Mental illnesses or disorders are often pushed aside in society or not believed in at all. People have difficulty feeling compassion for the pain they don’t see. So here is an explanation of dopamine and serotonin.
A Daily Cycle Of Madness
Dopamine, serotonin, and all the chemicals that control bodily functions are a daily cycle and follow a circadian rhythm. We have a natural rising and lowering of our chemicals throughout the day. These chemicals are responsible for our sleep/wake system. Serotonin helps the pineal gland create melatonin from melanin to help us naturally fall asleep.
Dopamine suppresses norepinephrine, which allows us to fall asleep. However, serotonin also promotes wakefulness through the production of norepinephrine. Any imbalance between the two will cause sleeping issues.
TRIGGER WARNING: Mental Illness | Mental Disorder | Deficiency | Scientific Research | PTSD | Trauma | 18+ | Mature Audience Only.
Dopamine imbalances cause depression, and serotonin imbalances cause you to be unable to process your emotions. These all reset daily. However, if you are having issues with inequalities, the daily reset isn’t going to go to baseline each time.
What Is Serotonin
So, what exactly are serotonin and dopamine, then? Serotonin is a chemical that carries messages between nerve cells in your brain. That said, most of your body’s serotonin is in the gut. Serotonin plays a crucial role in such body functions as mood, sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting, and sexual desire.
Many who suffer from seasonal affective disorder have a vitamin D deficiency. We have seen serotonin and dopamine be released by sunlight. Still, sunlight gives us vitamin D, and vitamin D stimulates the production of dopamine and serotonin.
Many people with chronic inflammation and chronic pain have also been said to have lower serotonin levels, and vitamin D. Low serotonin symptoms are anxiety, sleep problems, digestion issues, suicidal behaviour, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, PTSD, panic disorders, migraines, phobias, and schizophrenia.
The symptoms of too much serotonin vary from mild to high. When your serotonin is slightly elevated, you are shy. It is possible to feel like you’re not good enough. The desire to be social is present, but you also fear it at the same time. Nervousness is common. You can easily be upset by criticism. You lack motivation.
Some more serious symptoms of higher serotonin levels are feeling agitated or restless. Mental confusion or disorientation. One has headaches. You are dizzy. You have an increased heart rate or blood pressure. Your pupils dilate. You have goosebumps, sweating, or shivering. You experience stomach upsets with diarrhoea, nausea, or vomiting.
What Is Dopamine
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and hormone that acts as your reward centre. It is your pleasure and rewards hormones. Dopamine aids in many bodily functions, such as memory, movement, motivation, and attention. It also controls sleep and arousal. Dopamine is part of the network of feel-good hormones and plays a more prominent role in depression than serotonin.
Low levels of dopamine symptoms are tiredness. One can lack motivation. Or you are unhappy. One can have memory loss and mood swings. You can have sleep problems and concentration problems. You will also lack sexual desire.
Low dopamine levels can cause ADHD, Parkinson’s, and restless legs syndrome. Excess dopamine levels can cause high libido, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, increased energy, mania, stress, obesity, addiction, migraines, and an improved ability to focus and learn.
When you have just the right amount of dopamine, you are happy, alert, focused, and motivated. Some scientists now believe dopamine’s role isn’t actually to cause euphoria like previously thought, but to reinforce remembering what is pleasurable. This is why addiction happens with higher levels of dopamine.
My Personal Notes
Mental illness presents itself in many ways. Delusions, hallucinations, mood changes, behaviour changes, and many other things are symptoms of the chemical imbalance not being appropriately treated.
If you or a loved one have a mental illness, please do not hesitate to get them to help when they seem to have gone off their medication or are more challenged to cope with their ailments. They may need a medication change or a new evaluation to ensure someone did not misdiagnose them with one illness over another.
Those with mental illness, please, never hesitate to reach out when you feel your reality isn’t yours. If you feel like you are having a psychotic episode, please reach out for help. Many people are eager and willing to help you get to a state of mind that is not abusive to your psyche.
If you are in a crisis, please call your doctor or 911 / Your Universal Emergency Number.
Please, do not hesitate to reach out. Your life matters!