I regularly read about science and medical research. Based on the research, I suspected that my dopamine receptors were not activating frequently enough. Bupropion (Welbutrin) is the most widely used medicine to increase dopamine activation, so I have been taking it for about three weeks. Most of the symptoms of panic disorder have significantly lessened. Some of the symptoms of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD have also lessened. Panic disorder is not a disease: it is a collection of symptoms of one or more diseases we don’t yet understand. In my case, low dopamine activation is a major component of the symptoms we currently call panic disorder.
One of the most important improvements is that my hypersensitivity to noise and light has dramatically decreased. The world is noisy, but I am more capable of coping with it now that I have discovered the biological cause of my hypersensitivity.
I still need to find something to increase my 5HT2A receptor activation, which is part of the serotonin system, not the dopamine system. In my case, we know more about my 5HT2A receptor problem than about my dopamine problem. We know exactly which serotonin receptor is not activating (2A), we know that the problem is not because of low serotonin in the synapse, and we know that the symptoms of this problem are many of the symptoms we call depression. While science has progressed enough that we can diagnose my biological problem with unusual specificity, we don’t understand neurobiology well enough to have developed therapies for this specific problem. I have found one medicine that would almost certainly upregulate my 5HT2A receptors, but I am still researching.
It’s difficult for me to research, however, because my life is a series of survival crises. Almost every day, I have a crisis involving personal safety, food, shelter, a toilet, protection against theft, a health problem, lack of medicine, or something else. On days when I don’t have a crisis, I try to prevent crises. I believe I can avoid crises for the next three days, for example, but I cannot use this time to research therapies because in seven days—if I don’t have a major improvement in my life—I will have crises of shelter, safety, food, and medicine. Therefore, I am trying to find a way to create money while I am sick and with few resources.