The Elusive Serotonin, And The Not So Happy Life!

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You have it all on paper, but you feel you have nothing. Despite meeting the basic societal standards of a ‘good life’- a stable job, luxurious lifestyle, umpteen friends and the like, happiness seems elusive to the present generation. Medical records are clean, but they often complain of feeling sluggish, irritable, and lethargic and the mystery element responsible for this is Serotonin. This is the key brain chemical that generates feelings of optimism and relaxation, and its deficiency can wreak havoc in your life.

It is mainly found in the gastrointestinal tract, the platelets and the central nervous system and is thought to contribute to a sense of well-being and happiness. But its deficiency is a common problem in present times. And the culprit behind this phenomena seems to be the shift from a traditional lifestyle to a modern one, including long work hours sans adequate outdoor activities. And reduced outdoor activity means less exposure to sunlight, which doctors say lead to reduced production of Vitamin- D that is known to boost serotonin in the body.

The have it all, but have nothing syndrome does not seem to spare today’s young working professionals. This issue has been dissected in many a recent Bollywood movies, which have touched a chord with the masses.


  • Anxiety in typically low stress situations
  • Impatience without explanation
  • Fatigue when you should feel rested and energized
  • Inability to focus, poor memory, lack of mental clarity
  • Negative thoughts with no apparent cause
  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Indifference to situations you would have cared deeply about otherwise
  • Excessive worrying
  • Inability to fall asleep, and stay asleep
  • Persistent sadness
  • Feeling worse and agitated during gloomy, dark weather


Behavioral Causes:

  • Lack of sufficient sleep
  • Not managing your stress levels
  • Lack of exercise/physical activity

Environmental Causes:

  • Insufficient exposure to sunlight
  • Consuming pesticide-laden meat and produce
  • Exposure to pesticides without sufficient protective gear

Dietary Causes

  • Insufficient consumption of high-protein non-processed food
  • Consuming too much caffeine and alcohol
  • Food allergies
  • Multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Omega-3 deficiency

Physiological Causes:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Progesterone deficiency
  • Chronic infections
  • Human growth hormone deficiency
  • Insufficient blood flow in the brain
  • Inborn abnormalities in serotonin receptors

Some ways to beat depression, caused due to serotonin deficiency

  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Aerobics
  • Morning walks
  • Early to bed and early to rise
  • Listening to music

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