Chemical Imbalance in Mood Swings
Our brain is a complex structure made up of many specialized cells called neurons. These cells have long tails called axons, which are sort of wires connecting different areas of the brain and other parts of the body.
A neuron connects with another neuron or a muscle spindle via certain specific chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Our brain cells are therefore sensitive to the chemical environment surrounding them. Changes in the levels of different neurotransmitters is observed in different mental illnesses. Therefore, medical therapies target to influence the concentration of affected chemicals and achieving their desired levels.
This neurotransmitter/ chemical substance works in modulating our feelings and hence the overall mood. It has been observed that its levels drop considerably in states of depression or anxiety.
So, a class of medicines called SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are the first line of treatment in states of depression or panic disorders. These pills increase the levels of serotonin selectively, and restore its desired concentration in the brain. This immediately influences mood and alleviates symptoms.
Another neurotransmitter called GABA, gamma aminobutyric acid, works by blocking brain impulses. It is important in controlling too much of excitations coming from the brain.
Benzodiazepines constitute a group of anti-anxiety drugs. They work on the GABA receptors of the brain and induce a state of relaxation.
Most of the current medications are based on altering these neurotransmitters in order to restore their balance. Therapies targeted towards mood disorders like depression are based on this principle.