Dopamine, that feel good nectar within our system that has us facing the world with a case of Ric Flair. WOO!
But for some, our bodies produce too little dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. This can lead to depression. Now before we dig too deep into this, please do not rush out to your depressed friend and say “Hey! I just read a blog that says your chemically imbalanced.” Not cool dude. Instead, take a deep breath, relax, and keep and open mind.
Did you know that the neurotransmitters mentioned earlier are called catecholamines? They are released during the body’s stress response. The effects of catecholamines include: increased heart rate, sending more blood flow to your skeletal muscles, pupil dilation, constricting the blood vessels in the skin, increasing glucose in your bloodstream, opening up your lungs, and making you feel excited. AKA Ric Flair mode. WOO!
If a person were to produce to little catecholamine, then they may end up under responding to stress or an emergency. On the other hand, a person that produces too much may over respond. This paints a clearer picture and presents a possible reason why one person may “freak out” while another person may stay calm during and emergency.
The quantity of catecholamines our bodies produce have also been linked to anxiety and depression. Is there anything we can do to help regulate production?
Reduce sugar intake- I know someone out there is screaming “Not my gumdrop buttons!” Sugar can disrupt dopamine production. This, in turn, can deplete dopamine levels in the blood system. Next thing you know we are addicted to sugar. Yep, sugar addiction is a real deal folks.
It would be wise to reduce caffeine to a moderate level. It too has similar addictive results. But, I’m not going to touch that one. Nope, far be it from me to stand in the way of a mother and her coffee pot.
Low levels of magnesium can cause decreased levels of catecholamine. Tests can determine if one has such deficiency. What can cause this? If your diet consists of heavy in junk foods or processed foods, then chances are you may have a magnesium deficiency. Please consult a doctor and find out for sure before assuming anything.
Depression does not deem one as mentally ill. Often times our habits are the reason behind our emotional state. Reducing stress, staying on a set schedule, and maintaining a good diet will help with depression and anxiety. Consult a doctor if symptoms of severe anxiety or severe depression exists.
Take into consideration the reason for the anxiety or depression. A death of a loved one may send some into a deep depressive state. A job loss may cause a financial instability that presents insomnia and anxiety. These are natural reactions. We react to adversity in different manners. Don’t assume you’re a basket case. You are a human being with human emotions. We all are. But, if life is grand and there is no apparent reason to be depressed or anxious, then one may be experiencing a catecholamine deficiency.
We deserve to be happy. Understanding what can prevent that happiness brings us one step closer to ensuring that we maintain our peace of mind.
Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and find life’s happiness