Tony Tang
Founder of Panic Killer

Dopamine Detox - Things You Want to Know About

Nov 3, 2023

What is Dopamine Detox?

Dopamine detox, also known as a dopamine fast, is a practice that aims to reduce or reset one's exposure to activities that provide instant gratification and stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain.

Dr. Cameron Sepah, the creator of the dopamine detox, commonly uses the technique in clinical practice on tech workers and venture capitalists. And much of his research around this new practice was based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

The technique has become more popular recently. Advocates of dopamine detox claim that it can help individuals break addictive patterns, improve focus and productivity, reduce cravings, and gain a better appreciation for simple pleasures.

For more details on how dopamine works, please refer to our article 👉🏻 The Dopamine-Seeking Brain - Reason Why You Are Anxious

Understand the 6 compulsive behaviors lead to dopamine crush

Dr. Sepah explains that the general concept is to let feel lonely or bored, or to try simpler activities instead of reaching for quick “hits” of dopamine. Here are 6 compulsive behaviors as targets of the dopamine detox:

emotional eating
  1. emotional eating
  2. excessive internet usage and gaming
  3. gambling and shopping
  4. porn and masturbation
  5. thrill and novelty seeking
  6. recreational drugs

Controversy on Dopamine Detox

Just new term for age-old concept

Some may think that taking time out for mental rejuvenation is never a bad thing, but it's not any new concept. It sounds a lot like many mindfulness practices and good sleep hygiene, in the suggestion of no screen time before bed.

Dopamine Detox Might Make Some People Depressed

It is possible that some people undergoing a dopamine detox may experience dopamine withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, panic attacks, or depression. Some may also find that a dopamine detox made things worse for them rather than making them better.

Therefore, it is important to find support from a mental health professional if you are facing challenges in your everyday life.

Dopamine detox is still worth trying

While at the same time there is limited scientific research specifically examining the effects and benefits of dopamine detox, it is still an activity that you want to give it a try.

Whether you call it dopamine detox, screen time cut-off or whatever you call it, when you are sick of the way you spend time, it is much more beneficial than keep scrolling social media for 2 hours a day. Maybe just go for walk, read a book, do journal, go exercise, etc.

It is crucial to be aware of your habit and how dopamine is working behind. You can start with a small period every day or week. Take this time to understand how dopamine influences your behavior and emotions, and reflect on how you can cultivate a healthier life.

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