Addiction. I think you nailed it there.
I believe the area of the brain is the substance negra but I might be wrong on that.
I like seeing things in terms of temperament.
You have a baseline temperament. Born with it? Chemically changeable? I dunno. Jury’s out. Both I’m sure though.
But more interestingly to me is this idea I have of a baseline.
Basically, you have a baseline temperament. Your default position. What you feel when nothing else is going on. You’re thinking about nothing in particular. Doing nothing in particular.
How do you feel?
I mean some emotions we carry with us constantly. Little bits of melanchaly. Little bits of happy. Little bits of angry.
But I think we have a general ‘base’ we operate from.
One person’s “happy” might be their melancholy. It suits them. Happy might depress them because it’s just going to go away anyhow. That sort of thing.
Yet someone else’s happy might be happy. Their melancholy is melancholy. etc.
I know when I seek happiness, I do best when I stay away from either excessive giddiness (I think some people think giddiness = happy) or excessive sadness.
But I try to increase the baseline of happy moment to moment. Or, at least maintain it.
The undercurrent of melancholy remains. It’s always there, under the surface. But it doesn’t take over. Takes a little effort, but mostly just letting the sad feelings have their moment and allow them to pass by.
It’s like saying, “Hey sad thought, I hear ya. I see ya. You’re right. Take your time. No rush.” and let it just do its thing, make you feel however it makes you feel, and then allow it to leave.
But maybe if we get addicted to the the giddy peaks, we may end up experiencing the depressing lows. And perhaps that depressing low gets etched somehow. It just ‘sticks’.
How to unstick?
SLowly. Over time. With practice. I dunno.