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BLOG » Are you addicted to your anxiety? The truth about Dopamine
Most people are addicted to their anxiety but they don't even know it. Dopamine is the culprit behind this addiction, and it's triggered and produced whenever you are anxious (or depressed). If you lead a stressful life, then you're constantly triggering your production of dopamine. Unfortunately, the way the system works is that your brain will then redirect your biological resources in order to create cortisol. This can be extremely harmful to your health.
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Are you addicted to your anxiety? The truth about Dopamine

August 11, 2022

How long is your list of things to do? My Asana (task and project management app) is literally filled with thousands of tasks. Like most people, there is a slim to none chance that I'll actually ever get everything done.

For years, this inevitable failure left me feeling so overwhelmed and anxious that I would immediately check out... usually by scrolling, binging Netflix, or playing a game on my phone.

If you relate to any of this, then you might be addicted to your anxiety!

At this moment, you might be thinking "What? What do you mean I'm addicted to anxiety?" Once you understand how dopamine and addiction work, then it becomes obvious that most people are in fact addicted to their "mental illnesses."

If you read my past blog posts about dopamine, then you already know that dopamine is not the pleasure neurotransmitter that so many people misquote. And you also know that dopamine is the "repeat" neurotransmitter and any behavior that has some level of uncertainty (aka stress) can become an addiction.

Most people are very familiar of being addicted to social media. How many likes did you get? How many times was your video viewed? Did so-and-so look at my story yet? Then there's the dissociative behaviors such as getting stuck in a "scroll hole" which makes us produce more dopamine and feed our anxiety even more.

Whenever you avoid your anxiety and do an activity that produces dopamine, such as scrolling on social media mindlessly, what is happening is that your anxiety is causing a spike in dopamine and then you are pairing it with the behavior of scrolling social media. This creates a very strong neural pathway that will make you repeat the behavior.

Note
A neural pathway is a bunch of brain cells that connect together to send signals from one part of the brain to another part of the brain.

And it's not just social media. Binging Netflix, YouTube, or podcasts all create these same kinds of neural pathways. I think the binging of podcasts and informational YouTube videos often gets overlooked as anxiety driven behaviors since they are often rooted in self development.

Most of us learned that educating yourself is considered to be one of the best things you can do. If your parents and caregivers emphasized getting good grades, then being educated and smart will feel good. Not knowing the answers will cause anxiety. Taking in information about a problem you have (like in a podcast or video) feels like you're doing something about your problems. It feels like being a good student.

Taking in information does not reduce your anxiety, taking action and changing your thoughts is what reduces anxiety. Very few people actually take the action that they learn about in books, podcasts, and videos. They continue to think about their problems and talk about their problems instead of taking action that will help them change their thought patterns. As they talk, about their problems, they experience heightened emotions which only makes the brain pay more attention to the problem.

Inadvertently, they create more stress in their system. More dopamine is produced and they will repeat the same thoughts over and over (that's what dopamine does... makes you repeat behavior). So, they get anxious and depressed about the very thing they're trying to fix! And the cycle starts all over again.

The reason I'm sharing all of this with you is because it's important for you to be aware of how your mind works. If you are anxious, depressed, or experience ADHD symptoms, then you are probably addicted to your anxiety and depression.

You can change the driving forces of dopamine production in your mind and body. But it takes some effort and it doesn't happen over night. The neural pathways that you have were not developed and strengthened overnight. They have been building up over years.

Luckily it doesn't take years to change them.

You can break your addiction to anxiety when you train your brain to produce dopamine from pleasure instead of anxiety. I created a program, Quantum Sexuality, where you will learn how to break your anxiety driven behaviors and replace them with pleasure driven activities.

It's not all fun and orgasms because what you'll learn is so much more than a technique or two to have better orgasms (although I do teach that, too). You'll learn how to create a foundation of self support and a deep connection with your inner wisdom so that you can create lasting changes in your life.

Wendy is a trauma-informed orgasm coach that specializes in helping women take ownership of their sexual pleasure through simple practices that are backed up by neuroscience and physiology.

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