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"What does it mean to have a chemical imbalance in the brain?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat does it mean to have a chemical imbalance in the brain?


Heard a lot of people talk about chemical imbalances causing psychological problems. Could this be why I can't concentrate? What chemicals are people talking about and how do they get imbalanced?


Yes, chemical imbalances have been found to have an association with mental health issues. Scientists have hypothesized that neurotransmitter imbalances within the brain can cause psychiatric conditions, and therefore, medications can be used to target these imbalances and help improve disease states. For example, many brain functions are dependent on serotonin, a substance that helps regulate the development of specific neurons. A deficiency in serotonin has been linked to depression, change in appetite, aggression and anxiety as well. While a chemical imbalance may occur for a variety of reasons, an exact cause has not yet been found. There maybe many reasons for why you are unable to concentrate. It is hard to provide an answer without asking about your specific symptoms, however, you maybe unable to concentrate, possibly due to fatigue, stress, or even depression. I would encourage you to make an appointment to speak to your primary care physician to discuss your specific symptoms. Your doctor will ask questions about other symptoms, for example, difficulty enjoying activities you previously enjoyed, lack of interest, lack of energy, changes in sleep patterns or changes in weight. Based on the information you provide, your doctor can provide a diagnosis and help guide you towards improving your concentration, and if needed, provide you with a referral to a mental health specialist.

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