Chemical Imbalance of the Brain; Signs & Symptoms
A chemical imbalance in the brain results when there are discrepancies in the levels of chemical compounds in the brain. There are medical conditions which are considered signs and symptoms of the chemical imbalance disease in the brain. It is also important to point out that there is considerable controversy regarding the cause and effect of brain chemical imbalance within the medical community.
Chemical Imbalance; What is it?
- Chemical imbalance in the brain is one of the theories which seeks to explain causes of mental illness. This theory explains that neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain causes psychiatric conditions and mental illness. It was also discovered that certain neurotransmitters had too little activity in the brains of individuals suffering from schizophrenia.
- During the 1950s, monoamine oxadase inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants were discovered to be helpful agents in treating depression. These discoveries were made by researcher Joseph Schildkraut; he published such findings in his research in 1965. Not everyone agrees that chemical imbalance in the brain causes mental illness, and the controversy still continues within the psychiatric discipline today.
How Does Chemical Imbalance Occur in the Brain?
- The brain is surrounded by synaptic vesicles which cluster beneath the membrane of the brain. They often release neurotransmitters which are also known as endogenous chemicals. These chemicals relay and amplify brain signals transmitted between neutron and other cells of the brain. According to theories of chemical imbalance, abnormal levels or concentrations of these neurotransmitters in the brain leads to chemical imbalance in the brain.
What are the Symtoms of Chemical Imbalance?
- Some doctors believe that attention deficit disorder is one of the early signs of chemical imbalance problem in the brain. ADHD is a medical condition which affects young children and adolescents. Such factors as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior have been attributed to chemical imbalance in the brain.
- Not everyone believes in this, but many psychiatric physicians believe that these factors are early signs of mental illness resulting from abnormal levels of brain chemicals. Individuals with ADHD are often challenged by simple, everyday tasks.
- Depression is another sign of chemical imbalance in the brain. There are also many other factors associated with depression such as hereditary or perfectionist behavior. Some doctors believe that one of the main causes of depression is the result of chemical imbalance in the brain. When imbalances occur in some neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, such imbalance could lead into depression. These chemicals are like messengers that operate within the brain to influence the moods of people.
- Diabetes is another disease often associated with chemical imbalance in the brain. Diabetes results from high concentrations of sugar in the blood. Although such condition and disease necessarily does not affect the brain, it has often been associated with chemical imbalance in the brain which in turn leads to other factors culminating in diabetes disease. Chemical imbalance in the brain may cause insulin imbalance in turn in the body, whereas an insulin imbalance causes diabetes.
Curing Chemical Imbalance the Natural way
- Emotional health is optimally dependent on a certain level of neurotransmitter balance within your brain.
- Stress, poor dietary habits and even one’s life outlook can, in time, knock these chemicals out of balance.
- The neurotransmitters responsible for regulating moods and emotions are dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, norepinephrine and GABA. A diet that is low in potassium, magnesium, zinc or any of the essential vitamins may contribute to chemical imbalances within the brain. Anti-depressants are designed to target specific neurotransmitter deficiencies, however the cause of the imbalance remains untreated.
- The mind and body are affected by stress, the result of which includes fatigue, loss of sleep and anxiety. Chemical imbalances within the body prevent normal processes such as sleep and producing energy. The brain releases certain neurotransmitters to protect itself from stress, called endorphins.
- Endorphins are pain-blocking or stress- blocking transmitters. Prolonged periods of stress require the brain to produce more of these chemicals, which, in turn, throws other neurotransmitters off balance. How a person reacts to stress affects how neurotransmitter levels are produced within the brain.
- Natural supplements as an alternative cure many people have turned to for chemical imbalance . St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP, Valerian Root and Kava Kava are just a few of the natural supplements used to restore neurotransmitter levels within the brain.
- Not unlike antidepressant medications, each one is designed to target a specific neurotransmitter group; however, supplements are formulated to have a holistic effect, meaning the drug has a more natural effect on the body’s system. Prescription medications are, instead, targeted formulas which work to alter only one process.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapies
- While no known specific cause for chemical imbalances has been identified, some theories attribute a person’s thinking and behavior patterns as the source of neurotransmitter deficiencies. Psychotherapy approaches point to a direct connection between our behaviors and how they trigger certain response within the brain.
- In turn, these effects take on a cyclic nature where behavior and chemical response reinforce one another. Cognitive behavioral therapies are a form a counseling that helps individuals redirect the thinking patterns and behaviors that prompt certain chemical reactions within the brain.
- One of the many benefits of exercise, whether it’s gardening, running, walking or housework, is how it increases the endorphin levels in the brain. Endorphins are called the “feel good” neurotransmitters, as their presence in the system promotes a natural high and sense of well-being.
- Feelings of depression are associated with low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. Exercise stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which, in turn, increases serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain.
- These chemicals are produced naturally as a result of the body’s activity.