41. Serotonin

Updated: Jul 10

I mean we talk about, we "know" of it, but what actually is it? Serotonin is a chemical that our nerve cells (our neurons) produce. Let me just point out quickly how sexy of a word it is, like damn! Serotonin is hitting me with all of the aesthetic pleasure with that soft prefix of "sero", only to then be accompanied by the hard "tonin" which collectively trickles off the tongue in a glorious concoction. The word itself comes from combining the Latin word "serum" which translates to "watery fluid" and the word "tonic" which means medicine. Then the ending "-in" which is a common word-forming element in chemistry that indicates that it is either an antibiotic, vitamin, hormone or other substance. Consequently then, serotonin is either an antibiotic, vitamin, hormone or other substance that is apparently medically moist. Lovely. And that's for sprinkling some scientific linguistics on your day! So anyway, what does serotonin actually do? Basically it sends signals from one neuron to the next, relaying messages throughout your nervous system. It is made from the essential amino acid tryptophan, which - fun fact - must enter your body via your diet.


Serotonin is considered a natural mood stabiliser, the happy neurotransmitter, which is generally what it is culturally known for. But it also does a multitude of other things like: heal wounds, stimulate nausea and maintain bone health. Miss Sero over here is most definitely a one woman show! To disclaim what I just claimed which was serotonin's gender, it was purely used as a literary feature and for no other reason. Because the reality is that serotonin is in fact a very gender-fluid substance. Serotonin has been acknowledged as being a crucial player in the mental health district. Often, people that suffer with depression, anxiety or insomnia have low levels of serotonin. Some of the most common medications that treat depression act specifically on increasing one's serotonin levels; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or abbreviated as SSRIs act in this way. What these do is when a neuron would typically reabsorb a lil quantity of serotonin, the SSRI would inhibit this which increases the level of serotonin in the bloodstream. So generally when your serotonin levels are at a normal range, you should be happier, calmer, more focused, less anxious and more emotionally stable as a whole. For reference, the normal range of serotonin should be between 101-283 nanograms per millilitre.


Then comes that infamous territory, that territory that I think you know of and that I know you know of. Maybe you have not necessarily had that first-hand experience of that state before, but I think you know what phenomenon I am alluding to: that good ol' overly induced serotonin state, often caused by illicit substances. The likes of cocaine, MDMA and alcohol increase one's serotonin levels. After the celebration of the new year just passing, I am certain that many young individuals trekked upon that excessive serotonin soil. I mean some people were renaming the North Island's Rhythm & Vines new year festival "Rhythm & Bath Salts" because of that very drug consumption! And if you fortunately did not understand the "bath salt" reference that I just made, let me resolve that one for ya. At these festivals, people take drugs. No s**t Ella, but thank you anyway for disclosing that information. However, this year because of the COVID chaos, the presence of bath salts posing as MDMA was much more prevalent because of the restricted availability that international drug exports had into NZ. Bath salts are the common name given to a group of drugs called "synthetic cathinones." Chemically speaking, they are similar to their stimulant neighbours methamphetamine and MDMA (Ecstasy). They actually have the same euphoric onset as MDMA, but their effects wear off much faster. This means that people will take more, putting themselves into dangerous states.

I think with the oncoming new year, everyone wants to be floating on the highest cloud that they can be. It makes perfect sense too; a new year innately brings so much euphoria along with it. The oncoming new year almost epitomises the function of serotonin in the flesh. So why wouldn't you just amplify that already existing feeling? A piece of knowledge that I have personally attained from drug consumption (really exposing myself here, but I am only alluding to MDMA not cocaine) is something that the demigod himself, Justin Timberlake, preaches in one of his slapping bangers: "what goes around comes back around." Or you could alternatively say: what goes up must come back down. Your serotonin levels soar high but they must eventually land down somewhere. And that somewhere is not necessarily the nicest of places when you have literally no serotonin left in your system (lol).


It is difficult to deny the fun that I have encountered from MDMA; those peak serotonin levels feel damn fine, don't get me wrong. You want to smooch everyone's face off, dance the night away and ensure that everyone knows much you love them. But I guess this is a public ode to a somewhat departure from this stimulant, at least for now. And let me tell you why. I returned home from the last new year festival venture feeling not completely empty but close to. I was sad, exhausted and a lil numb to the external world around me. This is purely my experience so know that this dialogue is a subjective one. That escapist nature that came from taking these medicaments used to serve my earlier adolescent self with a lot of pleasure, no longer was fulfilled. It didn't feel worth it anymore. With the increasing responsibilities and obligations of a somewhat adulthood, sometimes getting absolutely mortal, sloshed or f**ked does not have the same appeal that it did in the past because of the higher cost that I must metaphorically pay. Also teenage Ella was egotistical as flip and most definitely ignorant to any thought that anything could go wrong. Additionally, my body was just simply being abused by the aftermath of an artificial high.


This evolved ideology was accentuated by this YouTube video that I watched called "MDMA: What No One Told Me" by the YouTuber "Psyched Substance." I recommend that everyone watch this video before your next molly high, the link is below the cute lil Kermit picture alongside additional resources. It's certainly enlightening. The video especially reinforced the idea of how the use of the drug should be regulated, if you are intending to use Miss Molly that is. Something just hit after the new year, a surge of realisation and awakening that I want to experience this life in the highest quality for as long as possible, accompanied by naturally high serotonin levels. Anything to deter that from happening I want to most definitely attempt to refrain from. Constant overconsumption of one's serotonin can lead to permanent lower levels of serotonin in sobriety; therefore, a long vacation away from this intoxication is needed.


Now, I am on that serotonin seek through nothing but life itself. I'll let you know how it is going in the future. This can also present unfortunate difficulties. When you look on TV and see orange nincompoops fluffing about in power and virtually permitting white supremacy, you really find yourself questioning the existence of hope, logic and reason. But alas, life goes on and you find gratitude in many other places, just not within the current state of the United States at the moment. I suppose that's me trying to make the most out of the serotonin that I naturally have. How do you make the most of yours? Let me know how and tell me what you think of the prophecy above. Peace and love readers xxx.

If you have any further questions based on this blog post or anything else in regards to this blog, be sure to get in contact with me through this website or through the blog's instagram linked below.


LINKS:

~ Psyched Substance's "MDMA: What No One Told Me" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlVF2Cuze_U&t=4s

~ Vice's "When I Knew it Was Time to End My Relationship With MDMA" - https://www.vice.com/en/article/a3q4ng/mdma-ecstasy-serotonin-how-i-quit

~ High Alert's "What are the effects of synthetic cathinones?" - https://highalert.org.nz/articles/what-are-the-effects-of-synthetic-cathinones/?fbclid=IwAR2mpUHWofHWYeYZxlVQ6TYFrgyDiCsKyZXeYr0BaQHEuzdAX8a-NV_ydP0

~ "Your Brain On MDMA" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEAr7ThsYew&list=WL&index=1

MORE LINKS: ~ Link for previous blog post: https://www.madein2000.com/post/40-twenty-f-king-twenty ~ Link to 'Born In 2000' instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellawasbornin2000/ ~ Link to 'Born In 2000' opinion form: https://www.madein2000.com/we-want-you-r-opinion Make sure you send through recommendations, considerations and comments in regards to this blog. If you have anything that your wanting to hear, Ella is listening! Be sure to subscribe to the mailing list and become a member to receive notifications and more information. This blog will encompass the life of a 20-year-old kiwi chica. Composed of stories, advice, life lessons, worldly observations and whatever else Ella's life brings to surface. For all of this and more, read my new found blog 'Born In 2000': established on the 28th of October, 2019. Where Ella Gibson explores her life that exceeds all limitations. Publications should be expected once a week. Also, be sure to take this present moment now and rock it!

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