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I SHOULD Be Happy, Why Aren't I??
There are many circumstances in a person's life that can legitimately keep them from being "Happy". Personal tragedies, illness, money issues etc are all rational reasons why people feel sad and depressed. But there are millions of people that don't have these circumstances in their lives and they're still depressed. More and more studies point to the probability that it's a "chemical imbalance". But what are those chemicals and how do they get "imbalanced"?
They are called Neurotransmitters (NT); they are the brain chemicals that organize information and spread it from your brain to your body. They affect most of your body's functions.
Some of them stimulate the brain and some calm it. Areas highlighted below are potential problems from these imbalances.
1) SEROTONIN- A calming NT, it regulates your moods, carbohydrate/sugar cravings, appetite control, sleep cycles, pain control, aggression, sexuality/libido, fear, digestion and your immune system.
2) DOPAMINE- Helps us to focus and if it's high OR low, we can have problems with everything from forgetting where we put our keys to not being able to stay on task to having addictive issues. It keeps us motivated to get things done.
3) NOREPINEPHRINE- High levels can cause anxiety and low levels can cause low energy and decreased focus ability.
4) EPINEPHRINE- It's affected by stress and can influence insomnia, heart rate and blood pressure.
What can control or significantly affect the Neurotransmitters?
The Adrenals glands control much of this system and the closer a person gets to Menopause/Andropause (45-60 years old), the higher percentage of control this gland has. Things that weaken the Adrenals are emotional and physical stress, pain, drugs (prescription and recreational), caffeine and alcohol.
Anti-depressants were a $12 billion dollar industry in the US in 2007 and it continues to increase. One of the biggest problems with
anti-depressants is that even if they help, after taking them for a while, they further deplete the Neurotransmitters and the person needs to either keep changing medications or increasing dosages.
Some people will probably always need them but many don't. And studies show that for people over 60, there is no statistical difference in the effectiveness of anti-depressants compared with placebos (fake medicine that the patient thinks is real).
In the next few blogs, I will be discussing the exciting new treatment systems that can increase your Neurotransmitters without medications and some of the new Medical research into this exciting new area.