The Psychology behind Hormonal changes

The Psychology behind Hormonal changes

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Hormones are chemical messengers that travel throughout the body and are involved in the bodily changes of a human being. With bodily changes, it also impacts the psychological functioning of the individual which affects the behaviour, emotions and cognition. Hormones are controlled through the interaction between the hypothalamus (part of the central nervous system) and the pituitary gland (in the endocrine system).

A significant impact on psychology has been seen if the hormonal level got imbalanced. These hormonal changes can occur in various stages of life such as puberty, mensuration, pregnancy, and menopause and these hormonal changes are seen when an individual goes through stress, illness and anxiety. Several hormones like serotonin, dopamine, cortisol, Oxytocin, melatonin and many more impact psychology and comprehension of their effects on the mind.

Some of the hormones and their functions are:
  • Serotonin: This is called “feel- good” hormone and this plays a crucial role in mood regulation and emotional stability. If a is low on serotonin they may have condition like depression, anxiety, and stress. Proper medication can balance the hormonal level of serotonin.
  • Dopamine: Dopamine is also a “feel- good” hormone, this hormone plays role in many important functioning of body including memory, movement, pleasure, reward, etc. If a person who has an abnormal level of dopamine, they may have conditions like schizophrenia. It plays a role in feelings of pleasure and reinforcement of certain behaviours.
  • Cortisol: It is a stress hormone which prepare the body to response fight or flight against anything. If a person is high on cortisol hormone, they often have chronic stress which can lead to anxiety, depression, emotional instability, and cognitive impairment.
  • Oxytocin: This hormone is called ‘love hormone’ or ‘bonding hormone’ and this plays an important role in bonding in the social settings and build trust.
  • Melatonin: It is a hormone produced by the brain produces in response to the darkness. Being exposed to light at night can block melatonin production. It regulates
  • The sleep-wake cycle and the fluctuation of this hormone can lead to sleep disorder and mood disturbance.

Other than this there are other hormones like testosterone, oestrogen, estragon, and adrenaline, which causes different type of psychological impacts in an individual. Now the question arises of how these hormones affect the psychology of an individual.

Hormones can:
  • Influence our mood: Hormones like serotonin, and dopamine influence our mood and play a major role mood in regulation. The deficiency of these hormones affects the individual adversely. They start feeling depressed, anxious and mentally stressed.
  • Changes our behaviour: Hormones like testosterone and estrogen can influence the sexual behaviour, aggression and risk-taking behaviour of an individual. If the imbalance of these hormones is found then an alteration of behaviour is seen in the individual’s behaviour.
  • Impacts sense of well-being: Hormones also help an individual to make social bonds. Hormones like oxytocin and prolactin are known to play a role in making bonding and social relationships. If a person is low on the hormones like oxytocin and prolactin, they probably have problems in bonding and making social attachments. When the level of this hormone is high, the individual is able to make more connections and bonds and also feel a greater sense of mental well-being.
  • Affects our cognitive functioning: hormones also play a major role in affecting the cognitive functioning of an individual. Hormones like cortisol, and thyroid can affect memory function, and concentration and hinder an individual from making decisions. If an imbalance of this hormone is found, one may experience difficulty in making life decisions and making judgements about anything.
Managing hormonal disbalance is difficult, but one can try by following:
  • Regular exercise: Regular exercise will improve your metabolism, reduce anxiety and stress, and boost your well-being. Getting regular exercise is also good for physical health and it also allows us to make social attachments and improve us overall.
  • Healthy diet: A balanced and healthy diet is helpful in maintaining hormonal balance. Taking a proper amount of nutrients, vitamins and fibres helps to regulate blood sugar levels and provide support to the overall health of an individual.
  • Enough sleep: It is widely said that a normal human being requires 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Getting proper sleep is important as it is essential for both mental and physical health.
  • Relaxation techniques: Yoga, meditation and mindfulness can be practised for relaxation. It reduces stress and improves the mood.
  • Medication: Seeking professional help is not a bad way to help yourself. If you are struggling with the psychological impacts of hormonal change you can take proper medication for balancing hormonal levels.

Understanding the role of these hormones and their impact on psychology is a complex field of study. It’s important to note that hormonal regulation is highly individual, and the psychological effects can vary from person to person.

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