Chemical imbalance is most often the root cause of mental health disorders, and if it is not treated in time, it may result in grave consequences such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, and many other mental disorders.
Billions of neurons in the brain continuously exchange information with each other, to initiate behavioral and cognitive responses. Neurotransmitters in the brain are the sources of this neuron information exchange. Various neurotransmitters such as Gamma-aminobutyric Acid, dopamine, and serotonin are naturally arranged, and any impairment in this natural arrangement can trigger changes in mood, behavior, and thought process. Chemical imbalance in the brain can be triggered by any abnormality in production or absorption of these neurotransmitters.
People suffering from depression turn pessimistic and show related signs which can be recognized. Depression can be developed within a couple of days or it can build up over the years. Depression is often preceded by panic attacks, anxiety, and phobias. Each episode of depression increases a 20% chance of manic depression for the next episode. The most common characteristics of major depression are irritability, sadness, and loss of enjoyment in activities that gives one pleasure. Depression is categorized further into melancholic and psychotic depression. In melancholic depression, people start feeling very low, however, it can be treated with medication, or if need be, with ECT. Psychotic depression is marked with hallucinations or delusions.
Children with this condition often show symptoms such as, aversion of food, inability to sleep, dizziness, lack of concentration, or insomnia. The serotonin in one's brain, regulates sleep and body temperature. Research indicates that serotonin levels are also linked with depression and anorexia. The prolonged presence of these symptoms indicate that the levels of neurotransmitters have changed.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, is caused due to loss of harmony or balance between neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Imbalance in dopamine would make the child keep on doing activities over and over again, whereas excess norepinephrine would lead to difficulty in concentrating along with nervousness or restlessness.
The child may turn violent, start abusing others verbally or physically, begin scratching or biting, get irritated over petty things, and start throwing things around. These episodes usually last for a long time and the child does not calm down easily. These episodes of extreme anger can be triggered due to trivial causes.
Unlike physical disorders, there is no laboratory test for confirming a chemical imbalance. First, the doctor evaluates the child for any other underlying medical conditions, and carries out a positron emission tomography to investigate irregularities in neurotransmitters. A psychologist is referred to the patient, and based on his psychological assessment, the course of treatment or therapy is decided.