So in part 1 we read about the astronomical rise in prescription drug abuse and how our neurotransmitters affect our behavior if they are too high or too low. Let’s continue on…
So what do these neurotransmitters do exactly?
Serotonin helps to keep excessive and constant anxiety away by boosting our overall level of happiness. Serotonin also plays a role in proper digestion and too little of it can lead to slow movement through the intestines. Serotonin is a regulating factor for the heart, the way we feel pain and our effectiveness at learning new things. Since there was an association drawn between low serotonin and depression, there are prescription drugs (SSRI’s) that keep serotonin in circulation longer but this can interfere with appropriate chemical signaling and prescription drugs have their own set of drawbacks.
Dopamine is referred to as the reward drug since it gives a pleasant emotional response when we view something that happens to us as good. The catch here is that the good thing that happens has to be unexpected. Getting your favorite dish at a restaurant, if it’s as you expect it to be, may be excellent but it won’t trigger a release of dopamine. If your significant other proposes marriage after the meal, however, your brain will be flooded with this neurotransmitter, much to your glee.
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More information on what happens when you have too little of these neurotransmitters.
A point to ponder on my friend…