Serotonin syndrome is caused when a person has an overabundance of serotonin in their system. Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that is referred to as the “happiness hormone.” It gets this name because it is the hormone that makes us feel good, reduces feelings of pain, and also used as a reward to the brain in order to encourage behaviors that are survival centric such as eating, exercising, and having sex. Serotonin is overall a very positive hormone.
However, an overabundance can lead to many damaging symptoms such as sweating, disruption of sleep, anxiety, headaches, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, appetite changes, lethargy, and confusion. If you are experiencing symptoms of serotonin syndrome, or if you have a family member who is showing signs of serotonin syndrome, there may be a few reasons why and there are some things that you may need to change. Here are 14 causes of serotonin syndrome to consider.
There are several antidepressants that are known for causing serotonin syndrome. This is because many antidepressants are designed to increase the level of serotonin in your body. This strategy is logical as serotonin is known as the feel-good hormone. It stands to reason that a low amount of serotonin is one of the major causes of depression and therefore increasing it in the body could improve the symptoms of depression.
SSRIs are a group of antidepressants that may cause serotonin syndrome. The reason for this is because this group of antidepressants is designed to prevent the brain from cleaning up the excess serotonin. When excess serotonin is not cleaned up, it can lead to the hormone building up very quickly in the body. This may result in too much serotonin and result in serotonin syndrome developing. If you are experiencing symptoms of serotonin and currently take an antidepressant, you may want to discuss this with your doctor.