The Chemical Imbalance: The Medical Point Of View And How It Can Be Treated
By Sarah Fader
Updated December 14, 2018
As some of you might have heard about a chemical imbalance in the brain. The body consists of numerous chemicals. These chemicals are enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters. The chemical imbalance in the brain is one of the top reasons for various mental health illnesses.
The chemical imbalance theory is that mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, anxiety, behavioral disorders, mood disorders and personality disorders are linked to a chemical imbalance in the brain. This occurs when there's an imbalance among the neurotransmitters which are dopamine, serotine, and norepinephrine. A chemical imbalance in the brain can occur in both male and female. It can even occur in children.
The Symptoms Of A Chemical Imbalance
These are the chemical imbalance symptoms:
- Lack of sleep or sleeping too much.
- Lack of energy.
- Lack of libido.
- Lack of appetite or eating too much.
- The inability to concentrate.
- Unexplainably emotional and crying uncontrollably.
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts.
- Withdrawal of regular activities and social activities.
- Drastic changes in behavior - such as doing things that you have never done before.
- Lack of interest in things that you usually enjoy doing.
- The inability to complete tasks at work or your normal day to day tasks.
- Anxiety and nervousness. Anxiety attacks can even occur. In such cases, ensure that you contact your doctor immediately.
Chemical Imbalance Test And Diagnosis
If you are suffering from these symptoms, and you have been feeling depressed, then its most likely that you are suffering from a chemical imbalance. You will need to visit your primary healthcare giver. They will determine what tests need to be performed. They will run some neurotransmitter tests. These tests will measure blood platelet levels of dopamine, noradrenalin, adrenalin, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
You can also take some tests and quizzes online to see if you might be suffering from a chemical imbalance. See this neurotransmitter quiz.
Depression Chemical Imbalance
As many of you might have wondered is depression a chemical imbalance. The answer is yes. Though other factors can cause depression, a chemical imbalance is one of the top reasons for many who are experiencing depression. That's where chemical imbalance depression comes in. People who are suffering from depression usually have lower levels of dopamine and serotonin.
A psychiatrist will prescribe medications to balance the chemicals in the brain, which will help with overcoming depression.
Chemical Imbalance And Other Conditions
Even though this is not a mental health condition, but a physical condition. However, due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, it can cause insulin imbalance in the body. It increases the sugar levels in the body, but these sugar levels do not affect the brain.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
This is also known as ADHD. This has become a common disorder in children in today's times, and many kids are faced with this disorder. ADHD is also an imbalance of the chemicals in the brain. Children and adults who are suffering from ADHD find it impossible to concentrate, and they are usually are not motivated. People and children with ADHD usually find themselves repeating the same activities and movements repeatedly. This is because dopamine gets released into the brain and they want to achieve the same pleasurable feeling repeatedly.
ADHD can also have a negative impact on a child's performance at school and learning abilities. Therefore, if you suspect that your child might have ADHD, it must be treated immediately.
Anxiety also occurs due to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Anxiety occurs due to the low serotonin and the higher levels of hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
Chronic fatigue syndrome can only be diagnosed if it persists for more than six months. Some symptoms of a chronic fatigue syndrome are; muscle weakness and muscle aches. Though this might sound like a physical condition, it happens to also occur due to a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Substance Abuse And Alcoholism:
Harmful substances and alcohol also play a role in the chemical imbalance of the brain. Alcohol and these substances provide a temporary fix of pleasure which stimulates the brain, and the dopamine levels increase temporarily. In the long run and with excessive use of these substances and alcohol, it causes a depletion of serotonin, dopamine and other chemicals. Due to these imbalances of chemicals, it causes the abuser to become stressed and depressed. Especially during withdrawal or after short and long periods of not consuming alcohol or substances.
Chemical Imbalances In Children
Like with teens and adults, a chemical imbalance in kids also occurs. A chemical imbalance occurs in children when the neurotransmitters are disrupted and function abnormally. Unfortunately, in most cases, children with a chemical imbalance are incorrectly treated, and they are treated only for their symptoms. This also makes the diagnosis more difficult. Like with adults, due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, it can lead to mental illnesses.
The symptoms for kids are also like that of adults. A child might suffer from anxiety, anxiety attacks, changes in body temperatures, dizziness, increase in heart rates, aggression or depressive symptoms and diabetes.
There are treatment options that are available for children, like with adults. With the help of a mental health professional, you can balance out the chemicals in the brain. Apart from bringing a balance of the chemicals from a medical perspective, there are also numerous ways to balance out the chemicals naturally.
Treatment Options For A Chemical Imbalance
A chemical imbalance in the brain can be treated medically and naturally too. It is important to consult your primary healthcare giver before making any decisions of your own. Your healthcare giver can direct you to the best options to help you. Here are some treatment options that can help you with balancing the chemical levels in the brain:
Consult A Mental Health Professional:
This is a priority for anyone that's suffering from a chemical imbalance of any mental health condition. A mental health professional will guide you throughout your treatment process. Here are a few treatment options that they will use to treat you:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
This is a form of psychotherapy. Which is also known as ''talk therapy.'' Cognitive behavioral therapy will help an individual with recognizing their triggers, symptoms, and learning how to cope with it. You will also learn to recognize your patterns and deal with them accordingly with the help of a mental health professional.
Some medications are made for treating a chemical imbalance. These medications are antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications. A psychiatrist will prescribe medications that are suitable for your condition. These medications will help with stabilizing your mood, improving the chemicals in your brain and it will alleviate anxiety.
Exercising is an easy and fun way to deal with the chemical imbalance in the brain. It's also a stepping stone to leading a healthy lifestyle and keeping fit. During exercise, the brain releases the chemical that's called dopamine. This chemical is responsible for improving the mood and alleviating depression.
Many of us may feel as though we don't have the time to exercise. However, all you need is around 30-60 minutes a day. Take a long walk in the morning or evening, whichever suits you best. You can even sign up for a membership at your local gym.
Fisher Wallace Stimulator:
Thanks to modern technology, there is a wearable device that can help with balancing the chemicals in the brain. This Fisher Wallace Stimulator is worn on the head, and it is safer than drugs. Its comfortable to wear and it is also powerful. This device can be used to treat anxiety, depression and even insomnia.
Omega 3 Foods
Foods that are rich in Omega 3 contain the necessary fatty acids that our bodies and brains require. These fatty acids assist the brain functionality. These foods help with fighting off various mental health conditions such as bipolar, anxiety, schizophrenia, depression and other disorders. They help with improving the memory and concentration. They also stabilize the mood. Some Omega 3 rich foods are salmon, mackerel, flaxseed oil, tuna, and nuts.
An astonishing number of Americans are vitamin D deficient, which is also another cause of depression and anxiety. Vitamin D can help with stabilizing the mood, and it has many other wonderful benefits for your overall health. The easiest way to get vitamin D is by spending a little time in the sun. Some vitamin D rich foods are beef liver, fish oils, salmon, tuna, mackerel and the yolks of eggs.
Herbal medications are safer and most definitely healthier than drugs. You can speak to your mental healthcare giver about which types of herbal medications to take. Some examples of herbal medications are kava, passionflower, ashwagandha root and Valerian root.
A trusted Asian healing method that is used around the globe. It is also used as a form of therapy. It also has many wonderful health benefits. It increases your blood flow, and it assists with improving the chemistry in the brain. It's also good for relieving pain and stabilizing the mood. You can check around for certified acupuncture therapists in your area if you decide to choose this form of therapy.