Serotonin is considered to be the "feel good" chemical in the brain. In addition to helping regulate your mood, serotonin has a number of different jobs throughout the body from your gut to blood clotting to sexual function.
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Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the brain. The nerve cells of the brain use neurotransmitters to communicate with each other. The messages they send are believed to play a role in mood regulation.
The three neurotransmitters implicated in depression are:
While psychotherapy is helpful for some people with depression, if there is a chemical imbalance in the brain, it may not be enough to address their symptoms. Antidepressants combined with psychotherapy proves especially effective for addressing the symptoms.
While taking an anti...
Accepting how little we truly know about the chemistry of depression can help us maintain perspective and expectations for the medications used to treat depression.
For people who are trying to find the right treatment, understanding the complex chemistry can be reassuring when a particul...
Research has indicated several potential causes for the low levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine:
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that creates positive feelings associated with reward or reinforcement that motivate us to continue with a task or activity. There is evidence that reduced dopamine levels can contribute to depression in some people.
Dopamine is believed to play an important ...
Norepinephrine is both a neurotransmitter and a hormone. It plays a role in the "fight or flight response" along with adrenaline. It helps send messages from one nerve cell to the next.
Changes in norepinephrine levels do not affect mood in every person. Researchers now understand that hav...
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It is essential for mood, digestion, sleep, brain function, and circadian rhythm. It seems to be “involved in everything but responsible for nothing”: Low serotonin has been noted in depression, but increasing serotonin levels in depressed people doesn’t reliably work.
Up to 90% of...
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