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How Long Does It Take To Balance Brain Chemicals

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How can I balance my brain chemicals ? |Health NEWS

Meditation just might be the key to unlocking your untapped, limitless potential. Perhaps you were supposed to become the next Beethoven, Einstein, or Da Vinci?

While it’s possible you may not end up a genius, you just might! The only way you’ll know for sure is if you give meditation a try. Although we have no idea of knowing what level of higher brain function you’ll reach, we do know that people who practice meditation regularly routinely tap into a whole range of extraordinary abilities they never knew they had.

Proposed Causes Of A Chemical Imbalance In The Brain

The chemical imbalance theory suggests that depression results from changing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. The most common evidence used to support the chemical imbalance theory is the effectiveness of antidepressant medications.

These medications work by increasing the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Large-scale analysis shows that these medications are effective in treating symptoms of depression when compared with placebo.

However, while these medications can help improve a persons symptoms, this doesnt mean that the symptoms necessarily come from a chemical deficiency.

For example, serotonin plays a role in a persons overall mental health, but theres insufficient evidence to suggest that an imbalance in serotonin levels causes depression.

There are likely millions of chemical reactions occurring in the brain. The amount of reactions occurring at any one time makes it impossible to determine if someone is experiencing a singular chemical imbalance in their brain.

For example, theres a time lag between when a person starts taking SSRIs, and when they reverse symptoms. This suggests that some other downstream process could be mediating the antidepressant effect.

Dopamine: The Motivation Molecule

Dopamine is quickly gaining on serotonin as the most talked-about neurotransmitter.

It has been called the motivation molecule.

It provides the drive and focus you need to do what needs to be done.

Dopamine is so critical to motivation that dopamine-deficient lab mice become apathetic to the point where theyll literally starve even when food is readily available.

Dopamine has another important role as the brain chemical in charge of the bodys pleasure-reward system.

Dopamine is released when your needs are about to be met and delivers a feeling of satisfaction when youve accomplished your goals.

If youve lost your zest for life or find yourself engaging in self-destructive behaviors to feel good, your dopamine level may be low.

Signs of low dopamine include:

  • apathy

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Key Points To Understand The Brain And Addiction:

1. Some characteristics of addiction are similar to other chronic diseases.

Just as cardiovascular disease damages the heart and changes its functioning, addiction changes the brain and impairs the way it works. Below is an image of the brain and the heart .

These images show how scientists can use imaging technology to measure functioning of the brain and heart. Greater activity is shown in reds and yellows, and reduced activity is shown in blues and purples. Both the healthy brain and the healthy heart show greater activity than the diseased brain and heart, because both addiction and heart disease cause changes in function. In drug addiction, the frontal cortex in particular shows less activity. This is the part of the brain associated with judgment and decision-making .

Addiction is similar to other chronic diseases in the following ways:

  • It is preventable
  • If untreated, it can last a lifetime

2. Substances of misuse trick the brains reward system.

Below is a picture of the brain and the nucleus accumbens, in addition to some other brain regions that are affected by addition.

The brains nucleus accumbens activated by alcohol

Addictive drugs can provide a shortcut to the brains reward system by flooding the nucleus accumbens with dopamine. Additionally, addictive drugs can release 2 to 10 times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do, and they do it more quickly and reliably.

3. The brain can recover but it takes time!

Neurotransmitter Balancing Vs Psychopharmacology



Neurotransmitters are molecules that regulate brain function. They are chemicals which relay messages from nerve to nerve both within the brain and outside the brain. They also relay messages from nerve to muscle, organ or gland. They can accentuate emotion, thought processes, joy, and elation also fear, anxiety, insomnia and that terrible urge to over indulge in food, alcohol, drugs, etc. Neurotransmitters are used all over the body to transmit information and signals. They are manufactured and used by neurons and are released into the synaptic clefts between the neurons.

How do they work?Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that send a message from one neuron to another. Their production requires specific amino acids, enzymes and cofactors. If these are not present in sufficient quantity, the nerve cells cannot manufacture enough neurotransmitters and stores in the body are depleted. Eventually symptoms of depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia etc. will occur.

First, we can increase our dietary intake of the amino acid building blocks. American diets tend to be high in carbohydrate and low in protein. Foods high in these amino acids are mostly high protein foods. While this helps maintain a health neurotransmitter balance, diet alone is not enough to restore depleted levels.

Fourth, we can supplement the needed amino acids and cofactors, so that the body can make the required neurotransmitters.

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Current And Future Depression Treatments

Understanding the chemistry of depression may help people better understand the treatments available. 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.

If a person finds that therapy alone is not helping them manage their depression, they may want to try medication. For some people, antidepressants combined with psychotherapy proves especially effective for addressing their symptoms.

To complicate treatment further, medication does not always work for people with depression. One study evaluating the effectiveness of currently available antidepressants found that these medications only work in about 60% of people with depression.

Even if your depression is primarily linked to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, depression affects both your internal and external life. Therefore, medication alone may not be sufficient to address all the ways in which depression can affect you.

There is also research that suggests neurotransmitter levels can be affected by factors other than medication and that psychotherapy can help a person learn about them. For example, stress may contribute to low levels of certain neurotransmitters.

While taking an antidepressant medication might help with the symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily address the cause of the low levels. In this situation, therapy to improve stress management and reduce stress could potentially be helpful.

How Long Does It Take To Reset Your Brains Dopamine Levels

There are several factors that affect the intensity of dopamine release associated withdrawals that come from alcohol and other drugs. These factors may vary by person but generally involve how long it may take to restore dopamine levels to normal and natural levels. Typically, it takes about 90 days to notice a difference with experiences of pleasure and dopamine levels.

Consider the following:

  • How long have you been using drugs?
  • What drugs did you use? Were you using multiple at once?
  • How often did you use drugs?
  • Did your tolerance significantly increase with your drug use?
  • How old are you?
  • Did you experience dopamine deficiencies before you started using substances?
  • Do you struggle with other mental illnesses?

It is important to meet yourself where you are and give yourself grace. By answering the questions above, you can better understand and recognize where you stand with the severity of your substance use. With that, you can set more realistic and achievable goals for you and your recovery.

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How Do Doctors Diagnose Cocaine Addiction

If you reach out to your doctor about your cocaine use, they will start by asking you questions about your lifestyle, habits, usage, and dosage. Its important to be straightforward and honest so you can get the right treatment.

Sometimes a health event, such as a seizure or stroke, will prompt a doctor to bring up the possibility of cocaine addiction to you if you also have other symptoms.

You doctor may use a drug test to confirm cocaine use. A urine drug test may only test positive for cocaine for about 4 days after last use. But the longer youve been using cocaine, the more it can accumulate in your body, and the longer it takes to metabolize.

If a health event prompted your visit to your doctor, theyll recommend treatment options and help supervise your withdrawal once youre stable.

Cocaine withdrawal should always be supervised by a medical professional.

where to find help

You dont have to manage your addiction alone. Use these free and confidential resources to get support:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline: 800-662-HELP
  • National Drug Helpline: 289-0879
  • If you believe you or someone with you may be experiencing a cocaine overdose, call 911 immediately.

It may seem impossible at times, but you can completely recover from your cocaine addiction.

Its also possible to recover some of the impaired cognitive function from cocaine use.

Chemicals Hormones And The Brain

How does alcohol impact your brain chemistry?

Some of these neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, are also hormones or have some effect in releasing hormones in the body. Adrenaline, cortisol, melatonin, and other hormones can affect your mood or even influence the health of your brain.

Cortisol is a hormone released when youre stressed. Its helpful at times, but too much of it for too long can cause memory loss as you age.

Imbalances in neurotransmitters are present in many conditions, including schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, autism, and Parkinsons disease. Some medications target these receptors to allow your body to receive more or less of certain chemicals, while some drugs act similar to these chemicals to invoke similar responses in your body.

Maintaining a balance in these brain chemicals and hormones is key to feeling a balanced mood. You can help maintain this health to some extent through a balanced diet, limited stress, and exercise.

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How Is Schizophrenia Treated

Managing schizophrenia is a lifelong process. It can’t be cured. But symptoms can often be managed with medicine and therapy. Often, more than 1 method is needed. Types of treatment that may be helpful include:

  • Antipsychotic medicines. These are the main medicines used to reduce the most troubling symptoms such as delusions and paranoia.

  • Other medicines. These may include antidepressants or other mood stabilizers.

  • Therapy. Individual and family therapy .

  • Training. These may include learning social skills, job skills, or structured activity.

  • Self-help and support groups.

Early treatment and supportive services helps affected people live productive lives. It’s very important to take medicines exactly as prescribed and to keep taking them even if you feel better. Many people may still have some symptoms, even with treatment. At times, symptoms may get worse and treatment will need to be adjusted.

Always see your healthcare provider for more information.

Exercise Can Boost Mental Health

Along with mitigating the negative effects of chronic stress on the mind and body, habitual exercise can improve mental health. Many experts believe routine exercise is as powerful in treating anxiety and mood disorders as antidepressants.

Preliminary evidence suggests that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. But little work has focused on why that is. To determine how exercise might bring about its mental health benefits, some researchers are looking at possible links between exercise and brain chemicals associated with stress, anxiety and depression. One theory is that physical activity triggers a release of dopamine and serotonin, which can improve mood.

But there are other reasons exercise plays a crucial role in mental well-being.

For example, exercise can be particularly helpful for people who deal with anxiety and panic attacks. When you engage in strenuous physical activity, you’re essentially mimicking the responses that can come with anxiety, allowing you to learn how to manage these responses and not be overwhelmed by them in other situations.

For even more impact on your mental health, combine your exercise routine with other evidence-based practices, like or, reap the benefits of some good, old-fashioned fresh air and sunshine by taking a walk outdoors.

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The Role Of Key Neurotransmitters

The three neurotransmitters implicated in depression are:

There are other neurotransmitters that can send messages in the brain, including glutamate, GABA, and acetylcholine. Researchers are still learning about the role these brain chemicals play in depression and other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia.

Tips To Boost Your Brain Chemicals Naturally

Classic Learning Research in Practice  Neurotransmitters  Balance the ...

The problem of stress arises when you put your work at first and your brain health at second. Mindfulness is your happiness factor.

Happiness has a biological dimension to it with the release of certain chemicals from the brain known as neurotransmitters or happy hormones.

Being always on autopilot getting distracted constantly when connected to your phone and social media undermines your happiness.

You probably find it challenging to stay away from distraction and stress. Although there are mindful practices to reduce stress and enhance your happiness quotient through yoga, meditation and gratitude exercise.

But, what if you can get to include some other practices to stay happy. For a healthy body and more productive at work the best approach is to have a fresh, healthy and curious mind.

Happiness is a state of mind that dwindles with our expectations and stress make it seem complex. Happiness has a connection to good health as positive thoughts reduce stress levels and improve health consequently in the long-term.

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Is There A Test To Identify A Chemical Imbalance In The Brain

There are no reliable tests to diagnose a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Doctors can perform tests to assess the levels of serotonin and other chemicals in your blood. However, this is not an accurate representation of the amount of these present in your brain.

A wide range of factors may contribute to a person developing depression. However, family genetics does appear to play a role.

Research shows that a family history of depression 37 percent .

Many smaller studies had identified genetic components that may be associated with depression. However, further, more conclusive research is required to fully assess the exact role genetics has in depression.

Heroin Effects On The Brain

To understand how heroin affects the brain, we have to understand how the brain works. The brain has millions of cells that react to chemicals in the body, including the things that we consume. These reactions affect how our body works. The cells in the brain that react to chemicals are called receptors.

Some receptors only react to certain types of chemicals. The receptors that react to heroin are called opioid receptors.

Opioid receptors in the brain affect how we feel pain, pleasure, depression, anxiety and stress. They also affect our appetite, how we breathe and how we sleep. The brain naturally produces chemicals called endorphins that attach to opioid receptors. Endorphins reduce feelings of pain and help regulate bodily functions.

Opiates are chemicals that occur naturally in the opium poppy plant. These include morphine and codeine.
Opioids are man-made chemicals that are similar to opiates. These include heroin and prescription painkillers.
Endorphins are chemicals made by the brain that interact with opioid receptors to reduce pain and make us feel good.
Opioid receptors
Opioid receptors are cells or groups of cells in the brain that react to endorphins, opioids and opiates. These cells affect important life functions, such as breathing and heart rate.

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How Does Serotonin Affect Your Mood

Serotonin is responsible for your feelings of happiness, wellbeing and the stability of your mood. It also helps regulate your sleep cycle and other processes in your body including your appetite. While dopamine is probably more famously known as the happy hormone, serotonin is also one of the feel good chemicals you need!

When you have adequate levels of serotonin, you feel emotionally stable and calm and youll also have noticeably higher levels of energy and focus.

If you have low levels of serotonin, youre likely to experience the following symptoms:

  • problem sleeping
  • memory problems
  • craving for sweet foods

Low levels of serotonin are also thought to contribute to feelings of depression. Boosting serotonin levels can also help with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder .

How To Boost These 5 Good Brain Chemicals For Better Well

Deep Brain Stimulation: How It Works

Part of maintaining good mental health is keeping our brains humming with the natural chemicals they crave. Your brain and body need dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins to feel good, but were not taught a lot in school about how to boost production of those good brain chemicals.

It ends up with a lot of us feeling a little glum and not quite knowing why.

These brain chemicals, known more formally as neurotransmitters, are remarkably complex things that were only just beginning to understand. We do know theyre related to emotional balance and even have learned that some of them can be boosted a little through fairly simple efforts.

Now, there are of course many situations where a little change in routine or added activity is not going to solve the significant chemical imbalance a person might be experiencing. If youre struggling with severe or chronic depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges, medication might be necessary,. and you should talk to your doctor about the best solution for you.

But even people without ongoing mental health issues might experience down periods for any number of reasons. When that happens, these simple activities might be helpful for boosting your brain chemicals and helping you feel a bit better.

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