You often hear the words “chemical imbalances” associated with addiction and mental health. Knowing what this term means is a great help in understanding many psychiatric conditions. Chemical imbalances happen when the brain has either too many or too few neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are natural chemicals that help the nerve cells to communicate with each other. Examples of these chemicals include dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
Mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and addiction, are affected by an imbalance of brain chemicals. However, there is much more to mental illnesses than only chemical imbalances. However, drugs and alcohol use can be important factors as they affect neurotransmitters, which may lead to addiction and the need for an addiction treatment center. Through treatments, such as therapy for depression, you can begin healing. To learn more about our services, please contact Georgia Addiction Treatment Center today at 833.641.0661.
Symptoms of Chemical Imbalances
Studies show that brain chemicals play a role in the development of anxiety and depression. Lower levels of neurotransmitters can cause symptoms, such as feelings of emptiness, worthlessness, sadness, or helplessness. These symptoms can lead to various mental conditions.
Others symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Sleeping too much or insomnia
- Extreme mood swings
- Lack of energy
- Lack of empathy or feeling numbness
The feeling of impending danger, distancing from others, and thoughts of hurting others or themselves are also common symptoms of chemical imbalances. Sometimes, people with chemical imbalances hear voices in their heads and are unable to carry out daily activities. The worst thing, perhaps, is they begin to misuse drugs or alcohol due to the effects of their chemical imbalances.
Chemical Imbalances and Mental Health
The imbalance of chemicals in the brain is only one of the many factors that may contribute to mental health challenges. Other important factors include family history and genetics, as well as life experiences (i.e., emotional, psychological, or physical abuse). Drug and alcohol use, as well as certain medications, also contribute.
Lastly, psychological factors such as situations leading to loneliness and isolation can cause mental health problems. There does seem to be a link between chemical imbalances and mental health. However, there is still no concrete explanation of how brain chemicals become imbalanced in the first place.
Some of the mental health conditions linked to chemical imbalance include:
- Bipolar disorder
Addiction and Chemical Imbalance
Drugs and alcohol are among substances that can cause chemical imbalances. In turn, the imbalance causes more pain and emotional distress. This becomes a cycle of physical dependence on substances to feel good and to forget about your problems. However, because of the imbalances in the brain, the effects don’t last that long. Thus, there is a need for higher and more frequent doses.
Some drugs cause permanent changes in the brain. However, the chemical imbalances typically readjust once the drugs or alcohol are out of the system. At addiction treatment centers, the primary treatment for imbalances is medical detox. But eradicating the effects of any substance takes time.
Treatment for Chemical Imbalances
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the treatment of chemical imbalances. However, many people find relief with medications and/or therapy.Therapy may involve different treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or family-focused therapy. Medications used to treat chemical imbalances include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers.
It’s important to note that not everyone who has a mental health condition needs medication. Some people only require therapy, while others may need a combination of medication and therapy. And still others may only need medication.
Recovery and treatment options will often need professional and emotional support. If you face a dual diagnosis in which addiction comes with other illnesses, you may face even bigger obstacles. However, you can rest assured that rehab centers have plans and programs to help you. Addiction treatment therapies that can help include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Individual therapy program
- Family therapy program
- Group therapy program
Get Help for Chemical Imbalances Today at the Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
If you are struggling with addiction and have noticed changes in your mood or behavior, it is important to get help. The Georgia Addiction Treatment Center offers comprehensive addiction treatment programs that can address any co-occurring mental health conditions you may have. We offer a range of treatment options:
- Men’s rehab
- Women’s rehab
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Outpatient program
- Community housing
If you are struggling with addiction or are wondering what exactly are chemical imbalances, it’s best to talk with medical professionals. You can also call our admissions counselors to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one. We are here to help. Call us at 833.641.0661 and schedule your appointment today.