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Masturbation & Motivation/Depression - Dopamine Receptor Downregulation.


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#1 random9876

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:20 AM


Is masturbation and frequent use of internet porn capable of making us less motivated and more depressed? I'm not sure, but I'll explore some of the biology and anecdotal evidence down below.


Mechanism of Dopamine in Reward

It has been established that the neurotransmitter dopamine is implicated in motivation. Dopamine is released (particularly in areas such as the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex) by rewarding experiences such as food, sex, drugs, and neutral stimuli that become associated with them [1].

Mechanism of Dopamine Desensitization

Human studies as well as rat studies show that the dopamine receptors are downregulated in subjects addicted to drugs and food.[2][3] This downregulation occurs as a result of sharp increases in dopamine levels when dopamine repeatedly floods the brain during addictive behavior. Here, over-stimulation decreases the number of receptors, and the remaining receptors become less sensitive to dopamine. This process is called desensitization.

Link Between Masturbation and Decrease in Dopamine Sensitivity

Masturbation is the sexual stimulation of the genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. During masturbation, dopamine floods the brain in a manner similar to sex, drugs, or food. Therefore, it is within the realm of possibility that repeated masturbation at high frequency can also result in a decrease in the amount of dopamine receptors (particularly D2) in the brain. In other words, frequent masturbation *could*, in theory, make your brain less sensitive to dopamine.

Link Between Decrease in Dopamine Receptor Density and Motivation / Depression

If the brain is desensitized to big rewards (sex, food, drugs), then smaller, more abstract rewards would become even less rewarding to the brain (For example: decrease in pleasure from academic success, leading to less ability and motivation to focus on that subject). Indeed, many addicts report feeling less pleasure from everyday activities. Could masturbation, which is encouraged as healthy and good in our society, actually be contributing to decrease in dopamine receptors and thus be promoting depression and lack of motivation?

Rise of Internet Porn - A Vast Dopamine Experiment with Potential Consequences

Since 1991, internet porn has really begun to take hold, and a huge portion of young, college-aged males report using pornography. Indeed, with college life, also comes free time and independence, and it would be interesting to see how large a portion of that time is spent masturbating. With the ease access to pornography, men now have access to repeated means to flood their brain with dopamine. Could this have unintended side effects, such as the ones speculated about above?

*bit of a crazy theory below*

Interestingly, In 2009, the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA)—a nationwidesurvey of college students at 2- and 4-year institutions—found that nearly 30 percent of college students reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function” at some time in the past year.[4] Obviously, this might be due to many other factors, but I wonder if there is some link between that depression and the vast increase in use of internet pornography in recent years.

I have no religious agenda in writing this post. This is merely an attempt to pose a timely set of questions and ensure that I, a frequent porn user, am not inadvertently sabotaging my own body and brain. (My entrance into college a long time ago saw an increase in porn use and depression, but whether that's the horse or buggy is hard to say). I also write this post because of anecdotal evidence on communities such as reddit (/r/nofap) that abstaining from masturbation actually has immensely positive effects on confidence, depression, and motivation.

Cheers. Please let me know what you think, even if you think I'm batshit crazy I'll be glad to hear it. I am open to all input.


References:

[1] Arias-Carrión O, Pöppel E (2007). "Dopamine, learning and reward-seeking behavior". Act NeurobiolExp 67 (4): 481–488.
[2] Johnson, Paul M., and Paul J. Kenny. "Corrigendum: Dopamine D2 Receptors in Addiction-like Reward Dysfunction and Compulsive Eating in Obese Rats." Nature Neuroscience 13.8 (2010): 1033. Print.
[3] Fehr, C., I. Yakushev, N. Hohmann, H.-G. Buchholz, C. Landvogt, H. Deckers, A. Eberhardt, M. Klager, M. N. Smolka, A. Scheurich, T. Dielentheis, L. G. Schmidt, F. Rosch, P. Bartenstein, G. Grunder, and M. Schreckenberger. "Association of Low Striatal Dopamine D2 Receptor Availability With Nicotine Dependence Similar to That Seen With Other Drugs of Abuse." American Journal of Psychiatry 165.4 (2008): 507-14. Print. PMID 18316420
[4] http://www.nimh.nih....ete-index.shtml

Edited by random9876, 29 July 2012 - 01:14 AM.

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#2 random9876

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:58 AM

If one wanted to increase dopamine receptor density, it appears that both inositol and CDP-choline [1] could work.

They gave mice 500 mg/kg/day body weight per day of CDP-choline, resulting in 18% increase in dopamine receptors. Thus, if we apply an interspecies scaling factor of 6.6 [2], then that means you'd have to take about 75 mg/kg/day of CDP-Choline to achieve that same 18% increase. This mean that someone who weighs 150 lbs/68 kg would have to take about 5100 mg of CDP-choline per day. That seems like an awful lot.


(If this is true, then piracetam might not work well for people who are addicted to masturbation/porn/drugs/food because it depletes the available choline from the brain, and thus may prevent increases in receptor density increase that would normally occur. Perhaps this is why piracetam is beneficial to some and not to others. I doubt it though. just conjecture)



[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm....m00231-0009.pdf
[2] http://books.google.... factor&f=false

Edited by random9876, 29 July 2012 - 01:12 AM.

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#3 random9876

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:37 AM

Brain Dopamine Receptor Density Correlates With Social Status

http://www.scienceda...00203084254.htm

"This data suggests that people who achieve greater social status are more likely to be able to experience life as rewarding and stimulating because they have more targets for dopamine to act upon within the striatum."
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#4 nupi

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:34 AM

I still do not fully understand why frequent masturbation should be bad for your dopamine system while frequent sex (ostensibly having the same dopamine profile) is a good thing for you? I would buy that masturbation and porn may screw with your outlook on life, but that's way beyond D2 down regulation, really. Also this whole idea seems to be very prominent in the prudish US and much less so in Europe which makes me wonder if it isnt more of a moral crusade...

I also call bullshit on the claims about abstinence having motivatory or nootropic benefits. Being horny all the time is an anti-nootropic, if anything.

Edited by nupi, 29 July 2012 - 09:35 AM.

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#5 hippocampus

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:13 PM

Frequent sex is usually associated with friendship and partnership which is good for (mental) health; masturbation is like frequent sex without love every night with different woman/man. It's not the same. Frequent sex is usually not just sex.
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#6 nupi

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:46 PM

I will readily concede to that, but still, it should screw up the dopamine system in a similar way - if it in fact gets screwed up which is what I doubt.

Anyway, I googled a little about the background on Your Brain on Porn and came up with this nugget https://en.wikipedia...nt_Eyes#E-books Yep, that one is definitely entirely unbiased.

Edited by nupi, 29 July 2012 - 02:47 PM.

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#7 random9876

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 05:43 PM

I will readily concede to that, but still, it should screw up the dopamine system in a similar way - if it in fact gets screwed up which is what I doubt.

Anyway, I googled a little about the background on Your Brain on Porn and came up with this nugget https://en.wikipedia...nt_Eyes#E-books Yep, that one is definitely entirely unbiased.


I really don't see how the massive rush of dopamine that your brain receives is any different from when you take a drug. So, in theory, you could also be addicted to sex, which some could argue all humans are. However, in no period in history has sex been so freely available in the form of online porn. It's really quite more frequent than regular sex, and it's more consistant too.

Perhaps avoiding masturbation because of its highly frequent nature would have great benefit. Again, I'm not 100% sure, but I think the idea merits investigation.
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#8 BioFreak

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:52 PM

After orgasm, the body increases prolactin which counteracts dopamine. So in theory, a spike of dopamine would be followed by a "rest" for the dopamine receptors. This most definitely works at least in part against long term dopamine receptor downregulation. I am not sure about dopamin raising drugs, but if prolactin does not raise in response to a drug activated dopamine rush, then there will be no resting period for dopamine receptors and in that process, sensitivity would go down with time.
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#9 random9876

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:58 PM

After orgasm, the body increases prolactin which counteracts dopamine. So in theory, a spike of dopamine would be followed by a "rest" for the dopamine receptors. This most definitely works at least in part against long term dopamine receptor downregulation. I am not sure about dopamin raising drugs, but if prolactin does not raise in response to a drug activated dopamine rush, then there will be no resting period for dopamine receptors and in that process, sensitivity would go down with time.


Hmm, that's an excellent point. It could be that the refractory period induced by prolactin prevents dopamine from lingering in the synapse and minimizes da-receptor downregulation.

However, I've read that the dopamine spike in the brain occurs prior to orgasm. Therefore, it's entirely possible that the length of time during which masturbation or sex occurs can directly impact the amount da-receptor downregulation. I'll have to look into this and find a source for dopamine levels prior and post climax.

#10 BioFreak

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:18 AM

Yes, the receptors will most definately be downregulated in the first place, but the prolactin gives the receptors rest afterwards. The question is: is the desensibilitation break through prolactin after orgasm enough to let the receptors recover fully from the dopamin spike? I would say unless one is overdoing it, it should be ok. But thats just my educated guess.

#11 ZombieBrain

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 05:00 AM

Here is an interesting article

http://www.psycholog...coolidge-effect

#12 jadamgo

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 07:59 PM

From a cognitive psychological standpoint, a person's views on masturbation could impact depression/anxiety symptoms. People who do it frequently but believe it's bad for them (or worse, believe that they're bad for doing it) would be in a nasty approach/avoidance conflict every time they got horny.

This, plus the prolactin thing, plus the lack of data supporting the hypothesis, leads me to consider it unfounded that masturbation induces anhedonia via dopamine receptor desensitization. However, it can be a trigger for depressive symptoms in people who have a pre-existing judgment against it, and thus against themselves for doing it. Anhedonia would be a natural result of the depressive pathology, if it got out of control. If it didn't get out of control, significant anhedonia would be quite unlikely.
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#13 random9876

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:06 PM

From a cognitive psychological standpoint, a person's views on masturbation could impact depression/anxiety symptoms. People who do it frequently but believe it's bad for them (or worse, believe that they're bad for doing it) would be in a nasty approach/avoidance conflict every time they got horny.

This, plus the prolactin thing, plus the lack of data supporting the hypothesis, leads me to consider it unfounded that masturbation induces anhedonia via dopamine receptor desensitization. However, it can be a trigger for depressive symptoms in people who have a pre-existing judgment against it, and thus against themselves for doing it. Anhedonia would be a natural result of the depressive pathology, if it got out of control. If it didn't get out of control, significant anhedonia would be quite unlikely.


Thanks, those are some great thoughts. I can definitely see how a predisposition to thinking negatively about masturbation could then lead you to feel depressed after you do it. Therefore, it might merely be the case that masturbation doesn't actually have an effect beyond our psychological predisposition toward it.

However, I also think that there has not been enough studies that measure the effect of frequent masturbation on dopamine receptor density.

On the note about prolactin: If it is indeed true that masturbation is not addictive due to prolactin's ability to counteract dopamine, could prolactin be used to treat other addictions?

Edited by random9876, 24 August 2012 - 10:06 PM.


#14 jadamgo

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:31 PM

However, I also think that there has not been enough studies that measure the effect of frequent masturbation on dopamine receptor density.

On the note about prolactin: If it is indeed true that masturbation is not addictive due to prolactin's ability to counteract dopamine, could prolactin be used to treat other addictions?



You are right, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

About prolactin, it would be difficult to find a way to make this work for a drug addiction. The putative reason that prolactin makes sex/masturbation addiction so rare is that the body automatically releases it immediately upon orgasm. I have my doubts that giving a drug addict prolactin to take daily would have the same effect -- its administration would not be contingent on taking the drug, the way prolactin release is contingent on having an orgasm.

#15 random9876

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:38 AM

You are right, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

About prolactin, it would be difficult to find a way to make this work for a drug addiction. The putative reason that prolactin makes sex/masturbation addiction so rare is that the body automatically releases it immediately upon orgasm. I have my doubts that giving a drug addict prolactin to take daily would have the same effect -- its administration would not be contingent on taking the drug, the way prolactin release is contingent on having an orgasm.


That's true. So a drug addict would have to take prolactin at the end of their drug session. I wonder if this can be used in a controlled way to rehabilitate drug addicts. For instance, in a rehabilitation clinic, addicts could administer prolactin after a limited drug session so that they can slowly be weened off the drug. It would be interesting to see a study on this.

#16 Thorsten3

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:08 PM

Sex would still come with the same dopamine downregulation as masturbation.. But, sex is more than that. Being in love and having sex should increase levels of oxytocin so it's an altogether different experience than jerking off, where afterwards you'll feel nothing but emptiness.

When single, I do feel healthier in myself if I abstain from ejacualtion. I become more confident socially, less anxious and more motivated.

I tried sticking to this route but eventually after three weeks I started getting pains down there, that only ejacualting seemed to solve. I do buy into the ejaculating for health hypothesis (maybe two/three times per week to avoid potential prostate issues).

I then went on to try Trivastal, which is a d2/d3 partial agonist. This means in theory that it modulates both d2/d3 (essential for pleasure, sexual drive,etc). As a partial agonist it acts as an agonist when in company of an antagonist (times of anhedonia).. But would behave as an antagonist when in company of an agonist (so might even have efficacy for disorders such as as bipolar, or even as an add on for a schizo regimen). All in all it worked excellently at restoring sexual drive and hedonic tone (as mine was generally anhedonic the whole time) but the drug wasn't sustainable due to its intensely annoying a2-adrenergic antagonistic properties. It was, however, a superb add on to a dull SSRI like Lexapro, but this combination eventually initiated mania in my case. Perhaps adding it to a 'user friendly' GABAergic (yeah like these exist) could be an interesting option?

I only mention Trivastal as something to try if you wanted to try and manipulate the situation through the pharmaceutical route. It would definitely counter prolactin issues and might (possibly) help with the refractory period after ejacualtion (I didn't really look out for these things when I tried the drug though).

Apologies for digressing and for my mangled post , I'm tired and need to go to bed.

Edited by Thorsten2, 07 September 2012 - 10:17 PM.


#17 phadl

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:33 AM

This is interesting, from a female perspective I used to compulsively masturbate and exercise. Not because I wanted to, but because I got that rush I was so desperately lacking otherwise. I constantly felt tired and lethargic and sick of everything otherwise. It was like getting high, feel better, then crash even lower so you want to do it again. I'm now getting my dopamine from medication, and feeling a lot better - both the need to masturbate and exercise to feel better are gone. So, rather than a cause I suggest a need to masturbate compulsively is a symptom. Your brain is trying to suck some dopamine from whereever it can because it's lacking.

Now I get a high from exercise and when I occasionally masturbate, but I don't get a crash, and I don't NEED to do either. The compulsive aspect has disappeared because my brain chemistry is fixed.
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#18 nito

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:21 AM

This is interesting, from a female perspective I used to compulsively masturbate and exercise. Not because I wanted to, but because I got that rush I was so desperately lacking otherwise. I constantly felt tired and lethargic and sick of everything otherwise. It was like getting high, feel better, then crash even lower so you want to do it again. I'm now getting my dopamine from medication, and feeling a lot better - both the need to masturbate and exercise to feel better are gone. So, rather than a cause I suggest a need to masturbate compulsively is a symptom. Your brain is trying to suck some dopamine from whereever it can because it's lacking.

Now I get a high from exercise and when I occasionally masturbate, but I don't get a crash, and I don't NEED to do either. The compulsive aspect has disappeared because my brain chemistry is fixed.


So girls get that crash also? I thought only boys felt that apathetic feeling straight after cumming.

#19 deon10

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:11 PM

This is interesting, from a female perspective I used to compulsively masturbate and exercise. Not because I wanted to, but because I got that rush I was so desperately lacking otherwise. I constantly felt tired and lethargic and sick of everything otherwise. It was like getting high, feel better, then crash even lower so you want to do it again. I'm now getting my dopamine from medication, and feeling a lot better - both the need to masturbate and exercise to feel better are gone. So, rather than a cause I suggest a need to masturbate compulsively is a symptom. Your brain is trying to suck some dopamine from whereever it can because it's lacking.

Now I get a high from exercise and when I occasionally masturbate, but I don't get a crash, and I don't NEED to do either. The compulsive aspect has disappeared because my brain chemistry is fixed.


Exercise's benefits go beyond just the effect on dopamine. It also is a healthier way to managing dopamine levels than drugs. Why stop it?

#20 phadl

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:44 PM

I didn't get the crash straight after, but some time after, yes, because I started craving a new high. The dopamine was too low again.

As far as exercise is concerned, it was unhealthy for the same reason masturbation was - I wasn't doing it because it was all that great, I was doing it because I felt like crap if I didn't. It was a compulsion, akin to an OCD ritual - you don't do it because it gives you something, you do it because it takes away the crappy feeling.

For some time. Then it was back to crap. Like a junkie craving the next fix. Unhealthily, insanely depressed, apathetic, a slob. That's not what exercise is supposed to do to a person. It's supposed to do the opposite. Drugs keep me constant, it's not yo yoing up and down like it was with exercise and masturbating. Neither of those were healthy, despite being more natural than medication.

I still exercise, but not compulsively, and only to keep up my fitness level to where it is. And if I have the flu or my period or whatever, I don't do it, sometimes for a week in a row, and I don't feel any crappier for it. That's what healthy is.
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#21 random9876

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:54 PM

This is interesting, from a female perspective I used to compulsively masturbate and exercise. Not because I wanted to, but because I got that rush I was so desperately lacking otherwise. I constantly felt tired and lethargic and sick of everything otherwise. It was like getting high, feel better, then crash even lower so you want to do it again. I'm now getting my dopamine from medication, and feeling a lot better - both the need to masturbate and exercise to feel better are gone. So, rather than a cause I suggest a need to masturbate compulsively is a symptom. Your brain is trying to suck some dopamine from whereever it can because it's lacking.

Now I get a high from exercise and when I occasionally masturbate, but I don't get a crash, and I don't NEED to do either. The compulsive aspect has disappeared because my brain chemistry is fixed.


What medications do you take to increase the dopamine in your brain? A MAO-B inhibitor like selegiline, perhaps?

Edited by random9876, 20 September 2012 - 09:55 PM.


#22 tritium

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 03:30 PM

Do nocturnal emissions cause the same dopamine receptor doenregulation as masturbation? I notoced that if I don't masturbate for a week or two these may occur which they don't usually.

#23 nidhogg

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:28 PM

Since i was invited to share my knowledge, i'd like to clear some things up.
First of all, desensitization and downregulation are not equal to each other. Desensitization is a result receptor phosphorylation induced by activation of said receptor or by adenyl cyclase activators such as forskolin. Downregulation is reduced expression of said receptor due to chronic stimulation or modulation by another receptor.
Masturbation and sex produces a momentarily increase in dopamine levels, whilst drugs(amphetamine, cocaine) have a relatively much much longer and more potent effect.
Thus, activity induced dopamine release does never ever result in downregulation. Assuming a person functions optimally and does not suffer from some illness.

Second, dopamine receptors are not all alike. "Global" downregulation is not physiologically possible.
D1-type receptors are Gs coupled and stimulate intracellular cAMP levels, they are a subject of desensitization and downregulation by activity.
D2-type receptors are Gi couple, thus inhibit cAMP levels. They are mostly seen being upregulated by activity such as drug abuse, which is logical because this would result in a lower dopaminergic activity.

Lastly, the receptor activity are heavily intertwined. Activity of a certain receptor will result of modulation of a completely different receptor. For this reason the receptors placed in certain parts of the brain are more or less responsive depending on what other receptors are expressed there and in what quantity.

I am in no means a receptor expert and i would be able to explain the complete complexity of the dopaminergic system, but this is the basic principal for it. Just because an activity increases dopamine it is impossible to conclude "downregulation".

Considering the momentary increase by sex/masturbation, there is most likely no change at all by the end of the day because the change is also very momentary

That being said, if you masturbate 10 time a day its a completely different story

Edited by nidhogg, 17 October 2012 - 06:31 PM.

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#24 1kgcoffee

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:16 PM

Thankyou for that explanation. Makes sense, but many do notice a change after nixing this habit. Besides placebo, do you have any theories as to why? Decreased prolactin, increased acetylcholine, etc?

Since i was invited to share my knowledge, i'd like to clear some things up.
First of all, desensitization and downregulation are not equal to each other. Desensitization is a result receptor phosphorylation induced by activation of said receptor or by adenyl cyclase activators such as forskolin. Downregulation is reduced expression of said receptor due to chronic stimulation or modulation by another receptor.
Masturbation and sex produces a momentarily increase in dopamine levels, whilst drugs(amphetamine, cocaine) have a relatively much much longer and more potent effect.
Thus, activity induced dopamine release does never ever result in downregulation. Assuming a person functions optimally and does not suffer from some illness.

Second, dopamine receptors are not all alike. "Global" downregulation is not physiologically possible.
D1-type receptors are Gs coupled and stimulate intracellular cAMP levels, they are a subject of desensitization and downregulation by activity.
D2-type receptors are Gi couple, thus inhibit cAMP levels. They are mostly seen being upregulated by activity such as drug abuse, which is logical because this would result in a lower dopaminergic activity.

Lastly, the receptor activity are heavily intertwined. Activity of a certain receptor will result of modulation of a completely different receptor. For this reason the receptors placed in certain parts of the brain are more or less responsive depending on what other receptors are expressed there and in what quantity.

I am in no means a receptor expert and i would be able to explain the complete complexity of the dopaminergic system, but this is the basic principal for it. Just because an activity increases dopamine it is impossible to conclude "downregulation".

Considering the momentary increase by sex/masturbation, there is most likely no change at all by the end of the day because the change is also very momentary

That being said, if you masturbate 10 time a day its a completely different story



#25 nidhogg

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:27 PM

Its kind of hard to theorize without knowing all the details. Ejaculation induces plenty of physiological changes, but none are persistent. Atleast not to me.
I believe that any persistent effects are due to some form of depletion. Zinc for instance. The theorized prolactin burst would antagonize the dopaminergic system. Taking some l-dopa counters this effectively.
I highly doubt oxytocin and endorphin have any significant persistent effect. What else is there?

#26 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:01 AM

This thread is really old, I hate to be "that guy" who bumps it, but I think the subject of masturbation and anhedonia is worth continued investigation. Although I suspect in a healthy person (in this case, healthy being defined as a normal neurotransmitter system, normal levels of neurotransmitters, normal levels of receptors, as well as a healthy endocrine system), masturbation/sex are unlikely to be able to cause any signifigant long-term changes in the brain (aside from neutral and/or positive psychological changes). In fact, in a healthy individual, regular orgasms are probably healthy. Orgasms are fairly stressful (in a good, workout way) for mostly sedentary activities, and hence have positive cardiovascular effects, as well as relieving built up sexual tension.

However, I suspect that in people with dysfunctional neurotransmitter levels/receptors or a dysfunctional endocrine system, regular orgasms may be capable of causing issues. One route which seems like a possibility to me, is a dysfunction in the release or action of prolactin. Since prolactin serves to counteract the raised levels of dopamine associated with orgasms, perhaps low-prolactin levels could prolong the action of dopamine after orgasms, and hence if one masturbates fairly regularly, perhaps this could result in dopamine receptor downregulation.

Another vector that is an interesting possibility, is perhaps people using dopamine reuptake-inhibitors (i.e Ritalin, Adderall, which also increases dopamine release) are uniquely vulnerable to orgasm-induced anhedonia. The reuptake inhibitor would prevent the high levels of dopamine released during orgasm from being transported out of the extracellular space and back into the pre-synaptic neurons, and thus prolonging stimulation of dopamine receptors by the high levels of dopamine. Say someone masturbated twice a day, once in the morning, once at night, that could possibly be sufficient to induce downregulation (though again, this is just speculation). Medication interfering with dopamine levels is not the only possibility, a natural dysfunction in the dopaminergic system or the enzymes responsible for regulating it could lead to the same effects; dopamine remaining for too long in the extracellular space; and thus the high levels produced by orgasms could lead to downregulation.

One possible explanation for anhedonia seemingly being "caused" by masturbation (and this the most likely explanation), is that abstaining from sexual activity of any kind is associated with elevated levels of testosterone in men. A study found that after abstaining for 7 days, serum testosterone levels had raised 47% above normal levels in participating men. My theory is that perhaps people who have lower than normal levels of testosterone, abstinence "treats" the cognitive issues associated with inadequate testosterone by raising it back to around baseline. Thus masturbation is not causing the anhedonia, though not masturbating indirectly treats it, at least in those with insufficient testosterone (due to a regulation dysfunction, rather than a production dysfunction. It stands to reason that if the issue is with the body's capability of producing testosterone, abstaining will do nothing to raise levels. However if the body is incorrectly regulating levels (due to say, receptor issues), abstinence could be an indirect treatment).
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#27 Babychris

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:45 PM

The only thing that's sure for me is that just after masturbation I feel more depressed but not slightly REALLY.

#28 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:15 PM

The only thing that's sure for me is that just after masturbation I feel more depressed but not slightly REALLY.


Well a purely biological explanation could be an overactive prolactin response (or delayed reuptake of prolactin), which could explain lack of motivation, anhedonia for long periods post-masturbation.

However there are a lot of psychological explanations as well; perhaps you feel lonely, and masturbating only reminds you of your loneliness. Perhaps you view it on some level as an immoral act (you may not necessarily believe that, but perhaps you were constantly exposed to negative opinions regarding it, as a child).
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#29 Babychris

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

No it's strictly physical... and immediatly effective. (I'm sure you see what I mean haha) I feel 10 second max that a very good vibe specially the music become much better (I used younger to put a youtube page ready :p) and just after it's like a big comedown and I can feel it some minutes or some hours but that is much more theorical on this point.

Edited by Babychris, 12 February 2013 - 07:43 PM.


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#30 Sir Chugalot

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:50 PM

The article that Zombie Brain posted a link to, cut's to the chase of it, especially why Masterbation to porn is different from sex (notice the use of the word porn)

http://www.psycholog...coolidge-effect

This ted x lecture is worth watching, s'all about the Delta Fos B and novelty apparently

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSF82AwSDiU

<<edit >>

I personally wouldn't rule out the effects of other hormones though

Edited by Sir Chugalot, 13 February 2013 - 08:52 PM.





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