Neurotransmitters are a class of chemical messengers that help regulate most of the other systems and functions in the body. If there are imbalances of these neurotransmitters, bodily functions will start to function inappropriately, leading to several unpleasant or debilitating symptoms.
Most people have heard of several common neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and adrenalin. Their functions relate to mood (especially depression). When imbalances in neurotransmitters occur, information is not relayed optimally in the brain which cause many symptoms:
Depression • Anxiety • Migraines • Insomnia • Cravings • Increased appetite • Low pain tolerance • Hot flashes • Mood swings • PMS • Sleep difficulties • Poor memory • Weight gain • Poor weight loss • Hormone imbalances • Poor mental focus • Poor concentration • Restless legs • Fibromyalgia • Fatigue/Chronic fatigue • Poor thyroid function • Parkinson’s Disease • ADD/ADHD • Trichotillomania • Addictions • Binging behavior • Eating disorders • Obsessive thoughts • Compulsion • Crohn’s disease
Other chemical imbalances may be related to organ malfunctions such as the thyroid. Under-production of the hormone can cause fatigue, poor concentration and feeling mentally “foggy”. Over-production can cause feelings of nervousness, fatigue and concentration problems, both mimicking depression in some ways. Similarly, symptoms of diabetes can include, fatigue and unplanned weight fluctuations.
So, if saying “I have depression” doesn’t feel comfortable to you, why not say “I have a Neurotransmitter Condition “. . . causing a chemical imbalance in your body?
Perhaps this type of rebranding with a simple name change could reduce the well-recognized, often self-imposed stigma related to depression. Similarly, it may help to gain a better understanding of the illness by the public.