Antidepressants and Serotonin
If you would believe the overwhelming advertisements of the pharmaceutical companies, you would think that serotonin primarily regulates mood. In fact, serotonin regulates a lot of other activities in the brain and body. In 1948, Maurice Rapport, a haematologist, found that serotonin tended to make blood form clots, and it tended to be a muscle- as well as a vasoconstrictor. Next to be a muscle- and vasoconstrictor, serotonin plays an important role in sleep, appetite, memory, aggression, sexual behaviour, cardiovascular activity, respiratory activity, motor output, sensory and neuroendocrine function, but most important, perception! Since 1988 the serotonin hype brought us several SSRI-AntiDepressants all stimulating this neurotransmitter. For about 11 years now, Dr. Ann Blake Tracy (Prozac: Panacea or Pandora?), persistently warns the public against raising serotonin levels. Doctor Tracy has taught us that an increase in serotonin produces rushes of insulin dropping sugar levels and chemically inducing hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) in this way. Furthermore it has been established that too much serotonin damages blood vessels, particularly in the lungs, and may also harm heart valves. This would be due to the fact that serotonin is a powerful vasoconstrictor.
But why do I hear people talking about benefits from these SSRI-AntiDepressants?", you might want to ask in this stage. "They surely must work somehow don't they?" The answer is yes, they "work" somehow, but not in a very proper way. The mechanism of action on serotonergic neurons implies a lot of other neuro- endocrine responses. What actually happens when you increase serotonergic neuronal activity or elevate your serotonin levels is this: the stress hormones "Cortisol" & "Adrenaline" (Epinephrine) in the brain and body are triggered by increased serotonergic activity or elevated serotonin levels. It is a natural reaction from the body to combat the excessive serotonin levels. These released hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, are secreted from the "Adrenal Glands." They give the human personality a boost, producing a euphoric state, which can last for a prolonged period of time. In this manner SSRI-AntiDepressants initially produce the deceptive results the doctor and "patient" are both expecting.