5-htp and mucuna (dopamine) supplements

Profile photo of JonH JonH (@IJesusChrist) 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey lads and ladys,

I used to post on HE quite often, but took a break as I wasn’t getting engaged anymore and my PhD was time consuming. I’m back because I really miss just writing in general – about things that aren’t objective science. I miss the conversational discussion style of writing that I had here.

Seems a bit quiet and given the up-vote system, I’m not sure I like it. Much would rather have the date-system so I can find the latest replies – but that is how it is.

On topic of the title, though:

I’ve been experimenting with some supplements lately as I’ve felt drained, unambitious, and lethargic for about two months. I’ve reasoned that this is most likely due to my current situation of finishing my PhD, trying to find an appropriate job, and moving. These are pretty big decisions and none of them feel absolutely certain to me as if I’m doing the best possible choice. Currently, I’ve accepted a post-doc position in Missouri after about 3 months of intense job-searching that lead lead to only this single job offer.

While I love science I’d like to get out of bench work and into managerial stuff, as well as more business development positions. But it looks like I’ve signed myself up for another year of science. Weighing the pros and cons of this, there are definitely some major benefits to taking this position, but there’s quite a few cons, the biggest being it detracts me away from any industry experience for another year.

Anyway, I’ve drifted again from the topic. All this stress/anxiety/unknowing has undoubtedly been pulling my energy levels down and I’ve felt a little bit depleted. But I feel more depleted than I should be, and I would imagine that approximately 4 years ago, this would be an extremely exciting time for me. If put in the same situation some years ago I would be smiling ear to ear, sleeping soundly, and be motivated to take what comes next. While that hasn’t happened I’ve taken two approaches

One is with mucuna (dopamine) extract, and 5-htp. While the prior is a direct neurotransmitter, the second is a precursor to serotonin. Both are likely the most active supplements you can get that are legal that will influence your neurotransmitter levels. The thing is, nobody really knows how serotonin and dopamine regulate mood. Sometimes deficiencies can cause schizophrenia, sometimes it will cause depression, but sometimes overabundance of either can do the same. Thus it seems like they are very tightly controlled, but I do believe that we can, given enough knowledge and information, tweak them for the better – do I believe it is possible to do this easily? Absolutely not – and I do not think that constant daily dosing would even be close to being able to support any better mood and brain function.

With that said, I’m an experimenter and want to see what happens. So I’ve started taking both every other day, at a very high dosage of each. What is strange is the first reaction I feel is almost invariably anxiety – pretty strong anxiety too, nearing nausea. What is incredible, however, is my days after seem balanced out, but on the levitated upwards in mood. I find my patience is greater and my mood is slightly more motivated than the days previous.

This brings up an interesting observation concerning all types of psychedelics – what you feel during your trip can often be completely reversed the next day, in a physiological way (rather than psychological). I.E. while MDMA may make you feel absolutely content on the future, the next day you may feel terrible, even though all your revelations are cemented in the neurology – you simply feel negative. On the inverse, where you may have a terrible, gut-wrenching trip on mushrooms or ayahuasca, the next day can feel like absolute contentedness where simply existing is enough to smile about.

Here with dopamine and 5-htp, I feel terrible – jittery, nauseous, and full of anxiety the few hours after taking the supplements, yet the following days I seem to be lifted.

In general, in my life, I’ve often taken on extremely rough challenges that I know I will not like with the assumption that it will make parts later in my life (or week) better and more tolerable. Fasting makes you appreciate food, working out intensely makes you appreciate just being alive, and throwing yourself into impossible tasks and deadlines makes you appreciate the chillness and stillness of life.

Why I made this thread is to ask if anyone else has taken these supplements and what their experience is. Sorry it turned into a small book!

August 1, 2017 at 9:40 pm
Profile photo of Jordan Bates
Jordan Bates (4,437)A (@bashfulkoala) 2 months ago ago

hey jon, unfortunately i’ve never used these, or really any mental supplements. i know @martijn has recently experimented with some nootropics, maybe he can shed some light 

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