Warning: This post is purely speculative, subjective and anecdotal. There is little solid research to assert some of the statements in this post. If this doesn’t bother you, read on.
Otherwise, please view my other Nootropics posts or consider using nutrition and natural substances to help with negative mood and depression. I am not a medical professional and everything here is speculative and merely presented for information and consideration purposes.
I’ve been reading as usual, and revisited Noopept recently after recommending it to a family member.
For those of you who don’t recall reading my experience with this affordable nootropic, it’s taken at small dosage and has been known to increase good things like NGF (nerve growth factor) in rodents.
Although the drug is presently used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and similar conditions of progressive cognitive decline, the research on the full effects and benefits this substance is still underway. This hasn’t stopped psychonauts at communities like /r/Nootropics and Longecity from trying it out however. Many have found Noopept to be positive for cognition and, in some cases, mood, without the same taxing side effects of stimulants or antidepressants.
However, it hasn’t been fully explored or expounded upon as to how it can help mood or mindset, or change worldview.
Noopept, learned helplessness, depression and negativity
One particular study on Noopept has resulted in an intriguing finding:
Long-lasting effects of new Russian psychotropic drugs Noopept and Afobazol on active avoidance conditioning1 and formation of learned helplessness neurosis were studied on an original experimental model in rats. Noopept eliminated the manifestations of learned helplessness after long-term (21-day) treatment by increasing the percent of trained animals. Afobazol was low effective in preventing manifestations of learned helplessness, but if used for a long time, it reduced the incidence of learned helplessness development by increasing the percent of untrained animals.
In a psychological terms, “learned helplessness” is a state in which an animal or person is repeatedly subjected to averse stimuli or another condition in which they are seemingly unable to change. After a while, they get the idea that they have no control over the situation, thus “learning” to become helpless. Even when the averse stimuli are removed, the animals still behave as if it will occur.2 When this happens, they are considered to have learned helplessness.
Now in the above experiment, the rats given the Noopept overcame their “learned helplessness” conditioning. That is, the rats were more likely to realize the averse stimuli they were subjected to were no longer there.
The duration in which the study occurred (3 weeks/21 days) is congruent with self-hacking nerd findings that Noopept’s effect improves over the long term, perhaps meaning an individual should take it daily to reap the benefits.
(Note that dosage should also be rotated. One month off for every two months on Noopept, or 2 days off for every 12 days on Noopept.)
Learned helplessness in people
Nowadays, it’s easy to learn helplessness even if you are a human being and not an animal taking part in a psychological experiment.
The truth is that we are all part of a big, ongoing psychological experiment taking place in the departments of marketing and employee relations of big companies. It’s profitable enough for them to learn what makes us spend and keep doing what we do to profit for them, even if it’s at our expense. It’s our personal freedom to make some choices, even if we were conditioned into them. Paradoxical, ain’t it?
It benefits the wallets of a certain group of people if you are conditioned to be helpless and perfectly obedient, and that you get the idea embedded in your mind that it’s “impossible to change things” or “useless to do anything about it.” If you go and start your own business or start taking command of your health, you become less profitable to certain people who rely on keeping someone down rather than helping them up for their livelihood.
Therefore, little things like proper nutrition and neuroplasticity-boosting nootropic drugs like Noopept are generally overlooked by people conditioned into believing there is no possibility outside of their current path in life.
Can Noopept help you overcome fatalistic negativity?
There is no solid scientific evidence at this point in time, but all positive anecdotes and limited evidence related to the administration of Noopept at normal doses (10-30 mg per day) suggest that yes, Noopept could help get a person out of a mental funk.
In another rat study, it was found that NGF and BDNF concentrations were increased in the hippocampus after just 28 days.3
NGF or Nerve Growth Factor is important for brain health, especially the maintenance of nerves and neurons. BDNF or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor is a neurotrophin similar to NGF. Unusual NGF levels are correlated with diseases like schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder.
The anxieties encountered in these disorders seem to cause the brain to compensate by secreting extra NGF as a measure of neuroprotection, or what I would think of as a sort of catalyst for neurological change. Administered on its own, NGF has many therapeutic properties and is also how certain psychiatric medications work — altering the levels of NGF that is secreted.4
Whether the benefits of Noopept can actually affect mood disorders for the better or if the NGF it causes the body to secrete can help you is scientifically unknown at this point.
However, consider this: if something is causing you stress, perhaps as an outcome of your actions, thoughts or emotions, would your brain be better prepared if it were in a place to change or continue doing what it’s been doing this whole time?
People who aren’t undergoing any further stress would be benefited by doing the same thing they’ve been doing their whole life, hence no need to secrete extra NGF.
Perhaps the Noopept puts the brain in a “ready to learn” mode which is possibly how the rats overcame their learned helplessness, similar to how the brain of a person under emotional duress would be prepared to create a mental paradigm shift in order to overcome the averse stimuli.
When you’re pushed out of your comfort zone or taking something like Noopept, your brain is open to rewriting its default programming in order to adapt. But I believe this is only possible if one is willing to act in order to change.
Again, all of the above is purely wild speculation of a layman and not established in hard research. You will have to do your own exploration to figure out if something like Noopept would be right for yourself.
If you’d like to try it, pick some up here. Health Supplement Wholesalers is the best vendor for nootropics that I’ve come across in terms of affordability and customer service.
Alternatively, read my review of Noopept. It’s been nearly one year since I first tried it, and to this day I still take Noopept in cycles, and I am currently taking 10mg per day with 500mg ALCAR and 500mg choline as my basic nootropic stack.
Definition of avoidance conditioning ↩
Animal studies of learned helplessness – “A dog that had earlier been repeatedly conditioned to associate a sound with electric shocks did not try (later in another setting) to escape the electric shocks, even though all the dog would have had to do is jump over a low divider. The dog didn’t even try to avoid the “negative stimulus”; the dog had previously “learned” that nothing it did mattered.” ↩
Noopept stimulates the expression of NGF and BDNF in rat hippocampus ↩
Stress, anxiety and schizophrenia and neurotrophic factors: the pioneer studies with nerve growth factor ↩