Dopamine and autism/ADHD/extroversion/introversion?

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merrymadscientist
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25 May 2008, 1:04 pm

Liopleurodon wrote:
When I was first diagnosed with depression, my GP gave me a rather odd choice of meds - flupentixol - which works by reducing the amount of dopamine in a person's system. (I've since been told by several different doctors that this was a completely stupid medication for him to put me on for depression, but that's what he did.)

It completely changed my entire personality. Before the flupentixol I was "the real me": extremely introverted, loved being alone, slow temper, not interested in alcohol and found socialising a bit tedious and tiring. Flupentixol made my depression much, much worse, but it also turned me into someone who couldn't bear to be left alone, even for ten minutes. I started going out every night in order to keep people around me, and I drank far too much alcohol - I was really craving it. I snapped at everyone and became loud-mouthed and agressive at times. After I took an overdose I was taken off flupentixol and put on fluoxetine and my personality changed back overnight to what it had been before. I went from problem drinker to teetotal overnight - just completely lost interest in alcohol. I stopped snapping at people, rediscovered being alone and my depression seemed to vanish. I still find it scary that the medication affected me like that.


I too have found an extraverting effect of being on antipsychotics which reduce the amount of dopamine in the brain. I have always taken them together with an antidepressant, and although the antidepressant alone doesnt seem to do much, together with the antipsychotic it improves my mood. The increased extraversion helps my socialisation, which is probably the main cause of my depression. When I stop taking them, my desire to talk to people disappears. It is as though I just dont get the pleasure out of it any more that I did when my dopamine levels were lower. Also it becomes much more of an effort to say anything, so I usually dont bother.



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25 May 2008, 1:34 pm

The definition of extrovert or introvert is very vague. When I first met my socially anxious NT friends (who were my first really reciprocal friends) I concluded that I was mainly extrovert. That is because I didn't behave like a typical socially phobic person, because I could talk a lot about in depth subject. Although I have this thing where I have temporary mutism. Before people have been talking, I need to hear their voice for a while. Mostly it is not particularity apparent because people will usually start taking, but I had a shrink and she would try sit in silence at the begging of the session for several weeks. She could get me to, start I could start even if I wanted to. Anyway sorry for the red herring, the point is I can talk and sometime behave like an extrovert. Not all the time I'm quite variable. But really I have concluded I am in fact more introverted than both of them put together. This is going by the definition I most associate with, naturally: How much time I like spending around people, and the number of relationships I want with people. For introvert it is obviously less. Despite my friends having timidity, they both have a lot going on socially. They are my only close friends but they have many other friends. They see people more often and want to. I'm not saying they are necessarily extrovert either, although one of them seems to want to be (ironically the one that has the most panic attacks). I don't desire to have an extrovert lifestyle so I can't be one IMO.



zen_mistress
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25 May 2008, 3:28 pm

One of the hallmarks of being an extrovert I think is impulsivity. You dont think before you speak, you just open your mouth and the words form themselves outside your head, in front of everybody. Talking can become compulsive, you can talk for hours and lose your voice. Before I go to a social gathering I have to remember to watch myself and make sure I dont talk too much. Also, my sentences are too long for people, too.

I definitely crave social company. I just cant keep it in my life for very long. It comes, and it goes.


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0_equals_true
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25 May 2008, 3:33 pm

zen_mistress wrote:
One of the hallmarks of being an extrovert I think is impulsivity. You dont think before you speak, you just open your mouth and the words form themselves outside your head, in front of everybody. Talking can become compulsive, you can talk for hours and lose your voice. Before I go to a social gathering I have to remember to watch myself and make sure I dont talk too much. Also, my sentences are too long for people, too.

I definitely crave social company. I just cant keep it in my life for very long. It comes, and it goes.

using the Connor's test I score highly on 'impuslivity'. But in practice I am rarely impulsive. There is a difference between flashing letters and real life impulisivity. I also have congative problems these are not biological tests.

Impulsivity is a technique I learned in CBT it is not something that, I generally am.

Also it is impossible for me not to think before I speak, I have to get my thoughts in order.



zen_mistress
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25 May 2008, 4:14 pm

0_equals_true wrote:
zen_mistress wrote:
One of the hallmarks of being an extrovert I think is impulsivity. You dont think before you speak, you just open your mouth and the words form themselves outside your head, in front of everybody. Talking can become compulsive, you can talk for hours and lose your voice. Before I go to a social gathering I have to remember to watch myself and make sure I dont talk too much. Also, my sentences are too long for people, too.

I definitely crave social company. I just cant keep it in my life for very long. It comes, and it goes.

using the Connor's test I score highly on 'impuslivity'. But in practice I am rarely impulsive. There is a difference between flashing letters and real life impulisivity. I also have congative problems these are not biological tests.

Impulsivity is a technique I learned in CBT it is not something that, I generally am.

Also it is impossible for me not to think before I speak, I have to get my thoughts in order.


Yes, true impulsivity is not something that is learned, it is sort of something that controls you.
When I was growing up I was told to "think before I speak" and I used to think, how ridiculous, as if I could do that.


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Asterisp
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25 May 2008, 11:36 pm

Sora wrote:
While stimulants (such as meds for ADDs) make non-AD(H)D people high and excited, they calm down the person with AD(H)D.

As for sedatives, it's also the other way around for those with AD(H)D. Usually, there's no calming effect.


Curious, I am never diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Sometimes I can be distracted, but I associated it more with my 'aspie'-behaviour. I have however none to reversed reaction on caffeine. Cafeine combined with another substance even makes me really sleepy. For example caffeine and alcohol or caffeine and ibuprofen (which is really great when you are sick). But chocolate for example is working 'normal', with sleepy effects. Really strange, but also interesting to experiment.

@Sora: Is that wolf in your avatar from Mononoke?



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25 May 2008, 11:38 pm

zen_mistress wrote:
One of the hallmarks of being an extrovert I think is impulsivity. You dont think before you speak, you just open your mouth and the words form themselves outside your head, in front of everybody.

Nice try, but one of the keys to autism is missing the reactions of your environment and just opening your mouth could be associated with that problem.



zen_mistress
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25 May 2008, 11:44 pm

Asterisp wrote:
zen_mistress wrote:
One of the hallmarks of being an extrovert I think is impulsivity. You dont think before you speak, you just open your mouth and the words form themselves outside your head, in front of everybody.

Nice try, but one of the keys to autism is missing the reactions of your environment and just opening your mouth could be associated with that problem.


Many people who say they are introverts though, think of what they are going to say before they say it, even taking a pause of about 3-5 seconds. NTs also can be introverts too. If you open your mouth and words sort of fall out, you are probably not a strong introvert, it means you are over on the extrovert side, lol.


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