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The High Serotonin Personality

Discussion in 'Hormones' started by Hans, Jan 17, 2019.

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  1. Hans

    Hans Member

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    I was inspired to research and write a bit about how serotonin affects the personality and how it would make people behave. Keep in mind that not everyone with high serotonin will have all these traits, but only some of them, and that there are basically two major serotonin personalities, but I'll be discussing it in the article. Enjoy and please leave a comment.

    ----------------
    The High Serotonin Personality
    Serotonin is a complicated neurotransmitter that, contrary to other neurotransmitters, has an influence on everything in the body. It's currently believed to aid in anxiety, depression, impatience, impulsiveness, anger, etc. One of the main reasons for this is that the metabolite of serotonin, 5-HIAA, is low in people with these symptoms. The research is thus based on an assumption that brain serotonin is low, because 5-HIAA is low. However, low 5-HIAA is actually a sign that very little serotonin is being broken down and that there is actually an excess of serotonin in the brain.

    There are mainly three ways that serotonin can become elevated in the brain, firstly through an increase in its synthesis via tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2), secondly by reduced monoamine oxidase A function (MAO-A breaks down serotonin) and thirdly, by a decrease in SERT (serotonin transporter) function.

    Elevated TPH, and low MAO-A and SERT activity will lead to elevated serotonin. This article is not specific to discuss if serotonin is the good or bad guy and why, but here I describe the personality trait someone with high serotonin might have. Keep in mind that serotonin is rarely, if ever, elevated on its own, but most likely in conjunction with estrogen, cortisol, histamine, prostaglandins, nitric oxide, prolactin, glutamate, etc. So many of the personality trait of serotonin can be due to elevated glutamate or cortisol for example, because serotonin potentiates the release of those hormones. But to lower cortisol or glutamate directly will help a bit, but will not fix the condition, because serotonin is the root cause of it and if it's not kept in rein, lowering cortisol or glutamate will not help much.



    Here are some of the most common high serotonin personality traits:
    • Tiredness/lethargy, easily tired and even chronic fatigue syndrome (due to elevated 5-HT2A receptor) (1, 2).
      • Inhibiting TPH prevents this fatigue. However, serotonin isn't the only neurotransmitter involved in fatigue, but also cortisol, acetylcholine, noradrenaline, the serotonin:dopamine ratio, kynurenine pathway, etc.
    • Overexcitation - ADD, ADHD, get distracted easily, anxiety, impulsivity, restlessness, overthinking, rumination, etc. (due to elevated 5-HT2A receptor) (3).
    • Rigid thinking and mental inflexibility (4). Some studies actually say that activation of the 5-HT2A receptor (via psychedelics such as LSD, shrooms, etc.) reduce rigid thinking, but this is actually because it stimulates glutamate release, which then stimulates dopamine release via the NMDA receptor and dopamine is involved in creativity and flexible thinking (5). Plus, after psychedelics exposure, people usually feel a kind of "bliss" for a week or two afterward, and this is due to 5-HT2A downregulation.
    • Depressed, sadness, feeling down, reduced desire to do other things like go out and have fun, social anxiety and withdrawal, etc. (6, 7, 8)
    • Reduced cognitive function (not necessarily lack of knowledge, but intuitive thinking) (9). However, they might think they are smart and have all the answers in a very authoritative way.
    • Narcissistic (10) - delusions of grandeur, fantasize about power, exaggerated sense of self-importance, requiring constant admiration, etc.
    • Reduced senses (sensory perception) - anhedonia, apathy, reduced smell, hearing, taste, sensation, euphoria to music, etc. (11, 12)
    • Overly analytical, with a negative bias (13).
    • Sinical, negative, doesn't look at the bright side of life (14).
    • Feel "icky" - often just want to be left alone.
    • Non-assertive - rather rude and aggressive dominate, which might come over as assertiveness, but is totally the opposite (5-HT2C is inversely correlated with assertiveness) (15). As Philosopher Eric Hoffer said: “Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.” (16)
    • OCD (5-HT2C activation increases compulsivity and lowers dopamine and noradrenaline) (17, 18, 19).
    • Aversive, passive-aggressive, but can also be full-on aggressive and violent (20).
    • Don't care about the consequences of wrong decisions. This can also be due to low dopamine (place less weight upon the magnitude of bad outcomes) (21). Life feels like a joke or means nothing.
    • Anticipation anxiety, enhanced anticipation of, and sensitivity to threat-related stimuli, punishment, and negative feedback (22).
    • Emotionally unstable - very sensitive to emotional triggers (feels like you have to walk on eggs around the person), get easily triggered emotionally due to a traumatic experience with someone in the past, emotional and argumentive about their beliefs and views, etc. (23, 24)
    • Bullying - this is usually due to trauma early on in life of being abused, either mentally or physically themselves and now they do it to others.
    • Reduced verbal fluency, memory, attention, planning ability, and psychomotor performance (25, 26, 27, 28). However, estrogen and serotonin promote the desire to talk, thus people with high estrogen and serotonin talk a lot.
    • Fearful - scared of losing, low confidence and assertiveness.
    • Futile patience (keep on waiting to receive something, even if it's improbable or irrational) and obedient (due to not wanting to rock the boat, scared, "zombified", not questioning things, etc.) (29, 30).
    • Suicidal - thoughts and even attempts (31, 32, 33).
    • Delirious (34).
    • Mood swings - bipolar mania (35, 36). Antagonism of 5-HT2A (which lowers excess glutamate) and the histamine receptor H1 and agonism of the 5-HT1A receptor (which lowers serotonin) helps.
    • Easily agitated, argumentative, violent, aggressive, intermittent explosive disorder (37, 38).
    • Psychopathic behavior (39).
    • Non-likable - It is shown that males find high serotonin females less attractive and act more aggressive towards them (40). However, high serotonin people do attract others that are similar to them (who also have elevated serotonin).


    People with high serotonin will obviously not always have the exact same personality traits; so you might know someone who has some or a lot of the traits but not all of them. This is because of a difference in receptor expressions, as well as other hormones, which levels vary between people.

    But in general, people with high serotonin have low dopamine and are prone to being unstable, negative, make decision and cognitive errors, pessimistic (can also have a lot of fake confidence and be overly (fake) optimistic), leach on other people's energy, have the answers to everything, are overly logical as opposed to creative, want people to feel sorry for them, depressed, irritating and truly annoying, passive-aggressive/up-in-your-face aggressive, enjoy picking on people to make themselves look or feel better, think highly of themselves (but deep inside are highly insecure and lash out if any insecurity is exposed), can't take it to be wrong, etc, etc, etc.

    To sum it up even shorter, there are mainly two serotonin personalities, one that is up-in-your-face aggressive, dominant (not calm and assertive), narcissistic, authoritative and controlling, and the other one is more of a weak, depressed, anxious, socially isolated (feel sorry for me), personality, or a combination of both ("two-faced", split personality etc.).
     
  2. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    I hate serotonin so much! It's the worst. Many of those boxes I have checked for over 90% of my lifetime. High serotonin is literally all I've ever known. I am ready to be free of serotonin once and for all. I'm more of the less aggressive type usually. My symptoms are less but I still get:

    -Tiredness
    -Rigid thinking (sometimes, gotten a lot better). Part of this is really hard wired into my personality though, as I'm even more of a facts based person than many, being an engineer and whatnot.
    -Reduced cognitive thinking
    -Reduced verbal fluence
    -Some amount of anticipation anxiety (way less though)

    I used to check a lot of the boxes but now I'm down to those 4-5, but I'm still not happy with it.

    I have noticed I have a little more creativity when feeling better, even though I tend to be more logical though.
     
  3. reality

    reality Member

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    Interesting

    How do we become dopamine dominant, and what are ways to reduce serotonin ie reduce TPH, increase moa and increase SERT etc

    Is there a genetic component to this or can it be changed through diet/supps?
     
  4. Dobbler

    Dobbler Member

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    Good post. Im prime example of high serotonin person because when i first read this i got triggered because it was so truthful and hit me right in to feels, then i denied it, and then after reading it again i sadly accepted that it's true. :D .
     
  5. bboone

    bboone Member

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    although brain chemistry without a doubt influences someone's personality to a great degree, which is evident in some people metamorphosizing after improving their lifestyle, outlook, fitness, etc., i would still be hesitant in assuming the state of someone's brain chemistry based on their perceived personality traits. you can check all of those boxes and still have normal serotonin levels. perhaps your brain chemistry during your formative years matters more, and elevated serotonin levels could cement certain personality traits for the rest of one's life. that said, most "stupid" people i've met have often been very assertive in a repulsive and aggressive kind of manner that seemed highly disingenuous
     
  6. OP
    Hans

    Hans Member

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    It would seem that your serotonin is getting lower and recovery is on its way.:thumbsup:
     
  7. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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    I don't think a genetic component has ever been demonstrated, but regardless, there are certainly things that you can do with diet, supplements, and even drugs. Easiest can be increasing salt intake, use of the carrot salad or other anti microbial foods. Restricting Tryptophan, or increasing BCAAs, Tyrosine, phelelanaine, and lysine. Vitamin D supplementation in higher doses can also lower serotonin in the gut. And there are the entire classes of serotonin antagonist and dopamine agonist drugs. All of these strategies and more have been discussed on the forum.
     
  8. OP
    Hans

    Hans Member

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    To lower serotonin, be biggest things would be to try to eat as low tryptophan foods as possible, but without limiting good quality protein, get out of a stressful situation, keep glycogen stores full and keeping inflammation as low as possible. Aspirin is a TPH inhibit, vitamin B2 is a cofactor in MAO-A and sodium increases SERT. Estrogen, nitric oxide, cortisol, etc., are also pro-serotonin. Here is an article on how to lower serotonin: 60 Best ways to lower Serotonin
    And here is one for dopamine: 56 ways to increase dopamine

    About the genetic part, I believe you genetics can change, for instance, if you overexpress a certain serotonin receptor, or have low SERT activity, fixing your health, hormones, diet, nutritional deficiencies, those genes will change back to normal.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. bboone

    bboone Member

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    i see you mentioned ashwagandha as a way of increasing dopamine. both @Lokzo and i developed mild PSSD symptoms from excessive ashwagandha usage, so there is something strange going on there. i'm planning on trying cypro to correct this, though, but i've been this way for soon three years so some sort of powerful change must have occured
     
  10. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    Nate hatch is also not a fan of ashwagandha as noted in his book from what I recall reading.
     
  11. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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    Just looked at those articles breifly, and those are great resources. Will be coming back to look at them more in depth later.
     
  12. OP
    Hans

    Hans Member

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    Thanks for reading my post. Sorry that it hit you, as it isn't my intentions to offend anyone with this information, but I just want to say that it takes courage to admit to something like that, and admitting/confession is the first and most important step in order for change to take place. I also used to be in a high serotonin state a few years back, and also had a few of these traits, but luckily it can be reversed if that is desired.
     
  13. OP
    Hans

    Hans Member

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    It does boost serotonin, and the effect becomes significant as the dose increases. Plus, it decreases the 5-HT1A receptor and increases the 5-HT2A receptor, which is desirable. But it does increase dopamine and GABA and that is why I have it in the article. Many people do benefit from it, but I'm also cautious of it.
     
  14. bboone

    bboone Member

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    interesting. do you have any advice other than cypro for how to possibly correct this? i'm going to buy some supplements in a minute. what i find strange is that the effect has persisted for soon three years after i quit taking it. the most noticeable effect is the lack of desire to seek out pleasure - sexual or otherwise. blunted response to music, literature, films, etc. basically the only way i've found of temporarily reversing it is very high amounts of cannabis, which isn't something i want to be doing... i react very negatively to zinc, by the way
     
  15. OP
    Hans

    Hans Member

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    It does sound like serotonin is causing this. I'm not sure if one receptor could be causing all of that, but rather serotonin as a whole as well as low dopamine. High serotonin will de-sensitize the 5-HT1A presynaptic receptor pretty rapidly, plus lower dopamine and noradrenaline. Have you had any labs done, like prolactin, estrogen, cortisol, testosterone and DHT?
     
  16. bboone

    bboone Member

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    i had labs done back when i was feeling way worse than i currently am (before finding peat), but i didn't test all of those. my testosterone was 823 ng/dL and my prolactin was 3. as far as i know, high serotonin is accompanied by high prolactin, so this made little sense to me. @Lokzo also had lower than normal prolactin. when i got this blood test, i had just stopped doing a keto diet, coupled with an excessive aerobic and anaerobic exercise routine and was probably at the lowest i've ever been. i've felt similar earlier after "cutting" but then it subsided when i increased my food intake. i'm going to buy creatine, B1, B2, A, magnesium and collagen now, though, and try to get cypro prescribed.
     
  17. Regina

    Regina Member

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    Nice job Hans!!
     
  18. lampofred

    lampofred Member

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    This is an amazing post. Thanks!
     
  19. Wagner83

    Wagner83 Member

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    Which, for the record, increase serotonin sensitivity.
    Did you see the longecity thread on ashwagandha withdrawal?
     
  20. bboone

    bboone Member

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    no, could you link it?
     
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