When Dr. Eli Somer lead a study with Maladaptive Daydreamers he noted that one MD sufferer was successfully treated by a drug called Fluvoxamine for ten years. This drug Fluvoxamine helps to influence serotonergic tone, which he said: “implies neurochemical irregularity”.
So are we just low on serotonin? Serotonin also known as the happy chemical is believed to:
- Help regulate mood and sleep.
- Some believe there is a link between depression and low Serotonin levels.
- Serotonin, in the brain impacts levels of mood, anxiety, and happiness.
- Some believe we can increase Serotonin levels by exercising, light, food and vitamin supplements.
Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter can be found throughout the body, it can be found in our blood and central nervous system but is produced in the brain and intestines. Therefore its considered to influence a variety of body and psychological functions.
So how do we make sure we have enough Serotonin?
As I’ve already mentioned in another post on treating maladaptive daydreaming, medication, namely selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been used since the 1980s to treat depression by boosting serotonin levels.
However, what is interesting is that whilst Serotonin can be measured in the bloodstream it can’t be measured in the brain. Therefore does serotonin levels in the bloodstream reflect the serotonin levels in the brain? And if it is the serotonin in the brain that controls mood, as a maladaptive daydreamer is it then ever possible to know if we have enough serotonin in us or not?
However, my doctor has prescribed a drug called Sertraline a (SSRI) selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for me to take, as he thinks it will manage the constant daydreaming and anxiety. I have yet to take it.
Omega 3 Fish Oil
The body can’t make Omega 3 so you need to get it from your diet. Omega-3s are the basic building blocks of the brain and nervous system. Omega 3 is vital for brain health and we know serotonin is made in the brain. People with low serotonin levels often have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids. So take it!
I did a blood test and I do have a vitamin D deficiency. We get vitamin D from the sun so a lot of people who live in countries with cold climates have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D regulates tryptophan into serotonin so too low a concentration can result in depression.
B Complex Vitamin
A study in 60 adults with depression showed that treatment with a B-complex vitamin for 60 days led to a substantial improvement in anxiety and depression. Antidepressants often also include vitamin B6.
Green tea (L-theanine)
L-Theanine is an amino acid found nearly exclusively in green tea. L-theanine improves focus, reduces stress and promotes relaxation. A study conducted on rats showed that it provided anti-anxiety benefits. Well if it’s good enough for the rats…..
- Salmon – As you know salmon is high is Omega 3 and is a source of vitamin D.
- Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach contain tryptophan.
- Carbohydrates – Foods that contain tryptophan are most effective if eaten alongside carbohydrates!!! Its time to ditch the Atkins and Keto diet and get out the pasta! About time!
Start drinking Probiotics in the morning as research suggests that this may increase tryptophan in your blood, helping more of it to reach your brain.
When you exercise your body releases a surge of neurochemicals, including serotonin and dopamine. Since I started suffering from anxiety and maladaptive daydreaming I have started boxing twice a week. It is one of the few times in a day where I’m not constantly maladaptive daydreaming as my mind is heavily focused on something else and again one of the few times that I’m not feeling anxious as obviously when exercising you’re burning off all that nervous energy.
A study from John Hopkins university revealed that just 30 minutes of meditation a day can improve symptoms of depression. Meditation you see not only boosts serotonin levels but also reduces blood pressure.
So are we then as Maladaptive Daydreamers just low on serotonin?
I don’t see how we can ever know since serotonin in the brain can’t be measured and the serotonin made in the brain is what controls mood. However, I do think it makes sense to do small things like taking vitamins and exercising.
Do you have anything to add?
If you have found a way to reduce anxiety or control your maladaptive daydreaming in a way that I have not mentioned above, please let me know. Please leave a comment below or contact me so I can add it to the blog – [email protected]