These are the genes we find:

26854

Many of which have to do with Dopamine. Is this a coincidence? Coincidences don't reach statistical significance. And guess what This is an ADHD brain vs a regular brain:

26853

The Frontal Lobe is barely working. Again, this is the cause of the problem. This does not mean it cannot be improved. For you to improve anything, you first have a realistic working map of how it works. It’s like if you wanted to get to New York to California. You need a working map. You can’t have errors in your map. You can’t have a map of how you ‘want’ it to be. You may want the trip to take 4 hours, so you create an incorrect map, but it’s going to be detrimental to your progress in the long run.

The frontal lobe is the seat of Self-Control. To improve Self-Control you have to improve PFC function. The best way is to supply it with enough dopamine, which is the purpose of this thread.
 
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ChrisV

ChrisV

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Even with poor impulse control or attentional deficit disorder, the billiard balls are still billiard balls, not somehow uniquely empowered by their own system of rewards (rolling around, bouncing) simply because of their ADD/ADHD behavior to the point where processes now gain the momentum to self-direct behavior. So with ADD/ADHD, which here would be a specific category of behavior like billiard balls set in motion by a particular way to striking the cue ball, it is not a sustained "system" of neurochemical processes that overpower temperament, the billiard player.
And regardless if they can. It's not an ideal state. It's not fair to ask ADHD sufferers to figuratively 'hold their pee' their whole lives. There are treatments that don't involve having to hold their breath or force a solution their whole lives.
 

Bertram

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He got to it in a beautifully succinct way, before I did.



It’s a two way street.

Again, ADHD or Addiction is not even the subject here. The subject is Self-Control. ADHD and Addiction are well-researched disorders of self-control with a vast scientific literature. So by going into that literature, we can learn a lot about Self-Control.

ADHD is the extreme end of a self-control spectrum. People without ADHD can utilize this information to better their lives.

So for ADHD the gold standard treatment is medication (raising dopamine) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (controlling thoughts and behaviors.)

Actually Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been shown to also raise Dopamine.

Changes in dopamine D2-receptor binding are associated to symptom reduction after psychotherapy in social anxiety disorder

But of the two, medication (raising dopamine) seems to be the more powerful. But it’s even better to use both in conjunction.

In a randomized controlled study, the efficacy of a combined treatment of psychotherapy with pharmacotherapy is compared to pharmacological intervention alone. After initiation and stabilization of treatment with [Ritalin] in all subjects randomization to the two different treatment conditions was done. Afterwards both groups underwent treatment for about 10–12 weeks, the experimental group receiving sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) whereas the control group only received medication and standard clinical management (SCM). ADHD symptoms differed statistically during time but not between the two different treatment conditions. This result was the same for the single ADHD symptoms—inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and emotional symptoms—and also for impairment. Individual standardized ADHD specific CBT program was not able to outperform [standard clinical management (medication)].

A Comparison of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Pharmacotherapy vs. Pharmacotherapy Alone in Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)—A Randomized Controlled Trial

But CBT is not all that effective on it’s own Medication (raising tonic dopamine) remains the gold standard.

But still, it’s best to combine them.

Then we can extrapolate from this that the best way to enhance self-control is by raising tonic dopamine and using cognitive measures.

I have ADHD. When my dopamine is high whether it be by medication, meditation, supplements, exercise, my motivation is killer. I’m unstoppable. No effort involved. It’s automatic. I’m a naturally focused workaholic.

Tony Robbins said something like “The problem with positive thinking is you have to think about it,” and I like the way he puts that. In my experience, it’s an uphill battle. If people choose to undertake that battle, that’s their choice. There are plenty of books and resources that outline that method. But at least I provided another potential option to explore.

I’ve dealt with it firsthand, used the scientific literature nature to overcome it, and have helped other people to overcome it. So I argue that I’m in a unique position to talk about this. I’m not an Ivy Tower academic with no link to the real world, and I’m not a layperson who has overcome it, but doesn’t necessarily understand why. I argue that those two perspectives make a powerful combination.
I think you misread again.
He meant can't you argue that both temperament and neurochemistry control or determine behavior.
But whatever Dr. ChrisV.
 

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No No No. Dude this is totally incorrect. First off, try to not pee for 6 hours and see who is overriding who. Bet you have pee all over you.

But more importantly... think about this. If you had a Stroke to the PFC you would lose all executive function. If you had a tumor in the PFC you would lose executive function. If you lost blood flow to the PFC you would lose executive Function. There are tons of cases of this. And you know this.

There was a case of the ex-marine who climbed the watch-tower and started sniping like 40 people. He wrote a suicide note like “Guys please do an autopsy, there’s something wrong with me that caused me to do this. Please.” What did they find? A tumor pressing up against his Amygdala, the center for fear and aggression. If you stimulate the amygdala of apes they fly into a violent rage and try to start beating the living F*ck out of the researcher.

Again, I skipped at the correct time stamp... short watch:

View: https://youtu.be/IyLGLxfPRCs?t=156

Again,correct time stamp... short watch:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7htlm3DQ_so&feature=youtu.be&t=334

A humorous depiction of this from The Far Side:

View attachment 26847


Physical problems in the brain create weird behavioral symptoms.

If you lost any physical function to the PFC, it would stop working properly.
View attachment 26848

This is so wrong. It’s like thinking that a car with no gas will drive. There are physical components that will underpin the brain. If anything goes awryy with those,

Being a Consciousness researcher I can see the appeal of thinking that Consciousness isn in the seat of everything, but the sad reality is that humans only have a limited amount of directly accessible free will. Some argue that… meh, nevermind.

But regardless, if a part of the brain stops working that part of your humanity starts working. Researchers can remove just the right part of your brain that would turn you into a psychopathic killer. When an animals amygdala is removed it becomes docile and complacent. When it’s stimulated, it tries to kill you.

These are the undernourished regions of the ADHD brain:

View attachment 26851

View attachment 26850


View attachment 26852


View attachment 26849

I mean this is like the first thing in any Neuroscience textbook. Phineas Gage. He was a great, lovable guy until a railroad spike drove through his freaking eyeball and then his frontal lobe. He lived, but became an intolerable cunt.

Lessons of the brain: The Phineas Gage story

Anyone who knows anything about the brain has heard the story of Phineas Gage so many times they’re ready to kick a cat. This is not a controversial perspective. The brain has physical processes underlying it’s functioning. The laws of physics and chemistry underlie it. It is not a magical black box. In ADHD there is an underperformance of the frontal lobe.

When “we” do a GWAS (Genome Wide Association Study) we take like 25,000 ADHD people and compare their genes to say 25,000 non ADHD people

These are the genes we find:

View attachment 26854

Many of which have to do with Dopamine. Is this a coincidence? Coincidences don't reach statistical significance. And guess what This is an ADHD brain vs a regular brain:

View attachment 26853

The Frontal Lobe is barely working. Again, this is the cause of the problem. This does not mean it cannot be improved. For you to improve anything, you first have a realistic working map of how it works. It’s like if you wanted to get to New York to California. You need a working map. You can’t have errors in your map. You can’t have a map of how you ‘want’ it to be. You may want the trip to take 4 hours, so you create an incorrect map, but it’s going to be detrimental to your progress in the long run.

The frontal lobe is the seat of Self-Control. To improve Self-Control you have to improve PFC function. The best way is to supply it with enough dopamine, which is the purpose of this thread.
And regardless if they can. It's not an ideal state. It's not fair to ask ADHD sufferers to figuratively 'hold their pee' their whole lives. There are treatments that don't involve having to hold their breath or force a solution their whole lives.
I think you're just unable to follow my prose, that's all.

"No No No. Dude this is totally incorrect. First off, try to not pee for 6 hours and see who is overriding who. Bet you have pee all over you."

WHO is deciding that's it time to pee, too much pain? Not the bladder. After many hours depending on the beers well sure sphincter control goes. Until then you experience and govern not peeing or yes-to-peeing.

Yes, with a brain tumor, brain trauma, neuroelectrostimulation, all your exceptions to the rule here are ... exceptions to .. THE RULE.

You wrote:
"The frontal lobe is the seat of Self-Control. To improve Self-Control you have to improve PFC function. The best way is to supply it with enough dopamine, which is the purpose of this thread."

That is more wishful thinking. Dopamine is not well understood enough for anyone to make that claim. But you do.

This is it: "The best way is to supply it with enough dopamine, which is the purpose of this thread."

You miss something huge: Your mental experiences release dopamine.
 
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ChrisV

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Bertram

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And regardless if they can. It's not an ideal state. It's not fair to ask ADHD sufferers to figuratively 'hold their pee' their whole lives. There are treatments that don't involve having to hold their breath or force a solution their whole lives.
I would never ask anything like that. You are a very careless reader, when you want to be.
 
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@Bertram I think you're looking at this from like a 'transcendent' point of view while adding a bit too much doubt regarding dopamine. Also kind of odd to dismiss the most cited researched regarding ADHD and then imply we don't know enough dopamine to say much about it.

I just finished this whole thread and it has been quite eye opening and relevant, thank you @ChrisV
 

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@Bertram I think you're looking at this from like a 'transcendent' point of view while adding a bit too much doubt regarding dopamine. Also kind of odd to dismiss the most cited researched regarding ADHD and then imply we don't know enough dopamine to say much about it.

I just finished this whole thread and it has been quite eye opening and relevant, thank you @ChrisV
My statement that dopamine is poorly understood is not a matter of personal opnion or even just one scientist's claim.

Most intros to actual neurophys research experimentation do mention that dopa functio. is, indeed, not comp!etely understood, or not well understood. So don't you think that experts in other fields like psychology, or ahem data science, who will never come within 100 miles of a neuroscience or neurobio!ogy experiment are being unreliable or untrustworthy to convince others that the opposite is true? Or maybe they are just willing to pretend something is true when it is not so?

The cited expert that @Chris V raves over is NOT a neuro phys researcher. He does not do research on dopamine. He just makes some claims about dopamine to make his talks in his own field, plain vanilla psychology, sound more exciting and exclusive and zesty. He actually has have no business claiming it well understood.

And I think he does not, in fact, make the claim that dopa is well understood.

So @ChrisV, maybe overzealously, is still totally overlooking that reality in his intrepid quest for the Easter Bunny.
 

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My statement that dopamine is poorly understood is not a matter of personal opnion or even just one scientist's claim.

Most intros to actual neurophys research experimentation do mention that dopa functio. is, indeed, not comp!etely understood, or not well understood. So don't you think that experts in other fields like psychology, or ahem data science, who will never come within 100 miles of a neuroscience or neurobio!ogy experiment are being unreliable or untrustworthy to convince others that the opposite is true? Or maybe they are just willing to pretend something is true when it is not so?

The cited expert that @Chris V raves over is NOT a neuro phys researcher. He does not do research on dopamine. He just makes some claims about dopamine to make his talks in his own field, plain vanilla psychology, sound more exciting and exclusive and zesty. He actually has have no business claiming it well understood.

And I think he does not, in fact, make the claim that dopa is well understood.

So @ChrisV, maybe overzealously, is still totally overlooking that reality in his intrepid quest for the Easter Bunny.
Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 11.03.10 PM.png
 
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ChrisV

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My statement that dopamine is poorly understood is not a matter of personal opnion or even just one scientist's claim.

Most intros to actual neurophys research experimentation do mention that dopa functio. is, indeed, not comp!etely understood, or not well understood. So don't you think that experts in other fields like psychology, or ahem data science, who will never come within 100 miles of a neuroscience or neurobio!ogy experiment are being unreliable or untrustworthy to convince others that the opposite is true? Or maybe they are just willing to pretend something is true when it is not so?

The cited expert that @Chris V raves over is NOT a neuro phys researcher. He does not do research on dopamine. He just makes some claims about dopamine to make his talks in his own field, plain vanilla psychology, sound more exciting and exclusive and zesty. He actually has have no business claiming it well understood.

And I think he does not, in fact, make the claim that dopa is well understood.

So @ChrisV, maybe overzealously, is still totally overlooking that reality in his intrepid quest for the Easter Bunny.
Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 11.09.56 PM.png
 

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@Bertram

Typically I agree with you, but not here. Regardless of how well dopamine is understood, it's understood enough to be useful for our purposes.

I have a copy of Indistractable regardless, but it does not preclude what has been shown regarding dopamine. The fact that adderall does actually improve people that are diagnosed to be low dopamine, even if not permanently, to me does indeed support the various theories and observations and analyses regarding (low) dopamine behaviors.
 

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@Bertram

Typically I agree with you, but not here. Regardless of how well dopamine is understood, it's understood enough to be useful for our purposes.

I have a copy of Indistractable regardless, but it does not preclude what has been shown regarding dopamine. The fact that adderall does actually improve people that are diagnosed to be low dopamine, even if not permanently, to me does indeed support the various theories and observations and analyses regarding (low) dopamine behaviors.
We're in agreement here. I never said it's a complete unknown. But the pharmacology is still being explored and defined. With pharma isn't the drug discovery process in the manner of 'shoot first and ask questions later?' Or find a treatment application for anew drug and figure out what's going when it works ... later?
 
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@Bertram, what are your goals in this thread?

This is a genuine question. What is the message?

@ChrisV has posted to bring awareness and help people here. Am all for rebuttal and challenging things posted here. I do welcome people to challenge him.

But in a constructive way. I might be wrong, but this is turning out to be a @ChrisV Vs @Bertram.

For the benefits of all, can you guys tell us what you agree on, what you don't and why?
 

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@Bertram, what are your goals in this thread?

This is a genuine question. What is the message?

@ChrisV has posted to bring awareness and help people here. Am all for rebuttal and challenging things posted here. I do welcome people to challenge him.

But in a constructive way. I might be wrong, but this is turning out to be a @ChrisV Vs @Bertram.

For the benefits of all, can you guys tell us what you agree on, what you don't and why?
Sure.
Here's my objection, post #65.
Thanks I think I skimmed over that post. And forgot the most important part ( getting a genetic test done and speaking to pros and specialists.)

What I was getting at was more a product that can assist with maintaining healthy dopamine levels which would be non-medicinal, nor anything to do with human biological systems.

Basically - a tech product that sort of keeps your dopamine levels at a healthy level and rewards structured habits and tasks which lead to certain results, sort of a process gamification reward system. But anyway that's nothing new really, but in combination with specific knowledge, research and testing ( as demonstrated in the post) you could come up with a new system.
Here is what I wrote in #65 copied and pasted:

"This is the most disempowering solution in the whole thread. I was worried this would happen @ChrisV, to ignore the effective approaches in favor of woo, product developing a pill to ingest or app or a guru solution, promoting the attitude of just going out and BUYING something, like a DNA test which is nowhere shown to make the real change, @ChrisV.
Yaysus.

The brain in your skull is not driven by neurochemistry. Rather, thoughts drive your effin neurochemistry.

Guess what, fellow human mammals, we can and do change our temperament (resilience, susceptibility to maladaptive behaviors) just by UNDERSTANDING.

The wrong understanding causes rebound behavior and sharpens cravings.

The wrong understanding designs the addictive mindset.

The brain is designed to respond to new knowledge. Thoughts reconfigure temperament.

Read "Indistractible". Learn about the kind of thinking that primes addictive and self-sabotaging behavior.

@Fox 75 Hard, is impossible to complete as long as you have the wrong concept about will power, or can which be fantastically life-changing if you understand what you're doing another way.

Drop the no-brainer pill-popping mindset and you will not just keep dreaming of a crutch.

The perpetual addictive mindset wants to believe that chemicals are the answer and that personal agency can simply disappear because ... chemistry happens.

All due respect, it's a self-imposed delusion. We who have struggled with addiction know of this. We can default to delusional powerless behavior. Depending on your mind, on what you think.

Human mammals do rely on consciousness.

Rats don't. You have more going on, more power to change, than lab rats genetically altered to extremes for neurobiological experimentation.

You are enabled, rat is not, to change your neurochemistry,

Nothing works better to permanently change behavior than what you understand and feel about what you are doing in a particular moment.

Everyone please get out of this clown car."


End of #65. People were getting the idea from the curated clips of a pharmaceutical spokesman (Barkley) that "the most important thing to do is get a DNA test" and make lifestyle changes head-on.

But that leads everyone away from reality: there is no way you can get ADD/ADHD or distractibility under control if you continue to have the wrong mindset - even when highly medicated.

Some of these posts totally fabricate the idea that 70-80% of distractible behavior is the result of genes. Hell no, there is no geneticist worth his salt, to quote Lewontin, who argues that genes express even 25% of physiology (or more technically phylogeny). And man it is even less imaginable to connect your actual mindset or temperament - moment after moment - to your genetics.
Case in point: both @ChrisV and I do not manage to read when we want to, or to do what we have to, because we both lose control of attentional tasks.
DNA test or not. Drugs or not.
This thread is the beautiful evidence.

Distractibility is a pain management technique. Depression can result in distraction that looks exactly like ADD/ADHD.

The sole reasons why I have any kind of edge on the problem and this passion to argue that your thoughts control your brain chemisry not the other way around is because I have researched mental states and wellbeing as a 10-year-long side hustle that has developed to the point that I right now have a two-year university position to write two books about it. (Expert or not, any reliable, useful research depends 100% on quality research and upon effin due diligence, not on academic reputation. Some top scholars have not kept current on research in their own fields for 30 years and they still get by!)

The downside of ADD/ADHD or distractibility due to other causes is purely, 100% percent, the outcome of not understanding what is happening to you.

Nothing will change if you keep thinking of distraction the wrong way.

You will continue to succumb to distraction if you misunderstand what is going on and hide behind the shiny object fascination or go asking around for a quick fix.
 
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@Bertram, what are your goals in this thread?

This is a genuine question. What is the message?

@ChrisV has posted to bring awareness and help people here. Am all for rebuttal and challenging things posted here. I do welcome people to challenge him.

But in a constructive way. I might be wrong, but this is turning out to be a @ChrisV Vs @Bertram.

For the benefits of all, can you guys tell us what you agree on, what you don't and why?
We probably agree on most things. I think this subject gets touchy for people because at the core it’s a Free Will argument.

Free Will debates are to Neuroscience nerds as religion debates are to everyone else. And at the core, they may even be the same debate.

I’m actually on the conservative side in the Free Will argument in that I do believe Free Will exists. But I definitely do not believe humans have unlimited Free Will. If we did, we would be able to easily exercise whenever we wanted, eat the exact diet we wanted, people would be able to easily put down drugs and alcohol no problem.

There is a certain corridor of agency we have. It’s like a chess match. You have to play the game within the framework of the rules and can't just move your pieces wherever you want.

But strengthening Prefrontal Cortex function actually gives you more free will. Without the PFC we’re basically just stimuli responders. But boosting activity in the Mesocorticolimbic Dopamine Pathways / PFC actually gives us more Free Will. It takes that narrow corridor of Free Will and drastically opens it up, so you can decide what you want to do and your body will actually go along with those crazy plans that it usually hates.

He mostly takes issue with my claim that Self-Control is mostly genetic. But the only utility I find in pointing out the genetic aspects is that it gives you a better idea of what to do about it.

If someone needs medication or supplements, genetics can predicts which work.


The point is to use the knowledge of your unique inner workings to improve the system.

For example I have a risk MTHFR SNP (gene.) MTHFR is crucial in the dopamine / serotonin synthesis pathway, and risk alleles can blunt production:

These findings are consistent with epistatic effects of the COMT and MTHFR polymorphisms on prefrontal dopamine signaling - MTHFR 677C → T genotype disrupts prefrontal function in schizophrenia through an interaction with COMT 158Val → Met


Personalized medicine is based on using an individual's genetic profile to make the best therapeutic choice by facilitating predictions about whether that person will benefit from a particular medicine or suffer serious side effects. Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine Nature Education

For example me? With the MTHPF polymorphism I take L-Methylfolate. It's FDA approved and available Over the Counter.

It's like my morning coffee. Without it I lack Self-Control and Motivation.

This does not mean it's right for you, but it works for me.

I also have the COMT gene. COMT breaks down dopamine and norepinephrine. One thing found to inhibit this enzyme is Polyphenols. There are a number of different substances that contain polyphenols like Cocoa and Green Tea that have been shown in trials to inhibit this enzyme. I think that that's why so many people claim that Matcha Green Tea gives them energy.


This observation is consistent with the inhibiting effect of green tea on COMT, the consequential reduction in norepinephrine degradation, and hence, the spillover of norepinephrine into the circulation, thereby accounting for the higher urinary excretion of norepinephrine.

I mean that's from Oxford, the top research university in the world.


This is potentially corroborated by the recent (hilarious) outbreak of chocolate abuse:

NY Daily News: People are now snorting chocolate to get high

Forbes: Snorting Chocolate Is Now Apparently A Thing, But Why Would You Do It?

Complex: The Newest Way to Get High Is By Snorting This Chocolate Powder

But whatever. I just drink it lol. And I actually prefer green tea. It works for me anecdotally and gives me energy.
 

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Chris he asked me to explain myself, not for you to explain my position.

Basically the wrong tactics for controlling distractibility and weak focus will actually make the problem worse. @ChrisV presents many examples of a wrong approach, especially a quick-fix addiction mindset. For more info read "Indistractible" by Nir Eyal.

This is not a free will argument in any way for me.
You have it wrong, this is not about philosophy or free will. One of my forthcoming books on mental states has the word 'Mechanics' in the title. I focus on the physiological substrates of emotions and other mental states. I might change Mechanics to Elements for better sa!es among female readers, as one female agent advised or use another title entirely.
But I am all about the mechanics. I also refrain from presenting primary research because most readers here would say "WTF bore me more," and others just want to spar for the health benefits. And there's no time to customize a textbook chapter here.

But I know a much better source for more info ... "Indistractible," by Nir Eyal.

Distracting behavior avoids pain. That's it. Get awareness and help is on the way.

You can't get control of it just by working on wellbeing or using god knows what app someone is cooking up.

Time management is pain management, as Eyall writes.

Folks, the wrong info will make the problem worse.

I'll state this because @ChrisV felt a great yearning to speak on my behalf:

The difference between @ChrisV's content and mine on this thread is that he uses hack science to brew up a totally wrong premise and just ignores whatever he does not agree with, while I don't.

He posed himself as a treatment specialist and that's another big, big difference here, even though some academic folks pushed me foward as an expert on mental states. No way in hell would I go beyond offering wellbeing and empathy or presenting others' prescription, even if the Dalai Llama himself says go for it.

The combined result of his eagerness, hopefulness, impatience about complex information, and thus the pressure to truly believe in a simple answer, @ChrisV pushes a fantasy about neurochemistry. I think he wants to make money on an app or maybe a candy bar - Dopa Snacks! You can be sure that the gigantic downswinging 'V' will be on the wrapper.

With that end in mind, it does not matter to him in the very least at all that his science sucks and he uses a strawman with zero background in genetics to push an idea that is completely and entirely wrong, meaning @ChrisV's hapless and overly simplistic proposition which is that you can solve the problem of distractibility by paying as little attention to your thought as possible, to skip what is going on. He wants to promote the fake science, instead of the fact that you can become aware RIGHT NOW of what is going on. Mindset changes the brain always, always drives neural activity, never, never the other way around.

Of course he will bring up coma patients and behavior s of severely brain damaged people to throw us off, but those are completely different matters in essence. All in a day's work if you're trying to invent a Dopa breakfast bar.

Drinking green tea will not boost your self awareness or give you insight into what is going on, what the pain is and how else you might deal with pain while managing your time.

Drinking green tea, if you are so depressed that you can't focus, will not give you the toolset you need to notice and change distracted behavior. Chocolate bars will not help you get around the fact that you distract yourself to avoid a psychological, personal discomfort, one which you can actually identify. Please stop playing doctor. More is needed than an invigorating cup of green tea.




We probably agree on most things. I think this subject gets touchy for people because at the core it’s a Free Will argument.

Free Will debates are to Neuroscience nerds as religion debates are to everyone else. And at the core, they may even be the same debate.

I’m actually on the conservative side in the Free Will argument in that I do believe Free Will exists. But I definitely do not believe humans have unlimited Free Will. If we did, we would be able to easily exercise whenever we wanted, eat the exact diet we wanted, people would be able to easily put down drugs and alcohol no problem.

There is a certain corridor of agency we have. It’s like a chess match. You have to play the game within the framework of the rules and can't just move your pieces wherever you want.

But strengthening Prefrontal Cortex function actually gives you more free will. Without the PFC we’re basically just stimuli responders. But boosting activity in the Mesocorticolimbic Dopamine Pathways / PFC actually gives us more Free Will. It takes that narrow corridor of Free Will and drastically opens it up, so you can decide what you want to do and your body will actually go along with those crazy plans that it usually hates.

He mostly takes issue with my claim that Self-Control is mostly genetic. But the only utility I find in pointing out the genetic aspects is that it gives you a better idea of what to do about it.

If someone needs medication or supplements, genetics can predicts which work.


The point is to use the knowledge of your unique inner workings to improve the system.

For example I have a risk MTHFR SNP (gene.) MTHFR is crucial in the dopamine / serotonin synthesis pathway, and risk alleles can blunt production:

These findings are consistent with epistatic effects of the COMT and MTHFR polymorphisms on prefrontal dopamine signaling - MTHFR 677C → T genotype disrupts prefrontal function in schizophrenia through an interaction with COMT 158Val → Met


Personalized medicine is based on using an individual's genetic profile to make the best therapeutic choice by facilitating predictions about whether that person will benefit from a particular medicine or suffer serious side effects. Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine Nature Education

For example me? With the MTHPF polymorphism I take L-Methylfolate. It's FDA approved and available Over the Counter.

It's like my morning coffee. Without it I lack Self-Control and Motivation.

This does not mean it's right for you, but it works for me.

I also have the COMT gene. COMT breaks down dopamine and norepinephrine. One thing found to inhibit this enzyme is Polyphenols. There are a number of different substances that contain polyphenols like Cocoa and Green Tea that have been shown in trials to inhibit this enzyme. I think that that's why so many people claim that Matcha Green Tea gives them energy.


This observation is consistent with the inhibiting effect of green tea on COMT, the consequential reduction in norepinephrine degradation, and hence, the spillover of norepinephrine into the circulation, thereby accounting for the higher urinary excretion of norepinephrine.

I mean that's from Oxford, the top research university in the world.


This is potentially corroborated by the recent (hilarious) outbreak of chocolate abuse:

NY Daily News: People are now snorting chocolate to get high

Forbes: Snorting Chocolate Is Now Apparently A Thing, But Why Would You Do It?

Complex: The Newest Way to Get High Is By Snorting This Chocolate Powder

But whatever. I just drink it lol. And I actually prefer green tea. It works for me anecdotally and gives me energy.
 
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Some of these posts totally fabricate the idea that 70-80% of distractible behavior is the result of genes. Hell no, there is no geneticist worth his salt, to quote Lewontin, who argues that genes express even 25% of physiology (or more technically phylogeny). And man it is even less imaginable to connect your actual mindset or temperament - moment after moment - to your genetics.
Geneticists generally don't assign more than 25-30% of behavior to genes even when heritability is 70-80 percent. Non-geneticists will sometimes think this way.
I still don't agree here.

I'm very confident in my interpretation, but just to be sure I emailed a PhD geneticist to double check. I didn't receive a response yet, so I just posted it to the r/genetics subreddit because I know a lot of PhD geneticists hang around there. I would have preferred a response to my email, but this is what I have for now. The person replying is a PhD geneticist, unless you have reason to believe they're lying

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 12.20.32 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 11.57.13 AM.png

And since I know this is going to be met with "Reddit isn't an reliable source" let me just point out that Reddit is simply a means of communication, no different from email or a phone call. So unless we have reason to believe he's lying I think it's no different from a phone call.

Scientists can look at the influence of genes on behavior by using a mathematical formula called a heritability estimate. Heritability estimates give information about how much of an impact genes have on a behavior in a certain environment. Think about blood type as an example - in your group of friends, there is probably some variation in your blood types. If differences in blood type are mostly influenced by genes then the heritability estimate would reflect that. Heritability estimates can range from 0 to 1; when the estimate is higher (closer to 1), this means that genes have a larger influence on the behavior of interest, as it would be with blood type. When the estimate is lower (closer to 0), it reflects a larger impact of the environment on the behavior. To study heritability, scientists use information from identical twins that were separated at birth, like Karen and Jennifer. They do this because the genetic material of identical twins is almost exactly the same, which makes it easier to determine the relative influence of the environment.

So when they say "ADHD has a heritability of 76% (.76)" I don't see that translating to 30%. But also... it depends on what you mean by 'behavior'. There are different levels of specificity of behavior:

Low heritabilityMedium heritabilityHigh heritability
Specific languageWeightAbility to acquire language
Specific religionReligiosityEye color / Blood type

Not specific behavior. Like "will an ADHD child throw a spitball at Sandy or flick a Paper football at his teacher"... yea that type of behavior is 30%. But the 76% is that he's gonna do something ADHDish, what specifically? Who knows.

This is complex and I don't think you can say 'behavior is X% genetic.' It depends of the specificity of the behavior.

It's like we're inborn with the ability to acquire language (High Heritability) but not a specific language like English (Low Heritability)

Someone with addiction prone genes, we can't predict which drug they're going to pick up with that much accuracy, but we can predict they're very likely to pick up a drug. So 30% might be fore a specific drug, but it jumps up to ~50% when we include all drugs, then way higher if you include behavioral addictions.

I mean I'm not saying don't "try your best" because unless you try your best the behavior goes to chance. This isn't to say that guiding your behaviors isn't important. It doesn't mean to take a magic pill and then you're done. It just means that when you have your physiology in check you have a significantly better chance of your body not seriously thwarting your efforts.

I think most everyone has had an experience where they set out to go to the gym, got to it for a week and a half, then got sucked back into their old patterns. This is because their physiology is important.

Do both. My educated prediction is: you take 100 low DA people and tell them to engage in healthy behaviors, maybe 7 of them will stick with it. You take 100 High DA people and tell them to engage in healthy behaviors more like 89 will stick with it. If you can raise your physiological DA levels, you have a better chance of sticking with your goals.

That's the point.
 

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@Bertram, what are your goals in this thread?

This is a genuine question. What is the message?

@ChrisV has posted to bring awareness and help people here. Am all for rebuttal and challenging things posted here. I do welcome people to challenge him.

But in a constructive way. I might be wrong, but this is turning out to be a @ChrisV Vs @Bertram.

For the benefits of all, can you guys tell us what you agree on, what you don't and why?
Thanks. I answered your question in #107 and #109.
These are now buried in the blizzard of hack science posts by now.
@ChrisV promotes a mindset that has actually been proven to worsen problems of distractibility and weak focus. That is why I hopped on the thread at #65 because the convo was really misleading and promoting a mindset that actually worsens distractibility.
I encourage you to read "Indistractible" to get insight, get solutions, avoid the mistakes, and enjoy a good discussion of the research. It is a life-changing book.
And my posts #107 and #109 describe the basic flaw in @ChrisV's understanding.
The hack science is OK I s'pose if all you're doing is trying to design and brand a new snack or an app. But @ChrisV takes it too far and that will promote more failure and helplessness.
 

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I still don't agree here.

I'm very confident in my interpretation, but just to be sure I emailed a PhD geneticist to double check. I didn't receive a response yet, so I just posted it to the r/genetics subreddit because I know a lot of PhD geneticists hang around there. I would have preferred a response to my email, but this is what I have for now. The person replying is a PhD geneticist, unless you have reason to believe they're lying

View attachment 26914

View attachment 26916

And since I know this is going to be met with "Reddit isn't an reliable source" let me just point out that Reddit is simply a means of communication, no different from email or a phone call. So unless we have reason to believe he's lying I think it's no different from a phone call.

Scientists can look at the influence of genes on behavior by using a mathematical formula called a heritability estimate. Heritability estimates give information about how much of an impact genes have on a behavior in a certain environment. Think about blood type as an example - in your group of friends, there is probably some variation in your blood types. If differences in blood type are mostly influenced by genes then the heritability estimate would reflect that. Heritability estimates can range from 0 to 1; when the estimate is higher (closer to 1), this means that genes have a larger influence on the behavior of interest, as it would be with blood type. When the estimate is lower (closer to 0), it reflects a larger impact of the environment on the behavior. To study heritability, scientists use information from identical twins that were separated at birth, like Karen and Jennifer. They do this because the genetic material of identical twins is almost exactly the same, which makes it easier to determine the relative influence of the environment.

So when they say "ADHD has a heritability of 76% (.76)" I don't see that translating to 30%. But also... it depends on what you mean by 'behavior'. There are different levels of specificity of behavior:

Low heritabilityMedium heritabilityHigh heritability
Specific languageWeightAbility to acquire language
Specific religionReligiosityEye color / Blood type

Not specific behavior. Like "will an ADHD child throw a spitball at Sandy or flick a Paper football at his teacher"... yea that type of behavior is 30%. But the 76% is that he's gonna do something ADHDish, what specifically? Who knows.

This is complex and I don't think you can say 'behavior is X% genetic.' It depends of the specificity of the behavior.

It's like we're inborn with the ability to acquire language (High Heritability) but not a specific language like English (Low Heritability)

Someone with addiction prone genes, we can't predict which drug they're going to pick up with that much accuracy, but we can predict they're very likely to pick up a drug. So 30% might be fore a specific drug, but it jumps up to ~50% when we include all drugs, then way higher if you include behavioral addictions.

I mean I'm not saying don't "try your best" because unless you try your best the behavior goes to chance. This isn't to say that guiding your behaviors isn't important. It doesn't mean to take a magic pill and then you're done. It just means that when you have your physiology in check you have a significantly better chance of your body not seriously thwarting your efforts.

I think most everyone has had an experience where they set out to go to the gym, got to it for a week and a half, then got sucked back into their old patterns. This is because their physiology is important.

Do both. My educated prediction is: you take 100 low DA people and tell them to engage in healthy behaviors, maybe 7 of them will stick with it. You take 100 High DA people and tell them to engage in healthy behaviors more like 89 will stick with it. If you can raise your physiological DA levels, you have a better chance of sticking with your goals.

That's the point.
There it is. She agreed with my claim that you just can't go there. You also misrepresented to this PhD geneticist that our discussion is all about population-based studies of ADD/ADHD , genetics v. environment. But on this thread it is actually about therapeutic intervention or treatment. What's up? You actually want people here to think that genetic influence can be given in percentages and that individual outcomes depend on a person's genetic make up. Looks like she's already replied to you earlier that geneticists don't want to go there. That's a little naughty to ignore. It means you're just hacking around. You did not ask her about genes and an individual's behavior, hell not a chance. You're just discussing genetics v. environment in population studies with her.
There is no mention to her about your make-believe that a person with ADD/ADHD heritability will be more likely to give way to distraction in any given moment than the next guy. No mention of whether temperament and mindset have an overriding effect on genes and environment. You already know her answer to that one.
I'm moving on. You need to as well. I'll message the valet to bring around our clown cars.

All due respect @ChrisV your agenda here is really reflecting the need to substantiate an addiction mindset. You're approach makes people more helpless. You're a good guy and very funny but quite a lot of the content here is pinned to the valorization of a quick-fix approach and of course, of course, an addiction mindset. A passion for exogenous drugs.
 
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So I'm basically exactly like Gary Fritz in this post. This has been the case for me ever since I was a kid. My dad is the same way. His dad is the same way. Several of my siblings share these traits with me, at varying levels of severity.

Funny thing, I excelled in school, not because I wasn't distracted all the time (which I was), but because I was academically bright and grasped concepts quickly enough to pass with high grades without much study.

However, in the workforce, I did very poorly. My average yearly income was about $10,000 a year for the first 10 years after graduating from college. People who knew me would shake their heads and say, "What gives? You're capable of so much more than this! It doesn't make any sense that you're working a part-time, minimum-wage job."

I was at my sister's wedding in 2011 and got into conversation a guy I only knew slightly. I asked him some advice about a Master's Degree I was considering at the time. Very quickly, he started guessing things about me that were startlingly accurate.

"I bet it's hard for you to keep your apartment clean, too."

"Yes!"

"And I bet it's really difficult to motivate yourself to do mundane things."

"Yes!"

"But when you're really engaged in something, you get carried away and you don't have any trouble focusing on it."

"Exactly!"

"But pretty soon, after the thrill of starting wears off, you have trouble continuing."

"Yes! But HOW do you KNOW?"

He laughed. The father of the groom, who was also participating in the conversation, also laughed and gave him a poke in the ribs. "Tell her," he said.

The man looked all bashful and self-deprecating, so the father of the groom filled me in. "Dr. _ spent his entire career dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of ADD and ADHD."

From there, this retired doctor spent some time discussing the brain's executive function and giving me some rudimentary tools that I could use to self-treat if I didn't want to go the route of using medicine. He suggested that I experiment with caffeine and exercise. Right before I needed to do something I knew I would struggle with, either drink some coffee or exercise to the point where I was breathless and sweating.

So I started experimenting with these things, and wow! They worked.

Just a little bit of caffeine, 20 minutes before I had to do something rote, mundane, and boring, and I could suddenly "decide" to do it. It was effortless. I could suddenly just set my mind to a task and carry it out. Wow! What is this? It's like an upgraded version of me! It's like a version of me that's more like other people.

Without the caffeine, it was like dragging myself, kicking and screaming, to the place of execution. No amount of punishments, rewards, threats, or pep talks could achieve anything. My journals going back to my teenage years are full of lamentations to the effect of "But WHY won't I just ACT? I know WHAT to do. I know HOW to do it. But how in the world do I get myself to actually DO it?" This single factor has been the biggest deterrent in me reaching my goals.

My caffeine intake began slowly. It started as a thing every once in a while that I would use to give me that "edge" that would enable me to choose to engage in a task that I didn't want to do.

But when I gained full-time employment, the coffee became an everyday thing, just to produce anything. I didn't really want to get addicted to caffeine. But I figured, "I'd rather keep my job than stay unaddicted to coffee."

So caffeine became a crutch. I needed more and more of it to function. Eventually, it just stopped working.

As I have researched this for myself and experimented on what works and what doesn't, it does seem that it all comes back to dopamine (and possibly other neurotransmitters & chemicals) and their activity.

This not, for me, a disempowering thing. It's not a matter of, "I want to just pass the buck and shirk personal responsibility and chalk it all up to chemicals." Looking into the dopamine connection, I find that there is an extremely productive source of possible connections to pursue to make real progress. And the more we find out about the actual genetics and mechanics of the way these things work in our systems, the more exciting it is to think that we will be able to specifically target our own personal deficiencies with precision tools rather than the old rudimentary ones (stimulants and exercise).

@Leo Hendrix is right on when he mentions "Basically - a tech product that sort of keeps your dopamine levels at a healthy level and rewards structured habits and tasks which lead to certain results, sort of a process gamification reward system." I have used a self-invented system that does exactly this, based on the hypothesis that if I hack my dopamine to associate 'artificial" rewards with the exact work behaviors that I struggle with, eventually I will create a new pathway where the difficult behavior feels rewarding. This model has been one of the most amazing, results-enforcing things I have ever tried. It's the opposite of disempowering. It's super effective and transmits a tremendous amount of hope. It's like getting glasses for poor eyesight for the first time.

Lately, I've gone through a period of extreme burnout thanks to a very stressful job. Towards the end of my employment with them, it was like I mentally disengaged from everything.

Now, I'm in a different job, and circumstances are better. Objectively, by any measurement, this is the best job I've ever had, and it's better than any other comparable job I could hope to land. (Of course, one day my side hustle will take off and I won't need a job at all, but for now, this is how I earn a living.)

But since June, my brain has been like, "Nope, you can't call on me today. I'm not home."

"Excuse me, brain, but YOU are my main work tool. I need you to show up."

"Sorry. Can't make me."

So whereas before, I was able to manage myself (in a haphazard, chaotic way) to hold down a job and lead a self-sufficient life, the burnout took this to a whole new level.

For three months, I dragged myself to work kicking and screaming. I was lucky if I could force myself to put in two hours of work in an 8-hour shift. Some days, I would sit down to work from 8:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night and get 30 minutes of work done all day.

That really scared me. I knew I wouldn't keep the job long if I couldn't get this sorted out. I was shocked they didn't fire me.

I also knew that my behavior didn't make any sense. It went completely against my best interest. I was absolutely disgusted with myself for being such a dysfunctional human being.

But my mindset in the whole thing was not, "Let me just find a pill I can take to fix this." My mindset was, "This is confusing, there's something weird going on here, but I have choices, I'm looking for solutions, and I am confident that I will find them - and the sooner the better, so that I don't pull down unpleasant consequences onto my head."

And the dopamine connection was the one that made the biggest impact on my ability to function.

This was separate from and unrelated to @ChrisV posting this thread. But Chris's research and articles helped to put language and substance to what I was already exploring for myself in a rudimentary way.

@Bertram, what you're saying doesn't make any sense to me. I don't think you have any clue of what it's actually like to live with this issue. It's almost like you're a person who doesn't acknowledge that blindness exists, and you're saying that "if all those 'blind' people would just open their eyes, they'd be able to see." It's like you're projecting a neurotypical, normal human range of distraction and loss of focus onto the situation and saying, "All you people who are chalking up your issues to ADD and ADHD, it's just a cop-out. If you would only change your mindset and observe what is happening, you'd be fine."

@ChrisV keep up the good work - I think what you're doing is helpful and beneficial.
 

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I still don't agree here.

I'm very confident in my interpretation, but just to be sure I emailed a PhD geneticist to double check. I didn't receive a response yet, so I just posted it to the r/genetics subreddit because I know a lot of PhD geneticists hang around there. I would have preferred a response to my email, but this is what I have for now. The person replying is a PhD geneticist, unless you have reason to believe they're lying

View attachment 26914

View attachment 26916

And since I know this is going to be met with "Reddit isn't an reliable source" let me just point out that Reddit is simply a means of communication, no different from email or a phone call. So unless we have reason to believe he's lying I think it's no different from a phone call.

Scientists can look at the influence of genes on behavior by using a mathematical formula called a heritability estimate. Heritability estimates give information about how much of an impact genes have on a behavior in a certain environment. Think about blood type as an example - in your group of friends, there is probably some variation in your blood types. If differences in blood type are mostly influenced by genes then the heritability estimate would reflect that. Heritability estimates can range from 0 to 1; when the estimate is higher (closer to 1), this means that genes have a larger influence on the behavior of interest, as it would be with blood type. When the estimate is lower (closer to 0), it reflects a larger impact of the environment on the behavior. To study heritability, scientists use information from identical twins that were separated at birth, like Karen and Jennifer. They do this because the genetic material of identical twins is almost exactly the same, which makes it easier to determine the relative influence of the environment.

So when they say "ADHD has a heritability of 76% (.76)" I don't see that translating to 30%. But also... it depends on what you mean by 'behavior'. There are different levels of specificity of behavior:

Low heritabilityMedium heritabilityHigh heritability
Specific languageWeightAbility to acquire language
Specific religionReligiosityEye color / Blood type

Not specific behavior. Like "will an ADHD child throw a spitball at Sandy or flick a Paper football at his teacher"... yea that type of behavior is 30%. But the 76% is that he's gonna do something ADHDish, what specifically? Who knows.

This is complex and I don't think you can say 'behavior is X% genetic.' It depends of the specificity of the behavior.

It's like we're inborn with the ability to acquire language (High Heritability) but not a specific language like English (Low Heritability)

Someone with addiction prone genes, we can't predict which drug they're going to pick up with that much accuracy, but we can predict they're very likely to pick up a drug. So 30% might be fore a specific drug, but it jumps up to ~50% when we include all drugs, then way higher if you include behavioral addictions.

I mean I'm not saying don't "try your best" because unless you try your best the behavior goes to chance. This isn't to say that guiding your behaviors isn't important. It doesn't mean to take a magic pill and then you're done. It just means that when you have your physiology in check you have a significantly better chance of your body not seriously thwarting your efforts.

I think most everyone has had an experience where they set out to go to the gym, got to it for a week and a half, then got sucked back into their old patterns. This is because their physiology is important.

Do both. My educated prediction is: you take 100 low DA people and tell them to engage in healthy behaviors, maybe 7 of them will stick with it. You take 100 High DA people and tell them to engage in healthy behaviors more like 89 will stick with it. If you can raise your physiological DA levels, you have a better chance of sticking with your goals.

That's the point.
[/
So I'm basically exactly like Gary Fritz in this post. This has been the case for me ever since I was a kid. My dad is the same way. His dad is the same way. Several of my siblings share these traits with me, at varying levels of severity.

Funny thing, I excelled in school, not because I wasn't distracted all the time (which I was), but because I was academically bright and grasped concepts quickly enough to pass with high grades without much study.

However, in the workforce, I did very poorly. My average yearly income was about $10,000 a year for the first 10 years after graduating from college. People who knew me would shake their heads and say, "What gives? You're capable of so much more than this! It doesn't make any sense that you're working a part-time, minimum-wage job."

I was at my sister's wedding in 2011 and got into conversation a guy I only knew slightly. I asked him some advice about a Master's Degree I was considering at the time. Very quickly, he started guessing things about me that were startlingly accurate.

"I bet it's hard for you to keep your apartment clean, too."

"Yes!"

"And I bet it's really difficult to motivate yourself to do mundane things."

"Yes!"

"But when you're really engaged in something, you get carried away and you don't have any trouble focusing on it."

"Exactly!"

"But pretty soon, after the thrill of starting wears off, you have trouble continuing."

"Yes! But HOW do you KNOW?"

He laughed. The father of the groom, who was also participating in the conversation, also laughed and gave him a poke in the ribs. "Tell her," he said.

The man looked all bashful and self-deprecating, so the father of the groom filled me in. "Dr. _ spent his entire career dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of ADD and ADHD."

From there, this retired doctor spent some time discussing the brain's executive function and giving me some rudimentary tools that I could use to self-treat if I didn't want to go the route of using medicine. He suggested that I experiment with caffeine and exercise. Right before I needed to do something I knew I would struggle with, either drink some coffee or exercise to the point where I was breathless and sweating.

So I started experimenting with these things, and wow! They worked.

Just a little bit of caffeine, 20 minutes before I had to do something rote, mundane, and boring, and I could suddenly "decide" to do it. It was effortless. I could suddenly just set my mind to a task and carry it out. Wow! What is this? It's like an upgraded version of me! It's like a version of me that's more like other people.

Without the caffeine, it was like dragging myself, kicking and screaming, to the place of execution. No amount of punishments, rewards, threats, or pep talks could achieve anything. My journals going back to my teenage years are full of lamentations to the effect of "But WHY won't I just ACT? I know WHAT to do. I know HOW to do it. But how in the world do I get myself to actually DO it?" This single factor has been the biggest deterrent in me reaching my goals.

My caffeine intake began slowly. It started as a thing every once in a while that I would use to give me that "edge" that would enable me to choose to engage in a task that I didn't want to do.

But when I gained full-time employment, the coffee became an everyday thing, just to produce anything. I didn't really want to get addicted to caffeine. But I figured, "I'd rather keep my job than stay unaddicted to coffee."

So caffeine became a crutch. I needed more and more of it to function. Eventually, it just stopped working.

As I have researched this for myself and experimented on what works and what doesn't, it does seem that it all comes back to dopamine (and possibly other neurotransmitters & chemicals) and their activity.

This not, for me, a disempowering thing. It's not a matter of, "I want to just pass the buck and shirk personal responsibility and chalk it all up to chemicals." Looking into the dopamine connection, I find that there is an extremely productive source of possible connections to pursue to make real progress. And the more we find out about the actual genetics and mechanics of the way these things work in our systems, the more exciting it is to think that we will be able to specifically target our own personal deficiencies with precision tools rather than the old rudimentary ones (stimulants and exercise).

@Leo Hendrix is right on when he mentions "Basically - a tech product that sort of keeps your dopamine levels at a healthy level and rewards structured habits and tasks which lead to certain results, sort of a process gamification reward system." I have used a self-invented system that does exactly this, based on the hypothesis that if I hack my dopamine to associate 'artificial" rewards with the exact work behaviors that I struggle with, eventually I will create a new pathway where the difficult behavior feels rewarding. This model has been one of the most amazing, results-enforcing things I have ever tried. It's the opposite of disempowering. It's super effective and transmits a tremendous amount of hope. It's like getting glasses for poor eyesight for the first time.

Lately, I've gone through a period of extreme burnout thanks to a very stressful job. Towards the end of my employment with them, it was like I mentally disengaged from everything.

Now, I'm in a different job, and circumstances are better. Objectively, by any measurement, this is the best job I've ever had, and it's better than any other comparable job I could hope to land. (Of course, one day my side hustle will take off and I won't need a job at all, but for now, this is how I earn a living.)

But since June, my brain has been like, "Nope, you can't call on me today. I'm not home."

"Excuse me, brain, but YOU are my main work tool. I need you to show up."

"Sorry. Can't make me."

So whereas before, I was able to manage myself (in a haphazard, chaotic way) to hold down a job and lead a self-sufficient life, the burnout took this to a whole new level.

For three months, I dragged myself to work kicking and screaming. I was lucky if I could force myself to put in two hours of work in an 8-hour shift. Some days, I would sit down to work from 8:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night and get 30 minutes of work done all day.

That really scared me. I knew I wouldn't keep the job long if I couldn't get this sorted out. I was shocked they didn't fire me.

I also knew that my behavior didn't make any sense. It went completely against my best interest. I was absolutely disgusted with myself for being such a dysfunctional human being.

But my mindset in the whole thing was not, "Let me just find a pill I can take to fix this." My mindset was, "This is confusing, there's something weird going on here, but I have choices, I'm looking for solutions, and I am confident that I will find them - and the sooner the better, so that I don't pull down unpleasant consequences onto my head."

And the dopamine connection was the one that made the biggest impact on my ability to function.

This was separate from and unrelated to @ChrisV posting this thread. But Chris's research and articles helped to put language and substance to what I was already exploring for myself in a rudimentary way.

@Bertram, what you're saying doesn't make any sense to me. I don't think you have any clue of what it's actually like to live with this issue. It's almost like you're a person who doesn't acknowledge that blindness exists, and you're saying that "if all those 'blind' people would just open their eyes, they'd be able to see." It's like you're projecting a neurotypical, normal human range of distraction and loss of focus onto the situation and saying, "All you people who are chalking up your issues to ADD and ADHD, it's just a cop-out. If you would only change your mindset and observe what is happening, you'd be fine."

@ChrisV keep up the good work - I think what you're doing is helpful and beneficial.
The personal attack, the personal criticism right away, demonstrates the quality of person you are.
What prompted it?
I have distractibility just like you and Chris.
Some of us rely on exogenous aids like coffee.
Interestingly the coffee ritual amps up motivation.
So part of the caffeine ritual's power is ... the empowerment ritual. The mindset change.
Amp up the rituals in life to get traction on ADD.
That's working on temperament.
Your story is one of looking for and finding exogenous solutions. I'm glad you have found solutions. And it's a free country. Drugs give me the warm and fuzzies from time to time. No one's business what we choose.

You can choose not to be informed. It isn't the same as promoting a vulnerable mindset like the overall message in this thread.

And that exact same misinformation about genetics and treatment protocol happens when ever someone's says hey you can't help your ADD child get control of the problem because it's encoded in her genes, and genes control their behavior 70-80 percent so get those kids medicated ... which is 100 percent wrong. Kids develop temperament environmentally, including role models and guidance.

I could call this "misinformation" by its real name. Stupidity.

Traits are environmentally inherited too.

By the way you refer to genetics when you mean physiology. So you probably don't understand what the discussion of genetics here is all about. I could word this more politely but apparently it won't make any difference to you, so be it.

As for your discussion of exhaustion, that too has been shown to be more related to loneliness than to physical weariness. There's more about this in thebook, "Born to Lead." So their proposed solution to workplace exhaustion is to look into the social dynamics at the job. Connecting people emotionally solves it. Pretty cool, don't you think?

But you could also ask for antidepressants instead of tackling the problem. Free country.
 
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Bekit

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This not, for me, a disempowering thing. It's not a matter of, "I want to just pass the buck and shirk personal responsibility and chalk it all up to chemicals." Looking into the dopamine connection, I find that there is an extremely productive source of possible connections to pursue to make real progress. And the more we find out about the actual genetics and mechanics of the way these things work in our systems, the more exciting it is to think that we will be able to specifically target our own personal deficiencies with precision tools rather than the old rudimentary ones (stimulants and exercise).

@Leo Hendrix is right on when he mentions "Basically - a tech product that sort of keeps your dopamine levels at a healthy level and rewards structured habits and tasks which lead to certain results, sort of a process gamification reward system." I have used a self-invented system that does exactly this, based on the hypothesis that if I hack my dopamine to associate 'artificial" rewards with the exact work behaviors that I struggle with, eventually I will create a new pathway where the difficult behavior feels rewarding. This model has been one of the most amazing, results-enforcing things I have ever tried. It's the opposite of disempowering. It's super effective and transmits a tremendous amount of hope. It's like getting glasses for poor eyesight for the first time.
Follow up on this - I started a thread to explain the game I invented for myself in case it's helpful for anyone else.


As for your discussion of exhaustion, that too has been shown to be more related to loneliness than to physical weariness. There's more about this in thebook, "Born to Lead." So their proposed solution to workplace exhaustion is to look into the social dynamics at the job. Connecting people emotionally solves it. Pretty cool, don't you think?
That's an interesting connection. I hadn't thought of that being potentially related, but I'll check out that book. Thanks for the recommendation.
 
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@Bertram

I just feel like this isn't very productive.

Let's try a more productive way.

How about instead of telling everybody what you think is wrong, you tell us what you think is right, and provide citations for it. So rather than it looking like some research pissing contest, there’s potentially useful information for the people reading.

If you think Cognitive Therapy is useful to people, provide support for times that has worked.

I like this search. It’s based on MediaBiasFactCheck’s rating. They rate sources on their reliability and spin, and then let you block out sources they rate to be unreliable.


They have a “Pro Science” option

Type in something like “Benefits of Cognitive Therapy on motivation” and provide support for your argument. There are ways to argue that are constructive, and this isn’t it. Whereas if you provided support people (perhaps including myself) would be like “hmm, that interesting, I never thought of it that way.”

Like the pool ball / pool player analogy is good, but it’s more of a philosophical argument. Provide support for examples where that thought process lead to an intervention that has been shown to work. Otherwise people are just going to be like “what’s the point of all this.”

You’ve taught classes on this. So what if a student handed in a paper with zero citations?

Like all this stuff doesn’t matter. Knocking down researchers “he only studies ADHD”.. It’s stuff we’re trained specifically not to do. Ad Hominem doesn’t matter. Credentials don’t matter. We don’t care how many letters you have after your name. We want to know what you think, why you think it, and the pieces of evidence that may prove it’s right. We don’t care if you were caught masturbating into tennis shoes in 2002. A homeless guy can come in off the streets and if his idea is given the same weight as Einstein's.


I mean don’t get me wrong, a well respected researcher has a much better chance of being correct, but it’s not as good as direct or even circumstantial evidence.

26932

This can be an epically helpful thread for people you actually showed what people could do, and evidence for that rather than trying to knock down credentials.

Perhaps there are some things That havent been taken into account. But you’re not going to move mine or anyone elses position without providing support or evidence.

Here’s a start.

Implementation intentions.

Mental Contrasting (although it hasn’t been replicated in independent trials)

N-Back training

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Token rewards / Behavior Modification

Just provide support. No one is saying you’re wrong, but without support we can’t even determine if it’s right or wrong.
 

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This is the most disempowering solution in the whole thread. I was worried this would happen @ChrisV, to ignore the effective approaches in favor of woo, product developing a pill to ingest or app or a guru solution, promoting the attitude of just going out and BUYING something, like a DNA test which is nowhere shown to make the real change, @ChrisV.
Yaysus.

The brain in your skull is not driven by neurochemistry. Rather, thoughts drive your effin neurochemistry.

Guess what, fellow human mammals, we can and do change our temperament (resilience, susceptibility to maladaptive behaviors) just by UNDERSTANDING.

The wrong understanding causes rebound behavior and sharpens cravings.

The wrong understanding designs the addictive mindset.

The brain is designed to respond to new knowledge. Thoughts reconfigure temperament.

Read "Indistractible". Learn about the kind of thinking that primes addictive and self-sabotaging behavior.

@Fox 75 Hard, is impossible to complete as long as you have the wrong concept about will power, or can which be fantastically life-changing if you understand what you're doing another way.

Drop the no-brainer pill-popping mindset and you will dreaming of a crutch.

The perpetual addictive mindset wants to believe that chemicals are the answer and that personal agency can simply disappear because ... chemistry happens.

All due respect, it's a self-imposed delusion. We who have struggled with addiction know of this. We can default to delusional powerless behavior. Depending on your mind, on what you think.

Human mammals do rely on consciousness. Rats don't. You have more going on, more power to change, than lab rats genetically altered to extremes for neurobiological experimentation.

You are free, rat is not, to change your neurochemistry,

Nothing works better to permanently change behavior than what you understand and feel about what you are doing in a particular moment.

Everyone please get out of this clown car.
At the beginning and end of each day, it's your life and your choices.
Let the readers and market decide what is best for them, people might need some data, tools, products, whatever to help them along in gaining an understanding of themselves.

Whatever helps in an individuals self-education.

No one's pushing anything, present options and let a person choose for themselves.
Sure.
Here's my objection, post #65.

Here is what I wrote in #65 copied and pasted:

"This is the most disempowering solution in the whole thread. I was worried this would happen @ChrisV, to ignore the effective approaches in favor of woo, product developing a pill to ingest or app or a guru solution, promoting the attitude of just going out and BUYING something, like a DNA test which is nowhere shown to make the real change, @ChrisV.
Yaysus.

The brain in your skull is not driven by neurochemistry. Rather, thoughts drive your effin neurochemistry.

Guess what, fellow human mammals, we can and do change our temperament (resilience, susceptibility to maladaptive behaviors) just by UNDERSTANDING.

The wrong understanding causes rebound behavior and sharpens cravings.

The wrong understanding designs the addictive mindset.

The brain is designed to respond to new knowledge. Thoughts reconfigure temperament.

Read "Indistractible". Learn about the kind of thinking that primes addictive and self-sabotaging behavior.

@Fox 75 Hard, is impossible to complete as long as you have the wrong concept about will power, or can which be fantastically life-changing if you understand what you're doing another way.

Drop the no-brainer pill-popping mindset and you will not just keep dreaming of a crutch.

The perpetual addictive mindset wants to believe that chemicals are the answer and that personal agency can simply disappear because ... chemistry happens.

All due respect, it's a self-imposed delusion. We who have struggled with addiction know of this. We can default to delusional powerless behavior. Depending on your mind, on what you think.

Human mammals do rely on consciousness.

Rats don't. You have more going on, more power to change, than lab rats genetically altered to extremes for neurobiological experimentation.

You are enabled, rat is not, to change your neurochemistry,

Nothing works better to permanently change behavior than what you understand and feel about what you are doing in a particular moment.

Everyone please get out of this clown car."


End of #65. People were getting the idea from the curated clips of a pharmaceutical spokesman (Barkley) that "the most important thing to do is get a DNA test" and make lifestyle changes head-on.

But that leads everyone away from reality: there is no way you can get ADD/ADHD or distractibility under control if you continue to have the wrong mindset - even when highly medicated.

Some of these posts totally fabricate the idea that 70-80% of distractible behavior is the result of genes. Hell no, there is no geneticist worth his salt, to quote Lewontin, who argues that genes express even 25% of physiology (or more technically phylogeny). And man it is even less imaginable to connect your actual mindset or temperament - moment after moment - to your genetics.
Case in point: both @ChrisV and I do not manage to read when we want to, or to do what we have to, because we both lose control of attentional tasks.
DNA test or not. Drugs or not.
This thread is the beautiful evidence.

Distractibility is a pain management technique. Depression can result in distraction that looks exactly like ADD/ADHD.

The sole reasons why I have any kind of edge on the problem and this passion to argue that your thoughts control your brain chemisry not the other way around is because I have researched mental states and wellbeing as a 10-year-long side hustle that has developed to the point that I right now have a two-year university position to write two books about it. (Expert or not, any reliable, useful research depends 100% on quality research and upon effin due diligence, not on academic reputation. Some top scholars have not kept current on research in their own fields for 30 years and they still get by!)

The downside of ADD/ADHD or distractibility due to other causes is purely, 100% percent, the outcome of not understanding what is happening to you.

Nothing will change if you keep thinking of distraction the wrong way.

You will continue to succumb to distraction if you misunderstand what is going on and hide behind the shiny object fascination or go asking around for a quick fix.
I initially chose not to reply so as not to interfere in any way with OP's message on this thread, but I changed my mind in the interests of adding value to this thread (hopefully).

I think it is wiser in life not to think of things in a zero-sum manner unless unbiased data shows it truly is. * Not sure what the data & research is on that but perhaps you could enlighten us on this in a thread.

My intention was to merely present choices, options or alternatives for individuals to consider and make their own decisions accordingly.

I believe in utilizing whatever works and constantly pushing the boundaries of our reality, constantly testing, iterating, improving and learning as we all go along in life.
 
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@Leo Hendrix is right on when he mentions "Basically - a tech product that sort of keeps your dopamine levels at a healthy level and rewards structured habits and tasks which lead to certain results, sort of a process gamification reward system." I have used a self-invented system that does exactly this, based on the hypothesis that if I hack my dopamine to associate 'artificial" rewards with the exact work behaviors that I struggle with, eventually I will create a new pathway where the difficult behavior feels rewarding. This model has been one of the most amazing, results-enforcing things I have ever tried. It's the opposite of disempowering. It's super effective and transmits a tremendous amount of hope. It's like getting glasses for poor eyesight for the first time.
@ApparentHorizon sent me this, and I think it's an interesting approach. He basically took the fact that he had a predisposition toward addiction and focused it toward his business. So rather than the video game being an addiction, he made his business an addiction.

A different approach than I take, but perhaps useful to people, similar to what @Leo Hendrix suggests

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrf489UDXMU
 

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Yea, because for that it's 100%
Ha, she actually wrote to you below that my 25% was generally accepted.
100%? You've abandoned the 70-80% now?
Today you decide that environment has zero influence on gene expression and further that all behavior moment by moment is governed 100% by genes.
Woo doggy, folks. Don't bother finishing your weightlifting routines today friends, it has zero effect on your health, mindset or lifespan according to OP. Pick up the remote, only genes influence your life he claims.
 
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