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The synaptic space between two neurons is shown. Some neurotransmitters that have been released into the synapse are attaching to receptors while others undergo reuptake into the axon terminal.
Reuptake involves moving a neurotransmitter from the synapse back into the axon terminal from which it was released.

Neuronal communication is often referred to as an electrochemical event. The movement of the action potential down the length of the axon is an electrical event, and movement of the neurotransmitter across the synaptic space represents the chemical portion of the process.

Neurotransmitters and drugs

There are several different types of neurotransmitters released by different neurons, and we can speak in broad terms about the kinds of functions associated with different neurotransmitters ( [link] ). Much of what psychologists know about the functions of neurotransmitters comes from research on the effects of drugs in psychological disorders. Psychologists who take a biological perspective    and focus on the physiological causes of behavior assert that psychological disorders like depression and schizophrenia are associated with imbalances in one or more neurotransmitter systems. In this perspective, psychotropic medications can help improve the symptoms associated with these disorders. Psychotropic medications are drugs that treat psychiatric symptoms by restoring neurotransmitter balance.

Major neurotransmitters and how they affect behavior
Neurotransmitter Involved in Potential Effect on Behavior
Acetylcholine Muscle action, memory Increased arousal, enhanced cognition
Beta-endorphin Pain, pleasure Decreased anxiety, decreased tension
Dopamine Mood, sleep, learning Increased pleasure, suppressed appetite
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) Brain function, sleep Decreased anxiety, decreased tension
Glutamate Memory, learning Increased learning, enhanced memory
Norepinephrine Heart, intestines, alertness Increased arousal, suppressed appetite
Serotonin Mood, sleep Modulated mood, suppressed appetite

Psychoactive drugs can act as agonists or antagonists for a given neurotransmitter system. Agonists are chemicals that mimic a neurotransmitter at the receptor site and, thus, strengthen its effects. An antagonist    , on the other hand, blocks or impedes the normal activity of a neurotransmitter at the receptor. Agonist and antagonist drugs are prescribed to correct the specific neurotransmitter imbalances underlying a person’s condition. For example, Parkinson's disease, a progressive nervous system disorder, is associated with low levels of dopamine. Therefore dopamine agonists, which mimic the effects of dopamine by binding to dopamine receptors, are one treatment strategy.

Certain symptoms of schizophrenia are associated with overactive dopamine neurotransmission. The antipsychotics used to treat these symptoms are antagonists for dopamine—they block dopamine’s effects by binding its receptors without activating them. Thus, they prevent dopamine released by one neuron from signaling information to adjacent neurons.

In contrast to agonists and antagonists, which both operate by binding to receptor sites, reuptake inhibitors prevent unused neurotransmitters from being transported back to the neuron. This leaves more neurotransmitters in the synapse for a longer time, increasing its effects. Depression, which has been consistently linked with reduced serotonin levels, is commonly treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). By preventing reuptake, SSRIs strengthen the effect of serotonin, giving it more time to interact with serotonin receptors on dendrites. Common SSRIs on the market today include Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. The drug LSD is structurally very similar to serotonin, and it affects the same neurons and receptors as serotonin. Psychotropic drugs are not instant solutions for people suffering from psychological disorders. Often, an individual must take a drug for several weeks before seeing improvement, and many psychoactive drugs have significant negative side effects. Furthermore, individuals vary dramatically in how they respond to the drugs. To improve chances for success, it is not uncommon for people receiving pharmacotherapy to undergo psychological and/or behavioral therapies as well. Some research suggests that combining drug therapy with other forms of therapy tends to be more effective than any one treatment alone (for one such example, see March et al., 2007).

Summary

Glia and neurons are the two cell types that make up the nervous system. While glia generally play supporting roles, the communication between neurons is fundamental to all of the functions associated with the nervous system. Neuronal communication is made possible by the neuron’s specialized structures. The soma contains the cell nucleus, and the dendrites extend from the soma in tree-like branches. The axon is another major extension of the cell body; axons are often covered by a myelin sheath, which increases the speed of transmission of neural impulses. At the end of the axon are terminal buttons that contain synaptic vesicles filled with neurotransmitters.

Neuronal communication is an electrochemical event. The dendrites contain receptors for neurotransmitters released by nearby neurons. If the signals received from other neurons are sufficiently strong, an action potential will travel down the length of the axon to the terminal buttons, resulting in the release of neurotransmitters into the synapse. Action potentials operate on the all-or-none principle and involve the movement of Na + and K + across the neuronal membrane.

Different neurotransmitters are associated with different functions. Often, psychological disorders involve imbalances in a given neurotransmitter system. Therefore, psychotropic drugs are prescribed in an attempt to bring the neurotransmitters back into balance. Drugs can act either as agonists or as antagonists for a given neurotransmitter system.

Personal application queation

Have you or someone you know ever been prescribed a psychotropic medication? If so, what side effects were associated with the treatment?

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Questions & Answers

Dissociative fugue has been linked tosevere stress, which might be the result of traumatic events -- such as war, abuse, accidents, disasters, or extreme violence -- that the person hasexperienced or witnessed.. im just googleing it so im not sure i can explain much better... ill do more research....why is it that your asking? May i ask?
Skylar Reply
did some messages disappear?
Eleni
this just pops up in my notifications and i find it very interesting but cant find any way to navigate back to it
Eleni
ya same keeps happening to me a chat messege popped up earlier somebody asking what a fugue state was and i had googled it and wrote back but once i exited the app i can find a way back to the chat...
Skylar
So anyway... Dissociative fugue, formerly fugue state or psychogenic fugue, is a dissociative disorder and a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the memories, personality, and other identifying characteristics of individuality.
Skylar
to get back without using the notification you have to remember what section the comments were on. I remembered it was about dissociative fugue so I went into psychological disorders and then into dissociative disorders and scrolled to the bottom. hope that helps
Matt
hoping someone messeges back from the other chat so it will pop up in my notifications again
Skylar
thank you!
Skylar
it came up on a quiz and i hadnt heard it before. thankyou for your response. i appreciate it.
jody
your welcome
Skylar
that happened to me to.. weird
jody
Yeah Skylar.. I never hered of this I am looking into.. as I had and slightly do now.. my bloods have come up so back to the doctors for underactive my t4 are off scale high.. educating your self helps u understand your body and state of mind memorys .thanks
Rachel
True. Good luck! No problem im glad i could help someone.
Skylar
Yeah.. thanks you again.. u singe my thought process for the better
Rachel
If humans have evolved biologically [like their skulls,jaws etc],so how can we apply animal psychology to humans? They must have evolved their minds...even one exception is enough to contradict....
abid Reply
yes
Petros
do you have suggestions for learning Darwin's theory of evolution....beginner+interactive
abid
what's the fugue state
jody Reply
is this a private messege or a chat room? i didnt even know you could messege on this app...
Skylar
I'm confused
Hailey
same
Manav
me too
davie
Same here. Not satisfactory user interface here.
Swati
hi
Melandi
Dissociative fugue, formerly fugue state or psychogenic fugue, is a dissociative disorder and a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the memories, personality, and other identifying characteristics of individuality. Thestate can last days,
Skylar
months or longer
Skylar
skyler can you please elaborate it ?
ecstasy
i would say careful whats said. not private
jody
skylar i got u.
Eleni
thanks finally figured out how the chat thing works... anyway im really just googling this but i will do more research about i had heard the word before but never looked it up so this is very interesting...
Skylar
well. Dissociation is a mental process that causes a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memory and sense of identity. ... A severe and more chronic form of dissociation is seen in the disorder Dissociative Identity Disorder, once called Multiple Personality Disorder, and other Dissociative 
Skylar
disorders
Skylar
Dissociation may affect a person subjectively in the form of “made” thoughts, feelings, and actions. These are thoughts or emotions seemingly coming out of nowhere, or finding oneself carrying out an action as if it were controlled by a force other than oneself
Skylar
what diagnosis or treatment would that need? and can't it be a sideeffect of depression, MDD etc?
Eleni
if anyone needs a first hand account I can provide one. I suffer with severe combat PTSD and struggle intensely with dissociation. Episodes can last a few minutes, days or weeks as recorded by my family ( care givers)
Matt
Symptoms and signs of dissociative disorders include: Significant memory loss of specific times, people and events Out-of-body experiences, such as feeling as though you are watching a movie of yourself
Skylar
Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide A sense of detachment from your emotions, or emotional numbness A lack of a sense of self-identity
Skylar
Dissociative disorders are managed through various therapies including: Psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
Skylar
Medications such as antidepressants can treat symptoms of related conditions
Skylar
The diagnosis of either Dissociative Amnesia. Depersonalization disorder. Dissociative identity disorder. 
Skylar
does the altered state link directly to DID? is it a character or auto-pilot?
Eleni
im not sure how to word that to research it can u explain that question a bit more or differently?
Skylar
what is memory
Khushbu Reply
what is the meaning of memory
Khushbu
what is the meaning of memory?
Khushbu
what is the meaning of memory?
Khushbu
cognitive process whereby we remember past experiences
Annie
to aid in survival
Eleni
Storing information about people, places, and experiences. Both good and bad, in order to recall and make decisions.
andrew
Memory is the process by which we encode ,store, and retrieve information from the environment through different sense organs.
aijaz
the encryption-decryption mechanism of our psychophysical experiences
juan
can anyone suggest me good coaching in Indore MP India for m.a entrance of du psychology
SAMKIT Reply
How can one diagnose a patient with a mental disorder such as schizophrenia?
Kutwal Reply
Making the Diagnosis. To get an official diagnosi of schizophrenia, your loved one has to show at least two of the following symptom most of the time for a month, and some mental disturbance over six months: Delusions (false beliefs that the person won't give up, even when they get proof that they'r
Khajiit
they're not ture)
Khajiit
Can sombody write me here about Pinoccio in psychodynamic perspective?
Amina Reply
what is the nature and nurture perspective of personality?
Khan Reply
are there significant differences between methamphetamine and it's long term effects on male cognitive behavioral and function versus female?
Shiloh Reply
effects will be the same( male & female)
Smith
tell me more
baby
no. it's much worse on females. almost s complete polar switch
cody
show me ans fast plzzz
Khushbu
please is there any difference between abnormal behaviour and normal behaviour?
Ayodele Reply
hm
sheere
yes abnormal behavior is "not normal ", actions in society's eyes. an example of abnormal behavior (I remember from a textbook) ; a man who runs around frantically in a grocery store licking strangers'(women's) shoes because when he was a baby his mom would tickle his feet/give them special attentio
Peter
yes there is a difference between abnormal and normal behaviour... This is simply because abnormal behaviour is deviating from the normal behaviour of the society while normal behaviour is obeying the moral standards in the society.
Emmanuel
how about disorders? like, always having a tantrums and irrational most of the time?
Jheannalyn
a behavior becomes pathological when 1. there is a before and after : you can see a real change of behavior/cognition or 2. behavior is pathological when it makes yourself or others suffer
Perle
what is difference between disease and disorder
Shahab
disease demand medicin but disorder demands care plus medicin
Zeeshan
I think the concept of normal and abnormal behavior in general is not much of psychological concept but more of sociological concept. A behavior or act in itself is not normal or abnormal. How society perceives that specific behavior, that's what decides what's normal.
Juveriya
For instance, gay marriage is considered normal where homosexuality is legalized. Where it isn't legalized, its abnormal.
Juveriya
So there cannot be an absolute answer for your question
Juveriya
well abnormality is pretty much considered in popular society which is something of a correlation of psycholigical perspective reflected through activity... something abstract... or non trending or precedented. or maybe something disturbing or atypical for people in their respective birth cohorts.
Geoffrey
please what are the schools of thought in psychology
Jennifer
if I told a girl that I will marry her how will she takes it when am to rate it in percentages
dauda
structuralism,functionalism,gestaltalism etc
aijaz
what about Diathesis stress model ?
aijaz
What is the difference between motivation and goal?
vishal Reply
goal is what you want to accomplish. motivation is what drives you to achieve it
Tay
motivation is ambitious and a goal is a ambition
Alivia
But Motivation is just stay there for only short time
Manish
goal is our destination and motivation is a vehicle to reach goal
pradeep
motivation is the One person improved in self development another person advices......... goal is achievement at one of the life.....
thangaraj
motivation is for our personality development thing but goal is our whole personality.
Zeeshan
but its should be more remember without motivation no life no goal .
Zeeshan
it's like this
Tay
if my goal is to get my degree. then me wanting a better job is my motivation. ultimately family
Tay
Motivation is the vehicle we use to reach our goal.
Zachary
Please wat r the schools of psychology
Jennifer
i want the outline of it,its methodology
Jennifer
hi guys can someone help me how can I over or stress ?
Folet
Jennifer I need to take my own advice however stress relief is something that is done through catharsis which in my estimation is defined as a physical or mental activity used as therapy... that can include, yoga, meditation, sex, physical activity like a sport or martial art practice or sometimes .
Geoffrey
the schools of psych I have no clue about
Geoffrey
If you want to be something ,that we can say you have goal.But you will never be that without enough effort,if you getting accurate rewards from your surrounding as accepting you than before when you are trying to be something.that we can say motivation.it may be in the form of acceptance and suport
Hot
motiVation is the part of goal . but it has a backbone value for goal .with out motivation wo can not Think about our aim of life, our goals .
Zeeshan
how do you get motivation? I'm such a lax person
Alexsus
can anyone help me we have a school in a third world country the kids are unable to learn, how can we help them motivate?
Cesaire
make it a game , if it's a 3rd world country then personal hygiene supplies would be a good prize to win
Maria
Maria can you explain that a little more
Cesaire
make them a set goal of so many pages to read or assigments to accomplish and go buy soap, toothpaste and toothbrush or even Candy and put it in front of the class so everyone can see the prizes and it will motivate them to finish first to get an award
Maria
ok
Cesaire
ok Maria
Cesaire
Motivation - reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way. Goal - The object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
andrew
what is mutation?
Amaya Reply
What is mindfulness
rahul
mindfulness means to be aware of the present
Agnieszka
meaning that you are totally focussing on the present...and living in the moment
Agnieszka
also present variables
Carl
hello guys
Folet
can someone help with few answers ?
Folet
hi what is all about ?
Folet Reply
The theory of evolution and its natural selection is a given trait by respond it is also classical conditioning it is a given trait that makes humans more unique than any other species of animals plants or an the theory o the Big Bang is a spontaneous person and has expanded ev we do not know that m
Ryan Reply
hi
Cesaire
hi
yugandhar
behaviors are most successful in treating what?
Cody Reply
mental health disorders
Joyce
fears and phobias.
abid
life management (social, economical, financial etc)
ASHISH
low self-esteem
Sirumbye
patients
Alameen

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Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
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