Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Lines of cocaine or a sugary treat, are you addicted?

Part Two – The Comedown vs. Depression

I was addicted to sugar; there was no doubt about it. I noticed almost straight away. By 10am I was already starting losing concentration. Sugar was all I could think about. I craved it, longed for it; the thought of it began to consume me. Not just doughnuts, lollies or cans of coke, I’m talking the stuff you buy at the super markets in 1kg packets. I sat on the couch trying to stop myself from grabbing a spoon and inhaling as much as I could before feeling sick. I began to get increasingly agitated knowing I couldn’t have any. Then I realised, this was it, an addicted worst nightmare. This was the comedown.

What really happens when you comedown? Other than the obvious, losing that euphoric sense of existence. We know that when we consume large amounts of particular chemicals or foods we increase the dopamine production within our brains. The crash is the exact opposite. Our body going into withdrawals as the amount of dopamine being released decreases.

table

I researched the top 10 most common withdrawal symptoms for both substances. As we can see the symptoms that are in italics are presented with both substances. There were 7 symptoms that were the same, 70% of symptoms were the same for both substances. Feel bad for judging that junkie now? It isn’t as easy as you think.

My most predominant symptom was depression, I was feeling down in the dumps and couldn’t understand why. I thought sure, maybe I would be sad for a little bit, but three days later I was still feeling it. Surely this wasn’t all due to sugar… Was it?

I started to research the link between depression and diabetes and was shocked with what I found. According to the American Diabetic association “ the prevalence rate of diabetics with major depression is three to four times greater than in the general population. While depression affects maybe three or five percent of the population at any given time, the rate is between 15 and twenty percent in patients with diabetes.” John McManamy is an award winning mental health journalist, who has spent the majority of his life studying the effect of dopamine on an individual’s mental health. He wrote about the correlation between diabetes and depression. Therefore we could assume that having an imbalance in our sucrose levels could lead to depressive symptoms.

sugaraddiction

After about 2 weeks, I started to notice that the symptoms weren’t so dominating over my life. I couldn’t believe how long it had actually taken for me to overcome the majority of the withdrawal symptoms. Don’t get me wrong, every time I went to coffee with friends my mouth still watered at the thought of triple chocolate cheesecake or salted caramel ice-cream, but it was more bearable.

 

Further reading:

Behavioural Health 2012, “Effects, Signs, Symptoms” Retrieved March 15 <http://www.lakeviewbehavioralhealth.com/addiction/cocaine/effects-signs-symptoms#Signs-and-Symptoms>

McMan’s Depression and Bipolar Web “Depression and Diabetes” Retrieved March 15 <http://www.mcmanweb.com/article-42.htm >

 

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This entry was posted on May 8, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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