A lot of neurosis derives from our hard-wiring. When evolution gives us an upgrade, we add the new on top of the old rather than throwing out the now outdated electric system we were using.  Our primitive brain parts still react automatically even when our cortex wants to reason things out.  Lots of human psychology is trying to get the cortex to override or circumvent these primitive parts.

The parts of the brain that control wanting and the parts that control liking are separate areas. They use different neurotransmitters and operate independently of each other. We continually assume an intense feeling of wanting something – like a new car, winning the lottery, or getting a new toyfriend – means we will be happy once they are obtained.  We get disappointed but we don’t learn from the disappointment because of this flaw in our software.

You can stimulate certain parts of rat brains and they will ignore everything in their single minded pursuit of getting more of this pleasure stimulus. Yet if this is coupled with eating, rats will eat more food but (judging by their body language) don’t  appear to be enjoying it.

Conclusion: you can crave something very much but take little or no pleasure in it once you have it.

Wanting things you don’t like; what a concept. But any shopaholic or person addicted to a substance can relate to this. Dicky Purdy works overtime, hardly seeing his family, so he can save money to buy a RV, which doesn’t provide lasting happiness, so he works more to get more money to buy at boat. This makes DP sound stupid, but that isn’t entirely fair. His brain is wired in a way that compels him to chase after things which don’t make him happy.  Without conscious effort the pattern keeps repeating.

It turns out getting things really doesn’t result in lasting happiness.