Re: Antidepressants: Happiness is only a drug?

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Mar 28 2001 - 15:01:10 MST

"J. R. Molloy" <> writes:

> > Increasing serotonin levels in the brain doesn't
> > produce the same kinds of feelings as those things I
> > mentioned.
> >
> > Loree
> Evidently happiness is an epiphenomenon produced indirectly through
> positive interaction with other people. Although heightened levels
> of serotonin may accompany happiness, drugs don't in themselves
> satisfy the longing for social success.

At least not any drugs we know of... hmm, actually I seem to recall
that morphine can replace longing for social success. I don't have my
copy of Pankseep's _Affective Neuroscience_ handy, but he makes a
strong link between the opiate systems in the brain and social

Csikszentmihalyi points out in _Finding Flow_ that most people report
maximal happiness just when they are among friends. Often much higher
than when they do other enjoyable activities. We are deeply social

True happiness is likely not just a high serotonin level (that tends
to make you serene or dulled, depending on the situation) or opiate
levels (more like direct pleasure?). I would suggest looking for it in
the feedback loops from the frontal lobe/basal ganglia on the midbrain
dopamine system, where we re-program our own values. But that is just
a personal guess.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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