Impact of Neurotransmitters on Physical and Mental Behavior

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Impact of Neurotransmitters on Physical and Mental Behavior
Physiological Psychology
November 20, 2011

Neurotransmitters are powerful chemicals that regulate numerous physical and emotional processes such as mental performance, emotional states and pain response. Virtually all functions in life are controlled by neurotransmitters. They are the brain’s chemical messengers. Interactions between neurotransmitters, hormones, and the brain chemicals have a profound influence on overall health and well-being. When our concentration and focus is good, we feel more directed, motivated, and vibrant. Unfortunately, if neurotransmitter levels are inadequate these energizing and motivating signals are absent and we feel more stressed, sluggish, and out of control. I’ve found four specific neurotransmitters that I’d like to write about, two because they affect me personally and the other two because they interest me. I take medications that impact both the GABA and Serotonin neurotransmitters and Dopamine and Norepinephrine because I find them fascinating. GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It helps neurons recover after transmission and reduces anxiety and stress. GABA is considered a significant pain and moon regulator. As a personal experience with GABA, I take Klonopin for anxiety, which works on many receptors, including GABA to reduce stress, and another medication, Gabapentin (Neurontin is the generic name) for sciatic spasms, showing how neurotransmitters can affect different types of systems in the body. Serotonin is the other Neurotransmitter I have personal experience with, as I’ve been on medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) since the age of 13. Currently I take Cymbalta, which helps increase the effects of serotonin, because when we have low serotonin levels we can suffer from sadness and depression, anxiety, panic attacks, reduced energy, migraines, sleeping...
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