Are you ever perplexed by your own behavior? Perhaps your brain is to blame. As the unexpected things that are a sign of a chemical imbalance in your brain go to show, brain chemistry just might affect some surprising parts of your life.
So what's the deal with these chemicals in the brain, and why do they need balancing? Well, it's all a part of figuring out why certain disorders affect some people and not others. One theory claims that some conditions, such as anxiety disorders, may be caused by imbalances of certain chemicals in the brain, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The chemical imbalance idea is a huge simplification of the way the brain works, but it makes a kind of intuitive sense to many people. For instance, some researchers believe that an imbalance of the chemical serotonin in the brain may affect a person's mood, possibly leading to conditions such as depression, according to WebMD.
Not all researchers agree with the chemical imbalance theory, however. Some experts find the "chemical imbalance" theory misleading, because it downplays the way genetics and environmental factors may contribute to a disorder, according to the Social Anxiety Institute. Basically? The brain is complicated.
But for those who do subscribe to the theory, all kinds of behaviors may result from these chemical imbalances. Read on to learn more about the way these brain chemicals might influence your everyday life. As always, though, contact a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about the way your body or brain is working.
Have you started to shy away from social situations, even avoiding people you enjoy? Deliberately isolating from social situations is a potential sign of chemical imbalances in the brain, according to Live Science. If you or a loved one starts pulling away from beloved friends and family members, then take note.
Energy levels may also be affected by the brain. In particular, the chemical dopamine may influence a person's energy levels, and lead to issues in this area if imbalanced, according to Verywell Mind. That said, unexplained fatigue can be caused by many different symptoms, so speak with your healthcare provider if you're tired all the time for no apparent reason.
If the chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline get out of balance in your brain, then this might cause mood swings, according to Psych Guides. Although mood swings can affect everyone from time to time, severe and lasting mood swings may need attention from a medical professional.
Freaky, frightening dreams can disrupt your slumbers like nothing else. But these creepy creations of the mind just might have some basis in brain chemistry. It turns out the drug prazosin, which reduces the level of neurochemicals, may help relieve nightmares in people who have PTSD, according to Harvard Medical School.
Brain chemistry may also influence how well you sleep. As it turns out, people with insomnia may have reduced levels of the chemical GABA in their brain, according to a study in the journal Sleep.
The stress hormone cortisol can be helpful if you're trying to outrun a bear or something, but too much of it can cause problems. In fact, too much cortisol may lead to memory problems over time, according to UPMC Health Beat. It's another reason to manage your stress levels.
Even how comfortable you feel on a day to day basis may be influenced by these chemicals. The chemical GABA may also influence feelings of agitation or relaxation, according to Verywell Mind. Really, these brain chemicals just might affect your life in all kinds of unexpected ways.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.