Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by matthewson, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    This is the best article I have seen that explains about each neurontransmitter. Don't let the title turn you off.
    "The chemical imbalance in mental health problems". It is well worth the read as I know a lot of us suffer from depression, anxiety, ADD, Bi-polar etc along with FMS/CSF.

    Take care, Sally
    [This Message was Edited on 03/13/2006]
  2. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

  3. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    Thanks, Sally, I'm going to print it and a few of his other articles. He speaks in plain English! Thanks.

  4. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

  5. laspis1

    laspis1 New Member

  6. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    Bump for COZ.
  7. claudiaw

    claudiaw New Member

    Thanks for the info.
    I will print out and read later, sound's good.:)

  8. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    Very informative. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  9. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    This is a good article. There is so much misunderstanding about the role neurotransmitters play in mental illness.
    I guess I mean by that is that when there is a real mental health issue, chemicals(unfortunately) are required to get the neurotransmitters to work better.

    This mistaken idea that misfiring synapses can somehow be alleviated otherwise caused at least two clients I knew to lose their lives when they went off their meds. Well meaning friends had urged them to. As yopu said the other day, there IS a great deal of difference between serious mental illness and a few other conditions.

    My own DH would be dead but for the meds he takes, so I am glad you posted this. I also liked your other reply BTW, as we must not blind ourselves that some serious illnesses will only respond to manmade chemical interventions and or surgery.

    Thanks again for this great post.

    Love Anne C
  10. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    I have to tell you, since reading this article, I have had an epiphany of sorts as to why the medical community wants to give us anti-ds. Ifyou read the part about low serotonin levels, it fits people with FMS/CSF to a T!

    I will post that part here because I think it will be very informative. I have said a while back that I think there is a lack of serotonin part to these DDs.

    Serotonin: From Bliss to Despair

    Serotonin, first isolated in 1933, is the neurotransmitter that has been identified in multiple psychiatric disorders including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphic disorder (nose doesn’t look perfect after ten surgeries), social anxiety, phobias, etc. Serotonin is a major regulator and is involved in bodily processes such as sleep, libido (sexual interest), body temperature, and other areas.

    Perhaps the best way to think of Serotonin is again with an automobile example. Most automobiles in the United States are made to cruise at 70 miles per hour, perfect for interstate highways and that summer vacation. If we place that same automobile on a racetrack and drive day-after-day at 130 mph, two things would happen. Parts would fail and we would run the engine so hot as to evaporate or burnout the oil. Serotonin is the brain’s “oil”.

    Like a normal automobile on a race track, when we find ourselves living in a high stress situation for a prolonged period of time, we use more Serotonin than is normally replaced. Imagine a list of your pressures, responsibilities, difficulties and environmental issues (difficult job, bad marriage, poor housing, rough neighborhood, etc.). Prolonged exposure to such a high level of stress gradually lowers our Serotonin level. As we continue to “hang on” we develop symptoms of a severe stress-produced depression.

    An automobile can be one, two or three quarts low in oil. Using the automobile as an example, imagine that brain Serotonin can have similar stages, being low (one quart low), moderately low (two quarts low), and severely low (three quarts low). The less Serotonin available in the brain, the more severe our depression and related symptoms.

    When Serotonin is low, we experience problems with concentration and attention. We become scatterbrained and poorly organized. Routine responsibilities now seem overwhelming. It takes longer to do things because of poor planning. We lose our car keys and put odd things in the refrigerator. We call people and forget why we called or go to the grocery and forget what we needed. We tell people the same thing two or three times.

    As stress continues and our Serotonin level continues to drop, we become more depressed. At this point, moderately low or “two quarts” low, major changes occur in those bodily functions regulated by Serotonin. When Serotonin is moderately low, we have the following symptoms and behaviors:

    · Chronic fatigue. Despite sleeping extra hours and naps, we remain tired. There is a sense of being “worn out”

    · Sleep disturbance, typically we can’t go to sleep at night as our mind/thought is racing. Patients describe this as “My mind won’t shut up!” Early-morning awakening is also common, typically at 4:00 am, at which point returning to sleep is difficult, again due to the racing thoughts.

    · Appetite disturbance is present, usually in two types. We experience a loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss or a craving for sweets and carbohydrates when the brain is trying to make more Serotonin.

    · Total loss of sexual interest is present. In fact, there is loss of interest in everything, including those activities and interests that have been enjoyed in the past.

    · Social withdrawal is common – not answering the phone, rarely leaving the house/apartment, we stop calling friends and family, and we withdraw from social events.

    · Emotional sadness and frequent crying spells are common.

    · Self-esteem and self-confidence are low.

    · Body sensations, due to Serotonin’s role as a body regulator, include hot flushes and temperature changes, headaches, and stomach distress.

    · Loss of personality – a sense that our sense of humor has left and our personality has changed.

    · We begin to take everything very personally. Comments, glances, and situations are viewed personally and negatively. If someone speaks to you, it irritates you. If they don’t speak, you become angry and feel ignored.

    · Your family will have the sense that you have “faded away”. You talk less, smile less, and sit for hours without noticing anyone.

    · Your behavior becomes odd. Family members may find you sitting in the dark in the kitchen at 4:00 am.

    Individuals can live many years moderately depressed. They develop compensations for the sleep and other symptoms, using sleeping medication or alcohol to get some sleep. While chronically unhappy and pessimistic, they explain their situation with “It’s just my life!” They may not fully recognize the depressive component.

    Very low levels of Serotonin typically bring people to the attention of their family physician, their employer, or other sources of help. Severe Serotonin loss produces symptoms that are difficult to ignore. Not only are severe symptoms present, but also the brain’s ideation/thinking becomes very uncomfortable and even torturing. When Serotonin is severely low, you will experience some if not all of the following:

    · Thinking speed will increase. You will have difficulty controlling your own thoughts. The brain will focus on torturing memories and you’ll find it difficult to stop thinking about these uncomfortable memories or images.

    · You’ll become emotionally numb! You wouldn’t know how you feel about your life, marriage, job, family, future, significant other, etc. It’s as though all feelings have been turned off. Asked by others how you feel – your response might be “I don’t know!”

    · Outbursts will begin, typically two types. Crying outbursts will surface, suddenly crying without much warning. Behavioral outbursts will also surface. If you break the lead in a pencil, you throw the pencil across the room. Temper tantrums may surface. You may storm out of offices or public places.

    · Escape fantasies will begin. The most common – Hit the Road! The brain will suggest packing up your personal effects and leaving the family and community.

    · Memory torture will begin. Your brain, thinking at 100 miles an hour, will search your memories for your most traumatic or unpleasant experiences. You will suddenly become preoccupied with horrible experiences that may have happened ten, twenty, or even thirty years ago. You will relive the death of loved ones, divorce, childhood abuse – whatever the brain can find to torture you with – you’ll feel like it happened yesterday.

    · You’ll have Evil Thoughts. New mothers may have thoughts about smothering their infants. Thoughts of harming or killing others may appear. You may be tortured by images/pictures in your memory. It’s as though the brain finds your most uncomfortable weak spot, then terrorizes you with it.

    · With Serotonin a major bodily regulator, when Serotonin is this low your body becomes unregulated. You’ll experience changes in body temperature, aches/pains, muscle cramps, bowel/bladder problems, smothering sensations, etc. The “Evil Thoughts” then tell you those symptoms are due to a terminal disease. Depressed folks never have gas – it’s colon cancer. A bruise is leukemia.

    · You’ll develop a Need-for-Change Panic. You’ll begin thinking a change in lifestyle (Midlife Crisis!), a divorce, an extramarital affair, a new job, or a Corvette will change your mood. About 70 percent of jobs are lost at this time as depressed individuals gradually fade away from their life. Most extramarital affairs occur at this time.

    · As low Serotonin levels are related to obsessive-compulsive disorders, you may find yourself starting to count things, become preoccupied with germs/disease, excessively worry that appliances are turned off or doors locked, worry that televisions must be turned off on an even-numbered channel, etc. You may develop rituals involving safety and counting. One auto assembly plant worker began believing his work would curse automobiles if their serial number, when each number was added, didn’t equal an even number.

    · Whatever normal personality traits, quirks, or attitudes you have, they will suddenly be increased three-fold. A perfectionist will suddenly become anxiously overwhelmed by the messiness of their environment or distraught over leaves that fall each minute to land on the lawn. Penny-pinchers will suddenly become preoccupied with the electric and water consumption in the home.

    · A “trigger” event may produce bizarre behavior. Already moderately low in Serotonin, an animal bite or scratch may make you suddenly preoccupied with rabies. A media story about the harmful effects of radiation may make you remember a teenage tour of the local nuclear power plant – suddenly feeling all your symptoms are now the result of exposure to radiation.

    · When you reach the bottom of “severely low” Serotonin, the “garbage truck” will arrive. Everyone with severely low Serotonin is told the same thing. You will be told 1) You’re a bad spouse, parent, child, employee, etc., 2) You are a burden to those who love or depend on you, 3) You are worsening the lives of those around you, 4) Those who care about you would be better if you weren’t there, 5) You would be better if you weren’t around, and 6) You and those around you would be better off if you were totally out of the picture. At that point, you develop suicidal thoughts.

    Clinical Depression is perhaps the most common mental health problem encountered in practice. One in four adults will experience clinical depression within their lifetime. Depression is the “common cold” of mental health practice – very common and much easier to treat today than in the past.

    I seriously think that your Dr's, ggiggi, are on the right path. I think a lot of people will say, "but, I am not depressed!" when their Dr's want to try anti-d's and see if they will help with their symptoms, but as you can see from this article, a lot of the symptoms we have with these DD are the same as the symptoms caused by a lack of serotonin.

    I am glad you all enjoyed this article. I will try to post each neurotransmitter separately in a post, maybe tomorrow. It is too long of an article to post the whole thing, that's why I posted the link to it only.

    Take care, Sally
  11. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

  12. woofmom

    woofmom New Member

    Please, can you explain to me, in simple layman's terms, why or how I only get any symptoms when I'm exposed to fragrance or heat. When the temperature is over about 75 degrees and I'm in for more than 15 or twenty minutes or if I get a big whiff of fragrance I feel like I could burst out crying. It's like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.
  13. mme_curie68

    mme_curie68 New Member


    FANTASTIC article. Probably the BEST primer on neurotransmitters I have ever read.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Madame Curie
  14. ephemera

    ephemera New Member

    Thanks for this. I'm trying to get my head around all this essential reading.

    Every time I go to the rheumie's I get told I'm depressed. I say no & I firmly believe I'm not. How else could I look forward to the joys of nature with anticipation (& be able to relate to the joy), be able to smile & laugh 7 persist in the struggle to understand these diseases & to get beyond them in my lifetime!
  15. msSusan

    msSusan Member

    I have done a urine test to get my levels checked (through NeuroScience Inc.) I'm working with local natural pharmacy on getting help with Fibro. pain, etc. Have started Inhibitory Neurotrans. supplements (from Natural Creations) to even out low levels of serotonin, epinephrine and dopamine. Have high histamine level.

    Check web site to get very detailed info.
    [This Message was Edited on 05/09/2006]
  16. Tantallon

    Tantallon New Member

    Too tired at moment but will read this tomorrow.
    Thanks for the info posted.
  17. ANNXYZ

    ANNXYZ New Member

    a good way to nourish our bodies so it could manufacture an adequate supply of these chemicals .

    My guess is that many of us have some enzyme or amino acid that breaks the serotonin down too fast or destroys it . Another possibility I have questioned is whether cortisol ( stress hormone ) depletes the serotonin supply during extreme stress .

    Nevertheless, the suffering is ENORMOUS and the stigma
    attached only adds to the frustration.
  18. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    Shamlessly bumping some good information.

  19. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm going to check it out.

    Love, Mikie
  20. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    I saved it to my computer.From what I've read it is good.Thanks.Linda

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