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The natural tragedy – and how to deal with overwhelming stress


#41

Meditation is designed to do just that, so if you find a meditation that works for you, that could be all you need. Personally I somehow ended up viewing meditation as cheating, so I tend to avoid it unless I really have no other option left.

I used to feel anxious about being surrounded by unknown people, however, after I’d dealt with that issue, I found that sitting in sun at the local harbor is very relaxing to me. It seems to work even on cloudy days but a little less well. Being surrounded by nature seems to do the trick as well.

However, I used to be very reluctant to go outside due to the anxiety caused by being surrounded by unknown people. What worked for me before that, and still does, is that I decorated my apartment with pictures that help me feel more relaxed and happier. I’m not usually aware of the effect anymore, since I get used to it, but whenever I’m away for a few days, I’m reminded of the effect they have on me when I return.

Japanese manga art is the genre that I found the pictures from that do this for me. I avoided getting any for a long time because I was afraid of what people around me would think of me due to it. I’ve since learned that the fear was almost entirely unfounded. I now regret not decorating my apartment with them sooner.

However, it’s not easy for me to find pictures that work for this. Only around 0.1% of the pictures I find are such that I’d ever consider hanging them on my wall.

The best thing for relaxing that I’ve found is a dakimakura (Japanese word, literal translation is hugging pillow). It’s basically just a large pillow. 50cmx150cm is the usual size. Japanese parents traditionally give them to their children to help them sleep better. It really works. Also helps a lot in avoiding sore muscles when reading in bed.

That’s another thing meditation is good for. When you let go of the anxieties you’re aware of, there’s room to start perceiving the anxieties that are usually hidden.


#42

yes, this is the answer. to find out, what you really want. the problem is, a person who knows what she really wants, is an enlightened person, so although part of the process, this is the goal ![quote=“Elriel, post:40, topic:1218”]
You can scare people into following the most important practical elements of ethics, but without an understanding of why, the ethical behavior will be restricted to things that are enforced and even then will slip if the person thinks he can evade the enforcement.
[/quote]

yes, right. it is the same with laws. how could we feel save, living with each other, if we all know subconsciously, that only pressure and enforcement prevents our fellow human beings from killing us?

what is the ego and why taming it? if most of the people really don´t know, what they want from life and just react on impulses that are the results of bugs, how could there be an ego in all this mess of unconscious reacting and helpless behaviour?

what is the core problem?

yes, i totally agree with you. games have the potential to experience oneself and to help the player to become more conscious. i love especially adventuregames for that purpose but unfortunately they seem to die out.

why does the feedback have to be external?
if you go back into your past with the help of your memory and do your debugging right, your body will react immediately.

you brought up a very interesting topic, from my perspective the most important topic of all. because this is the only way, to become really transhuman and to change the world into a place, where everybody wants to live in. to achieve this goal, people have to become conscious about themselves and get rid of their bugs.
but it arises many difficult questions: why are people programmed with bugs? what is the self, what is the ego, how could we know, what we really want, how could we distinguish bugs from impulses of the true self? which methods will help us to become conscious and will debug us and which will damage us further? …
and to come back to topic: is there really a natural tragedy? or would it suffice if we all are damaged through awful programming? i think this is tragical enough, but not “natural”.


(Michael Hrenka) #43

Today I tried some introspection, and possibly debugging. Beyond some simple feelings like apparent tiredness and hunger, I did not find much. I mostly felt empty. In general, that is perhaps not the worst state to be in, but in my case this comes with a serious lack of energy and motivation. I want to feel energetic and motivated all the time, but feeling really energetic and motivated is something I experience extremely rarely.

Following my impulses or feelings doesn’t work, if I don’t have any. That’s why I usually prefer basing my life on rationality. At least rationality doesn’t change as quickly as my moods and feelings.

At the end of my “introspection session” I got an interesting suspicion: Perhaps my problems come from not pushing myself to my limits. In other words I’m not using my full potential, which effectively means that I’m wasting my potential (“use it or lose it”). That’s at least slightly tragic. Nevertheless I rarely have thoughts like that, so it’s interesting that this thought appeared this time. Usually I think in terms of energy and motivation, but perhaps that’s the wrong way to think, because it creates questionable excuses not to push myself to my limits.

Of course, care has to be taken not to push oneself beyond one’s limits, because that’s actively harmful. Therefore, knowing one’s true limits is important, but the less you try to push yourself to your limits, the less you actually know them. From my experience there are two critical limits for me: Staying in the anaerobic zone for too long, and losing my calmness. Both of those factors cause crashes for me which reduce my performance for a prolonged period of time. But staying too careful does also have very deleterious effects, so I really need to push myself to my limits, in order to expand them.

That still doesn’t answer the question where I should push, in which dimension, in what direction, and under what constraints (if any). But perhaps that’s the purpose of my anxieties, pressures, and tensions: They may point to the directions I should move towards – and not away from! Maybe it would be the best idea to do exactly those things which generally make me feel most uncomfortable – and try to stay as calm as possible while doing them.

Anyway, when I’m doing certain activities I seem to accumulate some kind of feeling I would describe as “nervous tension”. It seems that I’m doing a lot of compensatory actions to try to flee from that “nervous tension”, or diminish it – with varying levels of success. What I do not understand is what causes this “nervous tension”. Is it because I exhaust certain resources, or is it because I believe that I exhaust certain resources by executing certain actions (mostly those that I interpret as potentially strenuous)? Or is it because I somehow have the idea that I “deserve” a “reward” for my “work”? I experience that idea as being quite toxic.

More experimentation is needed.

P.S.: In the meanwhile I also tried out a state in which I stopped thinking, ceased labelling or evaluating feelings. That was a quite fascinating state to be in, but I didn’t experience that as really helpful.


#44

There’s also the trouble that even if you figure it out once, you can still forget it again. Although, it tends to come easier every subsequent time.

Thankfully, at least in some countries, the majority of people probably wouldn’t kill even if there were no laws against it. However, for many that understanding somehow doesn’t extend towards the “smaller” unethical choices that cannot be forbidden by law in practise.

It took me a long time to get an idea of what the word refers to. One particular source of trouble is that it gets used by so many people who don’t actually understand it’s meaning that the signal/noise ratio is just horrible. But in a way, you could say that ego is that mess of unconscious reacting and helpless behaviour. More to the point, ego is the self-identification with such behaviour and/or it’s causes.

There’s no single “the core problem”. There are many and they’re subtly different for different people even if they’re very similar sometimes. Although, I suppose they all share the similarity that they’re essentially beliefs about yourself or your abilities.

I’m not quite sure where you got the idea that it has to be external. Anyway, a lot of debugging can be done virtually. I don’t think it makes much of a difference whether it’s an external virtual or internal virtual. However, internal virtual requires a certain level of understanding to work properly. Otherwise you’re just running an imperfect simulation that isn’t really useful for learning about the “real” thing.

Yes, I see this as the single most important thing that can be done to improve the world. That is, to help other people learn to debug themselves better.

I wouldn’t say we’re programmed with bugs. Most of them are learned from our parents and other people we’re involved with when we grow up. It’s an iterative process where each generation begins with a stage very close to what their parents have. However, the internet is has made a big change in how this works. Suddenly there’s now a much larger pool of people to learn from, which means that people who’re open to learning and managed to avoid the traps, are now advancing by leaps and bounds. However, the flip side is that the people who fell into the traps (that is, bugs that looked desirable to them for whatever reason) are stuck.

I don’t think it makes sense to try to classify certain impulses as coming from the true self. There are really just two kinds of impulses. Those that help you and/or others and those that don’t. Impulses arise from the generalized problem solver system that we call the subconscious according to your goals and your model (as in, beliefs) of the world. Including a model of yourself in the world.

Because the mind is inherently a less complex system than the world, the model can never be perfect. Hence, impulses will sometimes be unhelpful or even downright harmful. The only thing you can do about it, is to accept it and improve the model when you see errors, so you don’t repeat the same errors for the rest of your life.

The goals are also inevitably formed from the model, so they too might be buggy in themselves.

Well, in a way it is natural, but probably not in the sense the word is usually used. I mean, we’re the first species on Earth capable of reprogramming itself. And no, I don’t mean through technology. Technology definitely helps with that, but what I mean with reprogramming is that we are flexible enough to alter most of our instinctive behavior. However, we didn’t get to start with the knowledge of what’s the best algorithm to reprogram ourselves. We’ve had to learn to do that by trial and error. We’re perhaps the first generation ever to actually have access to every good and bad idea out there.

It doesn’t take many bad ideas applied to the learning process to get badly stuck. So, I consider myself lucky that I’ve managed to learn how to debug myself properly. Others weren’t as lucky. Some are completely stuck and it’s up to those who were lucky to figure out how to help them out of that bind.


#45

When I’ve felt like that, it’s usually been because I was actually suppressing myself from doing things that I deep down naturally wanted to do. Suppressing means that I try to pretend I don’t actually want to do the thing I want to. In other words, it’s not actually a lack of energy and motivation but rather being unable to see that energy and motivation and thus unable to put it to use.

Do you mean active pushing or just allowing yourself to test your limits? Active pushing would probably be bad but if it’s based on allowing, it’ll be much more dynamic and responsive to the changing needs of your body and mind. Active pushing means you make a rule “I have to do this, or that.” while allowing means you just ask your body to do it and then let it happen for as long as it naturally happens. Do beware that this might be a combination as well. For example, you might begin with allowing it to happen and then use a rule to prevent yourself from stopping, which presents a danger of pushing yourself over the limits.

I’ve found that this is often the case. Also, it most likely helps you to stay calm if you pay attention to if the anxiety, pressure or tension feels like something you want to be rid of. If it does, try to change that into welcoming the feeling. The feelings are, afterall, messengers from yourself that exist for the purpose of helping you in some way.

Try welcoming it instead.

Such a state in itself, does not do much. However, you might learn about the effects of the way you think if you tried that state outside meditation sometimes. For example, while taking a walk outside or watching a movie or playing some game. Just don’t expect to learn things at the first attempt. My experience has been that I need to try such things on and off several times before I actually start to grasp the difference.


(Michael Hrenka) #46

How do you know that the energy and motivation is there, if you don’t see it? What if motivation is something that needs to be “generated” somehow, and once it’s generated, it’s obvious that it’s there.

I’m pretty sure that I need to push very hard in order to get to my limits. And doing that is actually very hard. Soft “allowing” doesn’t do the trick. The biggest obstacle for me seems to consist in mustering the motivation to actually push myself to go to my limits. I found that the most effective approach for that is simply being curious about what my limits actually are. Of course, while doing that, I need to be aware of the requirements not to go into anaerobic mode for too long, or losing my calmness.

That sounds like a very interesting approach, but it could also be very dangerous. If I reinterpret the signals from my body that indicate that it has reached certain critical thresholds as something positive, then I might become very eager to push myself beyond certain critical limits, and trigger another crash. On the other hand, being able to do exactly that might be very helpful in actually critical situations (very extreme situations), in which triggering another crash is the smaller price to pay.


#47

Strictly speaking, I can’t be sure that the energy or motivation was there but hidden. It might be that trying to look for it is what generated it. Either way, for me, assuming the energy is there but hidden has often led to the energy being available.

If allowing doesn’t work, that means there’s something that’s actively pushing away from the limits. Forceful pushing works, but it’s quite expensive, energy wise. I’d prefer to temporarily release the brakes rather than just trying to overpower them.

Welcoming a message is different from liking the message. The signals are useful, they let you know about your internal state. If you consider the messages, in themselves, as unwelcome, the underlying motivation is to prevent the messages from happening in the first place. However, when you welcome the message, even if you don’t like the contents, the underlying motivation is to know about problems so you can take them into account. This is a subtle, but quite important distinction. The difference in motivation leads to rather different outcomes. When you don’t welcome the messages, some of your focus will be sidetracked towards actions that seek to suppress the messages, regardless of their necessity.

I think this subtle difference is the key element in addictions. The addictive behavior seems to be always aimed at avoiding a feeling of some kind and I think the motivation to do that stems from being strongly unwelcoming about that feeling.


#48

I stumbled on this this morning. I figured I’d mention it in case you hadn’t found it yourself by googling yet. It’s an interesting use of a medicine meant for completely different thing. It also comes with the theory that it’s an endorphin deficiency could be the cause of ME/CFS, along with many other autoimmune diseases as well. Anyway, the way this is supposed to work is that it blocks the opioid receptors for a small while and thus causes the body to overcompensate by producing much more endorphin temporarily (apparently for 18-24 hours).

Come to think of it, I think most activities that activate the parasymphatetic nervous system also cause endorphin to be produced. Anyway, here are the links I found about it.


https://www.ldnscience.org/
http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/


(Michael Hrenka) #49

Thank you very much. I’ve already stumbled upon Low-Dose Naltrexone some time ago. It’s really one of the most under-reported recent breakthrough discoveries in medicine. There should be more reports about it, and people should talk more about it. I’ve tried to get my doctor to give me a prescription for LDN, but it seems like legal constraints make it quite risky to write prescriptions for off-label use of medicine, so I wasn’t successful with that. Perhaps I need to boost my charisma stat somehow. :grin:

That’s an interesting connection that I never considered or read about. It seems to be quite true, nevertheless:

The following study is confusing me, however, in multiple ways:

Meditation also causes CRH release? CRH initiates the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, so that sounds quite paradoxical! Also, the study doesn’t mention any significant increase of plasma beta endorphin concentrations after mediation, but only after exercise! Anyway, the CRH response after exercise is something that I’m aware of. That should be bad, but apparently exercise in the right dose helps a lot. Is that perhaps due to hormetic or adaptive effects of symapthetic nervous activity that is in the right range? Finally, if the study is right, then meditation would also be something that only has positive effects, if it’s done in the right range. Too little or too much meditation could be harmful.

The study just above this line mentions a “suppression of NK activity” over time with prolonged exposure to CRH. This is in line with a functional impairment of NK cells that’s quite characteristic for ME/CFS, which would support the hypothesis that ME/CFS is a disease that’s (primarily?) caused by dysregulation of the HPA axis.


#50

Or find a doctor with more courage :wink: I think I saw some links about finding a doctor for LDN prescription at one of the links I included in my last message.

I have a faint recollection of hearing that it’s not symphatetic or parasymphatetic activation as such but their balance that’s critical. Perhaps meditation works to balance those? That’d explain it pretty well.

Also, I think the original intent for meditation has been to train oneself to become familiar with the meditative state, with the goal of eventually being in that state all the time without a need to specifically set aside time for it. The sitting down and staying put aspect is part of the practice mostly because it tends to help people get to the desired state and stay there.

I’ll have to confess that this dicussion is veering towards topics I’ve zero familiarity with, so I’ll refrain from commenting :slight_smile:


(Michael Hrenka) #51

Thanks for pointing that out. Unfortunately, there is only one entry for Germany and that doctor lives about at the opposite end of my country. :unamused:

Ah, yes, biology / medicine is usually much more complicated than expected. Unfortunately I find this complexity quite confusing. It would be so much easier to know what to do, if things were simple. :smiley:

How do you define that “meditative state”? Do you mean what is called “mindfulness”? In that case, you are probably right. When it comes to trying to have as few thoughts as possible, it might not be preferable to try that all the time, or would it?


#52

Of course it’s complex. We’re after all the result of millions of years of evolution and as such have evolved to be highly adaptive organisms. We’re not perfect at that, but for the most part, the system works. However, it’s evolved for extreme complexity and our life has become increasingly homogeneous as we advance, so the flaws and tolerances related to the new environment are starting to show.

Consider for example, that today, you’re lucky if you eat more than a dozen or so different vegetables in a year. Before farming, we had to eat what we found and that meant perhaps hundreds of different vegetables a year. That’s the environment we evolved in.

From the mental point of view, things are quickly becoming more complex and the “default” software we’re equipped with isn’t designed for that. We’ve the unique capability (at least compared to any other animal on earth) that we can control our biological urges to a large degree.

This is both a blessing as well as a curse, because while it means we can transcend the limitations of what we used to be, it also means we can destroy our own health by misusing that capability. I think many mental habits our culture ingrains in us are actually harmful.

Especially those that aim to suppress/control our animal instincts. I suspect we go too far with them and thus expose the flaws in our system by creating too different internal environment that the biology hasn’t evolved to operate with. That being said, I believe we can keep doing that. We just need to understand how to keep the biology happy at the same time.

I think the primary problem in many cases is that we’re taught to flat out ignore the signals from our bodies. Even, or perhaps especially, those that are indicative of problems. We’re taught to not trust the innate intelligence of the body when that intelligence is the only hope to keep it working reliably.

The point is not to have as few thoughts as possible as such but rather to not have thoughts that serve no purpose. It’s easier to “hear” the important, but silent, thoughts when you don’t have to try to hear them through a cacophony of useless noise. There’s a threshold of usefulness under which a thought is not worth thinking because thinking it has a negative expected value due to masking other more important thoughts.

Also, I’d like to make the point that even when your mind seems silent, that’s not quite the whole story. You could say that’s when the deepest thinking we’re capable of happens. The only thoughts we’re consciously aware of are only the tip of the iceberg. They’re the least fuzzy thoughts we have. If you make it a habit to not fill your mind with those, you’ll be very alert to notice when something sharpens into view from the fuzziness of the subconscious.


(Michael Hrenka) #53

Update: Daily mood cycling

At the moment I’m in an unprecedented pattern in which days in which I get stuff done alternate with days in which I am really unmotivated and try to pass time with entertainment stuff. That’s certainly am improvement from my previous weeks in which my lack of energy and motivation was constantly high. I’m not sure what triggered this kind of pattern. It was not a pattern that I choose to adapt.

Health effects of beer?

About a week ago I started drinking some beer (1/3 l) in the evening, in the hope that it actually has some health benefits. Well, it seemed to slightly improve my digestion. That’s the effect that’s most obvious. And occasionally I get slight headaches the day afterwards. My sleep pattern is still erratic. If the alcohol has contributed to enabling more functional days, then it’s on average worth drinking it.

Push and pull motivation

As to motivation, it seems that I do better when I have some decent pull or push motivation. Pull motivation is positive motivation towards something fun and interesting. Push motivation is anti-negative motivation directed at getting urgent chores done, or going to fixed appointments that aren’t inherently fun. Both kinds of motivation work for me, but only when they are quite strong. Increasing pull motivation is hard, but getting more push motivation is doable by arranging more appointments and stuff. Of course, I need to find out and respect my limits in that regard. Balance between push motivation and pull motivation may be important, too.


#54

Interesting, that’s a rather familiar pattern to me. My life tends to work like that. I’m not entirely sure of what causes that but I suspect it’s the regular work/rest pattern but with just longer time periods for each. I have the tendency to go all out when I really start doing something and when I stop that, I have to spend a while “recharging” my batteries. The longer I push, the longer I usually need to rest.

I’ve been working to learn to insert rest periods during which I just simply don’t make any demands for myself. The major rest periods seem to always be over whenever I finally manage stop demanding things from myself. It takes a long time when my mind is stubborn and refuses to give up the demands even though I’m not getting anything done.

I don’t personally drink anything alcoholic on a regular pattern, but I’m familiar with the idea that limited consumption could be good. On the topic of digestion, though, I recently got prescribed an antibiotic after the removal of a wisdom tooth and when I expressed the worry over it wrecking up my stomach microbe configuration, the apothecary offered me a product labeled Precosa and told there’s scientific studies backing it’s usefulness. I decided to try it and haven’t had any stomach problems since then. It’s been 10 days now and before I started it, it seemed like I was having at least slight stomach issues every other day. This is the thing it contains: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccharomyces_boulardii

As for the pull motivation, it seems to come from the subconscious expectations of the activity and it’s desirability towards fulfilling whatever the totality of what you’re asking for from your subconscious is. So, it is modifiable and I’ve been successful to some degree with that. The push motivation… well, it’s similar, but easier to manipulate as you can easily arrange for things that will make the subconscious predict disaster if not done. Do note, that this is a stressful strategy though. Too much will wreck your health.


(Michael Hrenka) #55

I’ve been taking capsules with saccharomyces boulardii for quite a while. They do seem to belong to the few things that actually help quite a bit.

How do you modify your subconscious expectations? Why would that even be a good idea? Shouldn’t we get our best results, if our expectations were as realistic as possible? Or do we actually profit from being more optimistic or more pessimistic than we think is reasonable? At least some research seems to point in the direction that a slightly more optimistic than realistic outlook might be quite useful. Do you try doing that, or is your strategy based on something else?


#56

The belief elimination process I linked to earlier is the method I’m using. The subconscious is good at figuring things out, yes. However, there’s one thing that it doesn’t do. It doesn’t seem to actively search for beliefs that were useful in the past but have outlived their usefulness, so only those that reality forces you to see are false get fixed. Although, I suspect that if you do that with your conscious attention for a long while, the subconscious will learn the trick too.


(Michael Hrenka) #57

Another update. My recent pattern of one “good” day followed by one “bad” day has been broken. I haven’t feeling good over the last days. That may be because I have neglected getting enough exercise. No matter what I do, it’s always a bad idea to neglect exercising enough. So, today I went on a long jog and was surprised that I was still able to jog for over an hour without problem. :slight_smile: My goal is to get up to two hours and then gradually increase my speed. :smile:

Let the body set the flow! :smiley:


(Michael Hrenka) #58

Update: I seem to be back to the pattern of one “good” day followed by one “bad” day. As hard as I try, it seems I cannot turn those bad days around. No matter what I scheme, it seems that I simply lack the strength or motivation to get my life under control. Am I stuck in an endless loop of exhaustion, shame, and mad defiance? On my bad days there is virtually nothing that feels meaningful. And I cannot change that, no matter how hard I try. So, it’s natural that I do not have the necessary ambition to go the necessary length to get my life under control.

I do have high ambitions, ideals, and values. But they feel vacuous, abstract, and detached from the reality I experience when I’m in my depressed and anhedonic state. They do not seem to help me in any way. So I resort to techniques that rely on pure strength or will, or clever hacks, or sheer madness. Yet there is no sustaining force behind them, it’s mostly just intense despair and self-loathing that drives them, which is just a feeling that subsides sooner or later.

Good things sometimes happen to me. Sometimes I achieve things that are important to me. And yet they almost always feel insufficient, unsatisfactory. It’s like I’m starving and yet nothing seems to satiate me. So I desire to feel anything at all, when there is almost nothing that really moves me. Occasionally I catch a subtle feeling that seems to nourish my soul. Then I end up squeezing the source dry that seemed to touch me. Soon I end up with cold ashes.

The times when I felt true vitality seem to be confined to the distant past. I don’t know what went wrong. Each outburst of vitality seems to have ended in me getting closer to the event horizon of a black hole of disappointing nothingness. Now that I’m writing about this I remember that I have thought like this at least since I have been 18 years old. What’s really crazy is that I feel that I have become stronger. And that I have become weaker. Perhaps it’s most accurate to say that I have become calmer, more grounded, and able to endure more suffering, yet my passion and vitality have subsided.

I feel broken and I do not know what it takes to fix me. In any case, I will continue to fight until the very end.

My psychological problem analyses yield no clear solution. Each approach I try is soon sabotaged by my inability to pursue it, especially when I’m exhausted, depressed, and anhedonic. The only chance would be a method that actually worked when I am deeply exhausted, depressed, and anhedonic. And I that state I usually do not even see a real reason to fight and use such methods. Of course I know that I should do something that helps me, but I end up being sabotaged by the question “why?”! And that’s even despite the fact that I have lots of reasons. None of them however feel important when I’m in my dark states. A conclusion I am tempted to draw from these insights is that I need to learn not to care about reasons, feelings, or motivation. I need to act like a machine without its own will, simply continuing to run a program no matter how pointless it may seem. In the light I am the programmer, in the darkness I need to be the machine that runs the program.

What’s the program I need to run?

  • Do some serious exercise!
  • Just get some stuff done!
  • Don’t get lost in distractions!

And I need to remind myself again and again that the darkness is only a transient state. After the night there is always a new dawn.

I wished I was able to pull that off. Sometimes I wished I had someone who was willing to literally beat me to it. That’s something I haven’t tried yet. :confounded:


(Michael Hrenka) #59

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of pushups (100 per day or more), which seems to help a bit. I’m feeling more energetic and motivated, at least for a few hours.

Today I’ve stumbled upon the following video that summarizes the catecholamine metabolism, which is very important for motivation and concentration:

Dopamine Deficiency: the Cause is the Cure - Dr. John Bartemus - #lifeatoptimal

This would explain a very fascinating phenomenon I’ve noticed when I started taking large doses of P-5-P as an experiment. I suddenly got unusually motivated (totally without expecting any such effect). Unfortunately, this effect could not be replicated the next times I’ve taken P-5-P. I suspect that my P-5-P levels were so low that I have accumulated some reserves of L-Dopa. When I suddenly got enough (or more than enough) P-5-P I metabolised the L-Dopa to dopamine, which got me a really nice motivation and energy boost (which was stronger and more pleasant than the effect of caffeine). But that then depleted my L-Dopa reserves that I had accumulated during my times of P-5-P deficiency. Anyway, it’s just a theory, but it’s the only one that makes complete sense so far.

I’ve taken P-5-P as part of an experimental treatment for suspected Pryoluria (which doesn’t seem to be a medical condition recognized by mainstream medicine, but if mainstream medicine was any good, I wouldn’t have such health problems for so long):

http://www.drkaslow.com/html/pyroluria.html
http://www.diagnose-me.com/symptoms-of/pyroluria.php

The results from my experimental treatment regime with P-5-P and zinc picolinate were inconclusive. Now the weird effect from my first P-5-P dose has a plausible explanation. And I shouldn’t expect this treatment regime to fix everything. Maybe I can fix more problems, if I do take these supplements in addition with antioxidants consistently. Maybe pryoluria is merely one of many issues that cause a chronic dopamine deficiency in my brain. Pryoluria may be an exacerbating factor, or merely another additional vicious cycle, of the general ME/CFS issue.

Feeling really motivated and energetic is really rare for me. That’s why I find interventions that cause me to feel motivated and/or energetic to be quite promising. So far these are:

  • Certain supplements like P-5-P
  • Antioxidants like vitamin C (in megadoses)
  • Exercise
  • General beta-endorphin releasing activities

Maybe it’s time to combine all of them at once. :radioactive: :smiley:


(Michael Hrenka) #60

In retrospect it should have been obvious: Anhedonia is mainly an expression of dopamine deficiency. My dopamine system seems to be really out of whack, and has been for many years, probably for at least half my life. It’s also not too hard to see how ME/CFS and pyroluria can contribute to dopamine deficiency by oxidation of dopamine and removal of zinc and vitamin B6 out of my system. Now all of this explains a lot. I have most of the symptoms of dopamine deficiency to a relatively high degree. And most of the things I do that help are somehow involved in boosting dopamine levels. And most of the things that really harm me like stress, caffeine, alcohol in higher doses deplete dopamine (even though they cause a high short term release of dopamine). My lack of dopamine would also explain why I am so dominated by novelty seeking behaviour affinity (aka curiosity).

Fortunately this suggests an orthomolecular treatment regime as baseline stabilisation intervention. I should increase my daily tyrosine dosage (the base amino acid that’s used to make dopamine) from 500 mg to 1000 mg daily, or more. From my previous experience tyrosine is pretty helpful for me. Well, perhaps that might even be enough to stabilise me so far that I can do further interventions like exercise on a really consistent basis (so far erratic patterns of severe lack of motivation have prevented me from achieving that).