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Oxytocin and Introverts/Extroverts

February 18, 2012 Oxytocin And Anxiety, Oxytocin In The News No Comments

The issue of social problems, and not having good social skills, is often related to not being comfortable in social surroundings. For people who are perfectly comfortable in social surroundings, there is no need to worry and things flow naturally and smoothly, friendships are made, parties are remembered, and life goes on.

There are people that want the same things but find it difficult to be comfortable and act naturally in the same social situations. Even if someone wants to be in these types of surroundings, exposed to new people, interesting situations and the like, their nerves change their behavior and make them exactly the sort of person they would not want to meet! The irony is not lost on many people who face this problem, and while the problems are not always acute or problematic enough to be diagnosed as a bonafide mental disorder, the negative social effects can still be large.

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Introversion and extroversion
In the US we all know (mostly) what an extrovert and what an introvert is. The extrovert is almost symbolic of the American spirit, with an outgoing mentality, the want to be in fast paced exiting social situations with lots of acquaintances and friends, and a general carefree attitude towards things big and small. These are the type of people with which sociality is second nature.

An introvert is essentially the polar opposite; someone who enjoys their own company and is not keen on high levels of stimulus. Other people’s company is not the crux of their existence and if anything other company can be found irksome. The popular misconception is that someone who is uncomfortable in social settings, and with communication, is an introvert, because introverts and people with social anxiety have similar symptoms. While half of this is true (introverts are comfortable in private settings), introverts do not shy away from social interaction due to personal afflictions, they simply have no desire for it.

Oxytocin is a hormone created in the hypothalamus section of the brain. The hypothalamus is critically important, responsible for much of the goings on of the central nervous system, and while oxytocin is not as important as other hormones produced in the hypothalamus, it is very important for cervical dilation during childbirth, and lactation during breastfeeding.

From a social point of view oxytocin is also very important. It is the hormone of human connection, and is released when we communicate and interact with others. Its effects are to increase wellbeing and calmness, and it also facilitates empathy and trust between friends. If you’ve ever felt the pang of a loving relationship at a distance, this is actually partly due to the effects of oxytocin withdrawal.

When someone cannot produce oxytocin, or receptors cannot receive it within the network of receivers within the body, the opposite feelings of stress, anxiety are noted. Also noted is sociopathy and psychopathy, or in other words, a sheer disregard for anyone else’s feelings.

The benefits of oxytocin
As you might have guessed, the negative effects of social anxiety are mostly the same things that oxytocin has been known to treat effectively for, but is there any evidence to suggest that oxytocin can reduce social anxiety, and promote calmness and positively in social settings?

A study at Concordia University in Montreal is one such study to see if oxytocin could help people with social anxiety. While being only a small study, results suggest that those given oxytocin scored higher for feelings of extroversion. The feelings linked to extroversion answers showed that people who had oxytocin scored higher for known oxytocin effects, including trust and openness. Importantly, there were no effects on socially negative feelings such as conscientiousness (1). This accords with the views of many leading physicians who note all these positive effects within patients (2).

We know that people with social anxiety often have negative views of themselves, and the fact that ocytocin appears to change an individual’s perception of his or herself highlights the effectiveness of only a small dose of the hormone. While this study was only small, its results are still significant, and will doubtless pave the way for more involved study.

Where to get it
Oxytocin is available freely on non-prescription at over the counter drug stores and on the internet. We recommend Oxytocin Factor because it is high quality, low price and comes in either a nasal spray or a sublingual liquid which is dripped underneath the tongue. These are both highly effective formulations which have had a resounding success with the customers who purchase Oxytocin Factor.

(1)- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22012170
(2) – http://oxytocincentral.com/2012/02/dr-tammy-tucker-discusses-oxytocin/

For more information contact Bryan Post, Managing Editor of Oxytocin Central info@oxytocincentral.com or call (405) 476-1983

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