Serotonin is one of the seven major neurotransmitters. Serotonin regulates sleep, dreaming, mood, pain, aggression, appetite, and sexual behavior, as well as playing a roll in blood vessel constriction (giving it its name, from the Greek). An imbalance of serotonin may be the cause of depression certain anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Balanced levels of serotonin cause feelings of well-being, making you feel happy and elated. Certain medications can increase levels of Serotonin if needed; however, Serotonin levels can be effected by drugs like LSD, PCP and Ecstasy which create an imbalance in the seratonin levels and can cause:
  • Schizophrenia, psychosis, mania
  • Mood disorders (depression, anxiety)
  • mental retardation
  • Autism
  • Alzheimers disease
  • Anorexia
  • Constriction of the blood vessels
  • Blood clotting
  • Constriction of the bronchioles in the lungs
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder


Serotonin is associated with feelings of depression. The book mentions when additional doses of this hormone is ingested it can lead to strong feelings of rage or depression. Many people who are suicidal have some sort of history of depression. In the book, this is discussed and it sites Miller, 2002. The study was to compare group therapy with routine care in suicidal adolescents. The 12-16 year olds were randomly assigned to group therapy or routine care. The outcome showed that those who had group thereapy were less likely to attempt to harm themselves again.

Wood, A., Trainor, G., Rothwell, J., Moore, A., & Harrington, R. (2001). Randomized trial of group therapy for repeated deliberate self-harm in adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 40(11), 1246-1253.

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