This curious little chemical — Serotonin — is a naturally-synthesized molecule present in the human nervous system, as well as the odd mushroom, plant, fruit and vegetable.
Serotonin as Cure of Compulsive Picking
Serotonin is the linch-pin of several engineered antidepressant drugs, including the more famous “SSRIs” or (to be verbose about it) selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These pharmaceutical treatments for compulsive finger picking help control the sometimes uncontrollable impulse to pick the skin, fingers, hair — whatever. Simply put, when the brain is subjected to higher-than-normal doses of Serotonin mood, behavior and perception change — usually for the better. Why this is so is still a mystery.
Serotonin as Cause of Compulsive Picking
A precipitous drop in serotonin can have the opposite affect on mood as a serotonin jolt — the kind delivered by an SSRI drugs. In this case, low serotonin can be said to cause behavior such as compulsive picking. (Caveat: this “theory” is solely your author’s).
Fun Facts about Serotonin!
- Infants who have abnormal nervous systems and less control of their serotonin production (i.e. serotonergic neurons out of whack) are at greater risk of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Low levels of serotonin in devout religious people may be associated with intense, hallicinegenic religious experiences
- Serial killers usually have low levels of serotonin. Anger and aggression naturally dampens serotonin levels — and a serial killer is one angry fellow — so this correlation may be just incidental. But interesting nonetheless!
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Be sure to visit the Community Forums