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MOTM July 2012
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Severe oxytocin deficiency....almost no one talks about it, but it may be the underlying source of many of the physical, social, and psychiatric disorders in the world.

I wonder ~ how many people struggling emotionally, socially, and physically could be relieved through oxytocin?

Feeling close and emotionally connected with others is known to be physically protective...because it counters the effects of stress on the body. Stress is dangerous to the body over the long term, leading to all sorts of health problems. Oxytocin is the brain chemical that makes us feel connected to others, and it is released through physical displays of affection - like hugs between friends, sex between lovers, or petting/cuddling a beloved pet.

The hugs threads prompted Ni on this trail of thought. An article I had read about infant development being arrested by lack of affectionate physical touch came to mind...current research has even demonstrated that autism, a developmental disorder, is linked to low levels of oxytocin...and the social skills/emotional reading traits of those with autism and Aspergers can be improved through administration of synthetic oxytocin.

Then the mental trail diverged, and I began wondering...is it really the Mediterranean diet alone that is protective against heart disease, or is it also the Mediterranean oxytocin lifestyle? Mediterranean cultures are full of social touching, of the sort that prompts oxytocin release, and oxytocin does protect the heart against disease.

Those who say they need a hug, literally need a hug...it is a physical need ~ it is physically harmful to deprive those who want it, of friendly physical affection (although i don't advise trying to hug those who don't want to be hugged!!!). I wonder if the 'anti-touching' cultures are exposing themselves to more health risks by their touch avoidance. Clinical research has demonstrated an increase in empathy through administration of oxytocin, in those who already have a degree of empathy....I wonder how much some cultures, which have grown more cold and less caring over time, would see a return to gentleness through a revival of widespread physical affection? I wonder how many children would grow up without emotional and psychiatric disorders if they were touched affectionately more often by their parents?

I also wonder if moving to a more physically demonstrative culture...or hanging around people who are physically affectionate...or cuddling a pet...or reaching out and touching other hurting people in a loving way, could cure those who feel so emotionally disconnected and depressed as a result?

Thoughts?
 

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Severe oxytocin deficiency....almost no one talks about it, but it may be the underlying source of many of the physical, social, and psychiatric disorders in the world.

I wonder ~ how many people struggling emotionally, socially, and physically could be relieved through oxytocin?

Feeling close and emotionally connected with others is known to be physically protective...because it counters the effects of stress on the body. Stress is dangerous to the body over the long term, leading to all sorts of health problems. Oxytocin is the brain chemical that makes us feel connected to others, and it is released through physical displays of affection - like hugs between friends, sex between lovers, or petting/cuddling a beloved pet.

The hugs threads prompted Ni on this trail of thought. An article I had read about infant development being arrested by lack of affectionate physical touch came to mind...current research has even demonstrated that autism, a developmental disorder, is linked to low levels of oxytocin...and the social skills/emotional reading traits of those with autism and Aspergers can be improved through administration of synthetic oxytocin.

Then the mental trail diverged, and I began wondering...is it really the Mediterranean diet alone that is protective against heart disease, or is it also the Mediterranean oxytocin lifestyle? Mediterranean cultures are full of social touching, of the sort that prompts oxytocin release, and oxytocin does protect the heart against disease.

Those who say they need a hug, literally need a hug...it is a physical need ~ it is physically harmful to deprive those who want it, of friendly physical affection (although i don't advise trying to hug those who don't want to be hugged!!!). I wonder if the 'anti-touching' cultures are exposing themselves to more health risks by their touch avoidance. I also wonder if moving to a more physically demonstrative culture, or hanging around people who are physically affectionate, or cuddling a pet, or reaching out and touching other hurting people in a loving way, could cure those who feel so emotionally disconnected and depressed as a result.

Thoughts?
I love the theory, but if you where struggling socially and got a girlfriend, and an increased oxytocin level, i still think you would encounter the same problems as without.

Althou i did read, this was many many years ago, having sex before talking infront of a big group of people actually gives you more confidence and less fear from it, so it could be true.

I dont mean having sex 5 minutes before the big talk that would be weird. but the night before
 

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I have tabs open on oxytocin as we speak. In fact, I was looking up the definition of platonic love, which lead to the concept of Eros, which lead to Jung's definition of Eros, which Wikipedia lists as this:

"Eros is ultimately the desire for wholeness, and although it may initially take the form of passionate love, it is more truly a desire for "psychic relatedness", a desire for interconnection and interaction with other sentient beings."

... and imo, finding this interconnected-ness is where Oxytocin comes into play.

In Wikipedia entry for Oxytocin,

"Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security around the mate.[21] Many studies have already shown a correlation of oxytocin with human bonding, increases in trust, and decreases in fear. One study confirmed that there is a positive correlation between oxytocin plasma levels and an anxiety scale measuring the adult romantic attachment.[22] This suggests that oxytocin may be important for the inhibition of brain regions that are associated with behavioral control, fear, and anxiety, thus allowing orgasm to occur."

Considering a lot of us are dealing with anxieties in one form or another, I think the effect of oxytocin can be huge in altering our behaviour.
 

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I have often spoke about the need for people to embrace interdependence.
To admit that we are emotional animals who need each other and that it's OK.
Somewhere along the way someone made a movie about a hero who through independence, took on the entire world and won..
People fell in love with this fantasy.
The concept of emotions and weakness being synonymous is deadly.


I wholly admit that love is what inspires me and is directly related to my health, drive and success.
I am a much better person if I am giving love and receiving it.
 

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Severe oxytocin deficiency....almost no one talks about it, but it may be the underlying source of many of the physical, social, and psychiatric disorders in the world.

I wonder ~ how many people struggling emotionally, socially, and physically could be relieved through oxytocin?

Feeling close and emotionally connected with others is known to be physically protective...because it counters the effects of stress on the body. Stress is dangerous to the body over the long term, leading to all sorts of health problems. Oxytocin is the brain chemical that makes us feel connected to others, and it is released through physical displays of affection - like hugs between friends, sex between lovers, or petting/cuddling a beloved pet.

The hugs threads prompted Ni on this trail of thought. An article I had read about infant development being arrested by lack of affectionate physical touch came to mind...current research has even demonstrated that autism, a developmental disorder, is linked to low levels of oxytocin...and the social skills/emotional reading traits of those with autism and Aspergers can be improved through administration of synthetic oxytocin.

Then the mental trail diverged, and I began wondering...is it really the Mediterranean diet alone that is protective against heart disease, or is it also the Mediterranean oxytocin lifestyle? Mediterranean cultures are full of social touching, of the sort that prompts oxytocin release, and oxytocin does protect the heart against disease.

Those who say they need a hug, literally need a hug...it is a physical need ~ it is physically harmful to deprive those who want it, of friendly physical affection (although i don't advise trying to hug those who don't want to be hugged!!!). I wonder if the 'anti-touching' cultures are exposing themselves to more health risks by their touch avoidance. Clinical research has demonstrated an increase in empathy through administration of oxytocin, in those who already have a degree of empathy....I wonder how much some cultures, which have grown more cold and less caring over time, would see a return to gentleness through a revival of widespread physical affection? I wonder how many children would grow up without emotional and psychiatric disorders if they were touched affectionately more often by their parents?

I also wonder if moving to a more physically demonstrative culture...or hanging around people who are physically affectionate...or cuddling a pet...or reaching out and touching other hurting people in a loving way, could cure those who feel so emotionally disconnected and depressed as a result?

Thoughts?
I know what you mean, I’ve lived in EU/Mediterranean countries for many years. In countries with “anti-touch” cultures, people resort to intimacy with other species, like dogs and cats.
 

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I'm Mediterranean and my grandfather still suffered from some heart strokes, but then he's pretty obese.

But, I think your theory is interesting. I would like to hear from someone who has tried to increase the amount of oxytocin in their body, and if this changed their behaviour or outlook on life.
 

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MOTM July 2012
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Discussion Starter #10
@chasingdreams ~ i don't know of anyone personally who has tried oxytocin. but i do know there has been, and still is (ongoing), clinical research on this topic, with hopeful results thus far:

Prosocial effects of oxytocin and clin... [Front Neuroendocrinol. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI
Treating Depression with the Oxytocin, the Love Hormone | Psych Central News
The Oxytocin Cure | Psychology Today

as you implied, obesity is a risk factor for heart disease, so if someone doesn't have one risk factor (such as oxytocin deficiency) but they do have another risk factor, they still may end up with heart disease.

the connection between oxytocin and relief from anxiety is interesting to me, as far as the treatment of PTSD is concerned, because it is known that PTSD worsens when a person is isolated from social support. some people with PTSD either don't have, or have lost, their social support structure, so i wonder if intranasal oxytocin could help them?
 

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I have a book called the Brain in Love, and apparently oxytocin in a man's brain spikes about 500% after an orgasm. That's mind boggling o_O
 

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MOTM July 2012
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Discussion Starter #13
Okinawans are the longest lived culture on the planet, and they aren't very touchy/feely.
interesting!

there are other factors than just oxytocin that play a role in health. scientific research has indicated that longevity is genetic - it is determined by genes, not by behavior. note these articles:

Genes Key To Longevity, Not Behavior: Study
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/science/22longevity.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...lth-genes-live-100-longevity-genetic-science/

clinical research results recorded by the National Institute of Health:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11051192
 

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I think the drug has promise, but I fear its abuse by those who seek a quick fix to a deep problem and take faith on the miraculous claims ongoing research has provided. Or in other words, the tendency for one to cure the symptoms but not the cause is what concerns me most. (Unless, of course, the cause is a deficiency in oxytocin's natural production, and if that's the case, then, please, by all means -- use it!)

But, alas, I suppose that is a bone I have to pick with modern medicine in general.

One a different note (and forgive me for running with this in a -- perhaps -- inappropriate direction), but was I the only reader to immediately think of oxytocin's other use of inducing labor? I then proceeded to read about the original poster's suggestion with nothing but a screaming lady in the midst of grueling contractions filling my mind, and the means by which the drug could make one happy and more fulfilled promptly vanished.

Sorry, but I just had to share.
 

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MOTM July 2012
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Discussion Starter #15
I think the drug has promise, but I fear its abuse by those who seek a quick fix to a deep problem and take faith on the miraculous claims ongoing research has provided. Or in other words, the tendency for one to cure the symptoms but not the cause is what concerns me most. (Unless, of course, the cause is a deficiency in oxytocin's natural production, and if that's the case, then, please, by all means -- use it!)

But, alas, I suppose that is a bone I have to pick with modern medicine in general.

One a different note (and forgive me for running with this in a -- perhaps -- inappropriate direction), but was I the only reader to immediately think of oxytocin's other use of inducing labor? I then proceeded to read about the original poster's suggestion with nothing but a screaming lady in the midst of grueling contractions chained to a hospital bed filling my mind, and the means by which the drug could make one happy and more fulfilled promptly vanished.

Sorry, but I just had to share.
i agree with you...medicine is not a cure if it does not address the true cause. there is nothing wrong with treating symptoms while working towards a cure. but if we're just treating the symptoms alone, without working towards a cure, we are prolonging the disease - with this very notable exception: for the diseases for which there is no known cure, what else can a doctor do than treat the symptoms and try to halt the progress of the disease into a worse state?

i just wonder how much of our illness is due to, or partially due to, actual oxytocin deficiency. just as dietary deficiencies leading to poor health often go unaddressed on a standard doctor's visit, this could be another significant health factor that is neglected in diagnosis and treatment.

and, yes, oxytocin is a hormone that is prescribed for inducing labor...that is one of the functions of the hormone, in pregnant women that is. hormones have multiple functions. i totally understand your response ~ it's hard to think of relief as you're thinking of labor pains....
 

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I am quite skeptical how it would be oxycotin specific... it seems if anything they have narrowed down a singular way to relieve stress, chronic stress does significant damage to telomeres which shortens a life.
I'm sure it has an effect, but I'd lump it in with the effect of all of the other competing 100's of biological processes.
 

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MOTM July 2012
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Discussion Starter #18
Agreed on all points. If there's anything all these years of studying health has taught me, it's that everything physical is mental, and everything mental is physical. You can't touch one without rippling the other.
so, so true!! as they say, our souls and our bodies are so closely connected that they catch one another's diseases. this is one of many "missing links" in modern diagnosis.
 

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MOTM July 2012
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Discussion Starter #19
the more i read/study, the more it seems that it's not just oxytocin, but ALL the energy-producing/stimulating/happiness-inducing hormones that are elevated through positive emotional bonding and physical connecting with others. humans were not meant to live life alone; our emotional (and, secondarily, physical) health seems dependent on the health of our social connections.
 
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