Again, let’s frame this correctly, scientists now say that dopamine alone is associated with our species ability to focus and pay attention for very long, and that it’s a self-reinforcing process (a programmer focused on a problem creates their own dopamine at those places activated in the brain).
So, in the absence of successfully maintained emotionally-bonded relationships, humans experience a sort of withdrawal, and are driven to self-medicate. Self-medicating for dopamine can look like watching five hours of television a day. And people who watch television like that, and I did for 49 years, also tend to vote according to what we see between the lines of paid political advertisements, instead of through personal research, for our perhaps shared learning disability of having developed an “aversion” to reading most types of books. I have ADHD, and have only found it out since being exposed to the narratives of Dr. Gabor Mate, through Democracy Now (www.democracynow.org) and their daily news show that only runs on viewer-supported satellite TV channels (which I was stuck with after being laid-off, so just by chance). Anyway, you’ll find the narratives for really understanding oneself, if you have ADHD, are curiously absent from corporate television, almost like they know who’s effected by their political ads, and aren’t giving them up, no way.
So, this isn’t academic for me, and I have through much focus developed a real grip on the dopamine experience, and can through a short meditation, get myself into a “dopaminergic state” but it’s short-lived. And, it’s more pronounced since my marriage and job fell away, but I’m more hopeful now, and for more realistic reason, than ever in my life.
Dopamine is the one thing that makes everything else easier, and even just the memory of it is enough sometimes, if it’s a powerful enough experience you’ve had recently. My rabbit has taught me more about my dopamine, and my ADHD, than all the counselling I’ve ever had. It’s the experience I used to associate with certain moments at Church, before I stopped going.