I can’t get no satisfaction — will endorphins help me?


Further Reading


I know this is probably off topic, but I got a link to your site while researching exercise related endorphin release and you seemed knowledgeable, so maybe you can point me to an appropriate site to further my research. I am interested in finding out what would prevent the release of endorphins during exercise. I am suffering from depression, and also frequently find stress difficult to deal with. I was wondering if my tendency towards depression has anything to do with the fact that I have never experienced an exercise “high” (and yes I do exercise). I’m probably just grasping at straws, but I started to wonder when I asked everyone I know and they have all had pleasurable feelings from exercise or hard work.


Dear Sacha:

This is an example of the “physiological fallacy” — taking some finding about biology so seriously that you think of your personal reality in terms of it. Yes, the body releases endorphins as a normal part of its functioning. So what? If you don’t enjoy something — or you don’t get a rush from the experience — that is your reality. You want to take some chemical aid to assist you to get that rush. But enjoyment and pleasure don’t work that way. Oh, you can take drugs that some people sometimes find produce rushes of pleasure. But that is different from having direct enjoyable or pleasurable experiences in life.

Are you currently on medication for your depression? What are your experiences like with it? Why don’t you take a meditation course, one that helps you to free your mind, or include yoga as part of your exercise program?

I’m sorry that there is no short cut for this. Are there any activities you simply enjoy? Can you find ways to engage in these in a reasonable fashion? Do you like your work? Do you have people or family you enjoy? Do you like being outdoors or doing any other physical activities other than exercising in a gym?


Stanton Peele

Stanton Peele , recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts by The Fix, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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