Is there such a thing as a Dopamine Detox?

A word of caution

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the reward systems of our brain. In relation to addiction it is associated with the anticipation of reward, rather than reward itself.

Technically, when embarking on a digital declutter, we are not detoxing from dopamine, at least not directly. Instead, we are aiming to reduce and better control the multitude of experiences that cause spikes and chronic changes in dopamine release. Nobody is consuming dopamine directly; nor are they addicted to dopamine. Rather the substances or behaviours associated with the release of dopamine can lead to addictive behaviour.

Although the role of dopamine in our brain’s reward system is well established, the term ‘dopamine’ itself is often used as a buzz word.

Throughout this book we will make reference to the neuroscience of dopamine and addiction, but our primary goal is to share with you the most relevant information that we think you will need in order to reflect on your relationship with technology. And we will offer practical suggestions and principles (that we have experimented with) to help you on your journey.

For a deep dive into neurological underpinnings of dopamine and addiction please see the recommended sources at the end of this book.