Created | Updated Jan 12, 2012
Firstly, in the strictest sense of the word, human life is all about Dopamine. Nothing else, really.
Dopamine is, of course, that drug our brain rewards us with when we consider or carry out an act that maintains our existence. It's the drug that our brain releases when we see a juicy slice of cottage pie and think, 'Oh yes... cottage pie... mmmmm... yummy piped potato ...very decorative', or when we see an attractive body in tight jeans...and think 'Oooh! Reproduction1!'.
And since it is a chemical, we can be just like Paul Daniels2 and trick the brain. Knocking back a copious amount of lager, for instance - 'getting it down ya' as it were - fools the brain into releasing lots of Dopamine into the system and gives us a brief high as a result... for Dopamine is addictive3.
So when someone finds a way of instigating the release of this addictive drug in someone else, it can bring about a certain amount of control, can't it? I mean it's not X-files to suggest that, is it?
Broadening this a bit then, the release of Dopamine is the high one feels when purchasing an evil, cut-throat businessman's goods. Or, to put it another way, it is what makes some of us addicted to shopping. Triggered by flashy adverts and a great deal of brainwashing from our peers, it is the high one feels in wanting a Playstation, craving a Sony camcorder, Lusting after a Reebok runner... or even two.
The Dopamine high soon wears off, so we search for it again in something else. This is called Life in many a society. It is the mechanics behind that Materialistic Want. Unfortunately, until one realises that this is going on in oneself and takes some steps to controlling the release of it in a Materialistic context, Happiness in a true, pure and long-term state will never be achieved.
Please Note: h2g2 is not a definitive medical resource. If you have any health concerns you must always seek advice from your local GP. You can also visit NHS Direct or BBC Health Conditions.