Please stop calling dopamine an addictive rewarding neurochemical (2017)
There's a group called The Dopamine Project, which promotes "Better living through dopamine awareness," and asserts that "Expectations of scoring dopamine squirts in their brains keep addicts lying, cheating, stealing and craving the next fix." People who treat the unrecognized and unsupported concept of behavioral/process addictions commonly claim that dopamine is at the root of many behavioral problems, and that people develop a drug-like tolerance to dopamine, craving more and more. Pornography is called "Playboy on Steroids" where dopamine is squirted into the brain with each click to the online world of "Dopamine-releasing naked females." This delightful article calls dopamine the "Celebrity" neurotransmitter, referring to it as the Kim Kardashian of neurochemicals. Most antipsychotic drugs work by inhibiting the function of dopamine, not because its "Reward" makes people hallucinate, but because the brains of people with schizophrenia may be overly sensitive to the effects of dopamine. Dopamine serves many complex functions in the brain, and only kindergarten brain science describes it as an addictive drug. Dopamine's role in pleasure and reward is that it helps your brain to recognize "Incentive salience." This means that it's like a little red flag to your brain, saying "Hey, pay attention, this is about to feel good, and you want to remember this, so you can do it again." A critical issue here is that a lack of dopamine doesn't actually make the experience feel less good. In studies with rats, where dopamine was suppressed, rats showed "Normal hedonic reaction patterns," and still showed normal pleasure responses even though dopamine was suppressed.