“But I’m no longer stressed.”
“Right. But you had been, and when that was the case, your dopamine went into overdrive. Take away the stress and your dopamine takes a nosedive and now you can’t seem to get it up. So I’m going to suggest you take an anti-depressant.”
“But I’m not depressed.”
“Right. But the anti-depressant will boost your dopamine production and that should normalize your energy level. And I’m going to prescribe one that is low on the side effects, but it may take a few weeks to see results.”
“Okay Doc, if you think so.”
I had bothered to make the appointment because of the extreme fatigue that had taken over my being, and I was beginning to feel that desperate. (Really, who has time for these things?) So I took his advice and started on a low dose of something-or-other. After about a week and a half, impatience superseded fatigue as a motivator. Reading up on this so-called anti-depressant, I discovered that it could indeed have some side effects, e.g., weight gain and constipation. (Sounds more like an anti-anti-depressant to me!) Slamming on the brakes, I decided to see if I could find some other means of increasing my dopamine. Thank you very much, but if there’s going to be weight gain around here, it had better be as a side effect of eating rather than pill-popping. Constipation? None for me, thanks.
Dopamine, one of more than 50 neurotransmitters in the brain, is actively involved in desire, ambition, drive, motivation, and achievement. When supplies diminish, energy follows suit. As it turns out, there are other ways of enhancing one’s natural production of dopamine, and far more pleasurable ones at that. And they do involve eating: pumpkin seeds and avocado are good sources. So are dairy products, almonds, lima beans, and sesame.
After tossing the meds, I started eating lots of pumpkin seeds and almonds and avocados. Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe it’s a result, but my energy has returned, and within a much shorter time-frame. And my clothes still fit!
Here’s a great little breakfast or lunch that I’ve been enjoying……
Multigrain bread topped with sliced avocado, spiced pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper (essential), and black sesame. Mighty satisfactual!