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How Do I Decrease Dopamine Levels?

author image Shannon Hyland-Tassava
Shannon Hyland-Tassava has more than 16 years experience as a clinical health psychologist, wellness coach and writer. She is a health columnist for the "Northfield (Minn.) News" and has also contributed to "Motherwords," "Macalester Today" and two essay anthologies, among other publications. Hyland-Tassava holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois.
How Do I Decrease Dopamine Levels?
Coffee may elevate dopamine levels.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical in your brain that regulates things like emotion, behavior, alertness and impulsivity. The University of Texas College of Pharmacy describes dopamine as being similar to adrenaline. While most of the time your dopamine level is appropriately regulated, it is possible to have too much or too little dopamine in your brain. Too little dopamine is implicated in disorders such as Parkinson's and some forms of anxiety. However, too much dopamine can lead to or exacerbate impulsive, overly active behavior and addiction. Although you should consult a physician with questions about your dopamine level, there may be some ways you can reduce dopamine.

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Step 1

Ask your doctor about antipsychotic medication. Antipsychotics are psychiatric medications that affect dopamine levels, and are used to treat serious mental illnesses such as schizoprenia, says However, their use is not limited to psychotic disorders. Some antipsychotics are used to reduce dopamine levels in cases of impulsive behaviors, stuttering and addiction.

Step 2

Avoid caffeine. Western Washington University notes that caffeine releases dopamine in the brain. If you struggle with hyperactive, impulsive behaviors already, caffeine intake could worsen these problems through increased dopamine. Stay away from coffee, black teas and caffeinated sodas to decrease your dopamine level.

Step 3

Try certain herbal supplements. Some herbs may raise the level of another brain chemical called serotonin, which in turn lowers dopamine. Examples include ginseng, St. John's wort and dandelion. However, keep in mind that scientific evidence is scarce regarding herbal supplements, and they are not regulated by the FDA. Never begin using an herbal supplement without first checking with your doctor.

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