Is Instagram a Drug? Dr. Anna Lembke

Dr. Anna Lembke, psychiatrist and author of the new book, Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence, joins us this week. She has done extensive work to study and treat a new phenomenon: social media addiction. As Dr. Lembke explains, social media use has become compulsive and addictive. It is a way to comfort ourselves by completely distracting our minds. Interestingly, by comforting and distracting ourselves with devices, we are actually causing ourselves more pain and suffering. How? Dr. Lembke shares her perspective on the topic. 

What is dopamine? Can social media use become an addiction? How is social media impacting our brains and ability to feel pleasure or pain? How can we break the addictive cycle of our digital devices?

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • What happens in our brains when we use our devices
  • How our dependency on our devices is doing more harm than good
  • How we can break the addictive cycle
  • Why Dr. Lembke feels more connected and reachable without a smart phone 

“Boredom is a really scary emotion because all of a sudden we are confronted with questions about the deeper meaning and purpose of our lives. And those are things that we need to be confronted with.” 

“Instagram is a drug. It releases dopamine in the reward pathway exactly like other reinforcing addicting drugs that people have been taking.” 

“What we need to do now is intentionally make our lives less convenient. Intentionally seek out painful, arduous, challenging things.”

“We’ve become so inundated with pleasure and so insulated from pain that we hardly even know anymore what it is to experience pain and distress. And most of our suffering comes from excessive reward” 

“We live in this high reward, drug-ified eco system that’s made us all vulnerable to the problem of over consumption and in some cases addiction” 

Listen to the SuperAge podcast wherever you get your pods. 

Read Dr. Anna Lembke’s new book: https://www.annalembke.com


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Taylor Marks
Taylor Marks is a certified holistic health coach and current student at The Institute of Culinary Education studying health supportive culinary arts. Her passions include making nourishing food taste and look delicious and guiding others towards feeling their best.


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